How the FBI chooses its 10 Most Wanted

Will Pearson

 If you turned on CNN or picked up a newspaper this week, you probably learned about the capture of Warren Steed Jeffs, one America's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives. His capture made me wonder how the FBI will decide who replaces Jeffs on the list. It turns out our friends at HowStuffWorks have an article on that very topic. A few interesting facts from the article:

  • The list has been around since the 1950s.
  • 94% of the fugitives on the list have been caught.
  • 30% of those captured were found because of people noticing their faces from the 10 Most Wanted pictures.
  • In deciding who replaces a captured fugitive on the list, the FBI communicates with each of its 56 field offices.
  • The field offices submit candidates for the top 10 based on their level of danger to society and whether they feel being on the list would increase the likelihood of capture.
  • Although Osama bin Laden is on the list, there's actually a separate list for terrorists. He's mainly on the regular list for symbolic purposes.