The Federal Bureau of Investigation debuted the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list over 60 years ago, on March 14, 1950. It was an effort to publicize particularly dangerous fugitives.
The idea came about after a wire service story listed the names and descriptions of the “toughest guys” the FBI wanted to capture. The article gave the FBI so much positive publicity that the former director J. Edgar Hoover decided to start the 10 Most Wanted Fugitives program the following year.
Since its inception, 495 fugitives have been on the “Top Ten” list, and 465 have been apprehended or located. Some interesting facts about the program are:
- 153 fugitives have been captured/located as a result of citizen cooperation.
- Two fugitives were apprehended as a result of visitors on an FBI tour.
- The shortest amount of time spent on the “Top Ten” list was two hours, by Billy Austin Bryant in 1969.
- The longest amount of time spent on the “Top Ten” list is over 27 years by Victor Manuel Gerena.
- Nine fugitives were arrested prior to publication and release, but are still considered as officially on the list.
- The oldest person to be placed on the list was 69-year-old James J. Bulger, who was added in August of 1999.
The FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division (CID) decides who will be added to the list. CID starts by asking all 56 field offices to submit candidates for inclusion on the list. The CID in association with the Office of Public Affairs then reviews all submissions and comes up with a list of “finalists” that is sent to CID’s Assistant Director for approval. The final sign-off, however, is done by the FBI’s Deputy Director.
There are two main factors in the selection for the Most Wanted list: First, the criminal must have a lengthy record of committing serious crimes and be considered a menace to society. Second, the FBI must believe that the nationwide publicity afforded by being on the list will help capture the criminal.
Once on the list there are only three ways to get off it. A criminal must be captured, have charges against them dropped or, in some rare cases, the criminal no longer meets the list criteria.
Only eight women have appeared on the Ten Most Wanted list. The first, Ruth Eisemann-Schier, was added in 1968 for kidnapping, extortion, and other crimes.
*** WANTED ***
REWARD: The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of Eric Justin Toth.
Now the FBI’s replaced Osama bin Laden in the Number One slot with this man, Eric Justin Toth, AKA David Bussone.
Toth, a former private-school teacher, is wanted for allegedly possessing child pornography in Washington, DC. It is alleged that in June of 2008, pornographic images were found on a school camera that had been in Toth’s possession. Toth also allegedly produced child pornography in Maryland.
Toth has often been described as a computer “expert” and has demonstrated above-average knowledge regarding computers, the use of the Internet, and security awareness. Toth has the ability to integrate into various socio-economic classes, and is an expert at social engineering. He possesses an educational background conducive to gaining employment in fields having a connection to children. Toth may advertise online as a tutor or male nanny.
Toth attended Cornell University for a year and transferred to Purdue University, where he graduated with a degree in education. Since June of 2008, Toth is believed to have traveled to Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Toth is believed to have lived in Arizona in 2009.
Date(s) of Birth Used: February 13, 1982
Weight: 155 pounds
Occupations: Teacher, camp counselor.
Scars & Marks: Mole under left eye.
If you’ve seen or know this man, or have any meaningful information to disclose regarding his present whereabouts, the number for the FBI’s Major Case Contact Center is: 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).