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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives

     In 1949, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover started the bureau's top ten wanted program as a way of involving the public in the apprehension of the nation's worst criminals. As of June 2012, 497 fugitives have made the list. Patricia Hearst was one of only eight women ever considered bad enough to make the program. (The bureau had a hell of a time catching her.) Since the inception of the program, 94 percent of top ten fugitives have been captured. A third of these apprehensions involved tips from member of the public.

     Today, information that leads to the arrest of a top ten fugitive earns the tipster a $100,000 reward. (In the 1950s, the man who turned in the infamous bank robber Willie Sutton was murdered for his troubles. The tipster had ignored advice from the New York police not to go public. After that, law enforcement agencies, to encourage people to come forward, began offering rewards.)

     What follows is the current roster of the FBI's top ten most wanted fugitives:

Joe Luis Saenz

     In July 1998, Saenz shot and killed two Los Angeles gang rivals. Two weeks later, he raped and murdered his girlfriend, and in October of that year, murdered a fourth person.

Glen Steward Godwin

     In 1987, while serving time for murder in California's Folsom Prison, Godwin escaped. Later that year the police in Mexico arrested him for dealing in drugs. While serving time in Mexico, Godwin murdered a fellow inmate, and five months later, escaped.

Eduardo Ravelo

     A Texas grand jury indicted Ravelo in 2008 for trafficking in heroin, marijuana, and cocaine. The capo with the Barrio Azieca crime enterprise had been an active interstate drug racketeer since 2003.

Semion Mogilevich

     In April 2003, a federal grand jury in Pennsylvania indicted Mogilevich for his role in a stock fraud that cost investors $150 million. The public corporation, headquarters in Bucks County, collapsed in 1998.

Jason Derek Brown

     In November 2004, Brown murdered an armored car guard in a robbery outside a Phoenix a movie theater.

Eric Justin Toth

     Toth, a graduate of Purdue University and a former private school teacher, was indicted in 2008 on charges related to child pornography. The computer expert stands accused of producing, for the Internet, child pornography in the state of Maryland.

Alex Flores

     Flores, in July 2000, kidnapped and murdered a 5-year-old Philadelphia girl. The victim's strangled and stabbed body was found three months later in a nearby apartment.

Robert William Fisher

     Fisher is accused of the April 2001 murder of his wife and two young children in Scotsdale, Arizona.

Fidel Urbina

     In March 1998, Urbina beat and raped a woman in Chicago. Seven months later, while free on bail, he assaulted, raped and strangled to death another woman. His last victim was found in the trunk of a burned-out car.

Victor Manuel Gerena

     In 1983, Gerena, in the commission of a $7 million robbery of a Connecticut security company, took two employees hostage at gunpoint. After placing his hostages in handcuffs, Gerena injected them with a toxic substance to further disable them.

     All of the fugitives on the top ten list but the swindler Mogilevich, were in their 20s and 30s when they committed their crimes. Mogilevich was in his 50s.


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