During Prohibition, the Chicago Crime Commission named gangster Al Capone “Public Enemy Number One” and sought public assistance to rally forces against criminal enterprises that turned the city into a free-for-all of gin mills and gangs.
Years later the F.B.I. adopted that strategy to drum up public support and aid for its crime fighting efforts by publishing a “Most Wanted” list of fugitive criminals. This year the Most Wanted list turns 69, but it’s still quite popular, particularly during the 1988-2013 run of the America’s Most Wanted television show hosted by the father of a crime victim, Adam Walsh.
Origin of FBI Most Wanted list
The F.B.I.’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list was initiated by J. Edgar Hoover in 1950 but it did not necessarily rank the criminals in order of severity, rather listing crimes like treason among the most serious and therefore most wanted. Of the 521 individuals added to the list over the decades, more than 480 have been apprehended.
The international crime fighting organization Interpol publishes a “red list” of fugitives and enlists the collaboration of 29 countries to arrest and hold individuals pending extradition. There are plenty of Americans on their list of international fugitives, wanted for crimes from aiding al Qaeda to murdering a bank security guard to sexual contact with minors.
Rewards are offered.
The F.B.I.’s current list of “Most Wanted” includes:
Jason Derek Brown, 49, who is also on Interpol’s list of American fugitives. He allegedly shot an armored car security guard in Phoenix in 2004 and fled the country. Some of his many aliases include the last name Johnson or Brown. He is fluent in French, a member of the Latter-Day Saints church, familiar with Paris, and is said to frequent nightclubs and brag about expensive cars and boats. He is of medium build with sandy brown hair and green eyes. There is a $200,000 reward associated with his arrest.
Yaser Abdel Said, 62, an Egyptian native, has dark (receding) hair, likely a mustache, and dark complexion. He often wears sunglasses, day and night, and has been employed as a cab driver. Said allegedly murdered his two daughters in Texas because they refused to conform to behavioral norms expected of women in traditional Egyptian families. Said smokes Marlboro Light cigarettes and likes dogs; he may be sheltered by an Egyptian community in a major city. He is considered armed and dangerous; there is a $100,000 reward associated with his arrest.
Alejandro Castillo, 20, is wanted for killing his girlfriend in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2016. The woman’s car was found near Phoenix, Arizona, and Castillo is known to travel across the Arizona-Mexican border. He is 5’ 6” tall with black hair that’s often very short or shaved on the sides and brown eyes. He is fluent in Spanish. Castillo is considered armed and dangerous. There is a $100,000 reward for information leading to his capture.
Rafael Caro Quintero, 68, is a 6’ tall man, about 160 pounds, with a full head of graying hair and medium to dark complexion. He is alleged to be part of the Sinaloa drug cartel from Mexico, wanted for the kidnapping and murder of a Drug Enforcement Officer in 1985. The reward for his capture is $20 million.
Alexis Flores, 38, is wanted in the kidnapping and murder of a 5-year-old girl in Philadelphia in 2000. He is of slim build, may work as a handyman, and has scars on his forehead and right cheek. Flores uses many aliases, including Alesis Contreras, and is a native of Honduras. There is a $100,000 reward associated with his arrest.
Santiago Mederos, 28, is 5’ 8” tall with a slim build at 140 pounds. A native of the Tacoma, Washington area, he is wanted for several crimes there, including a random shooting that killed a young woman and another gunshot murder of an innocent bystander during a fight. He has been a fugitive since 2016.
Robert William Fisher, 58, is a clean-cut, 6’ tall, 190 pound man with chiseled features who is an avid hunter and outdoorsman who may walk with an exaggerated posture due to a back injury. He is wanted for the murder of his wife and two children and arson of the house where they were killed in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2001. He is familiar with New Mexico and Florida. There is a $100,000 reward associated with his arrest.
Bhadreshkumar C. Patel, 28, is of Indian descent with a clean-shaven medium complexion, dark hair, and medium build at 160 pounds and 5’ 9”. He is wanted for killing his wife when they worked together at a Maryland donut shop in 2015. He was last seen near Newark, New Jersey.