What are the criteria for determining who is on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted fugitives list?


Quick Answer

The criteria the FBI uses to select individuals for its "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list are a lengthy record of committing serious crimes and/or current charges that render the fugitive an extreme danger to society and the belief national publicity can help apprehend the criminal, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The fugitives are chosen by the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters

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Full Answer

The CID requests candidates for the list from all 56 regional Field Offices, explains the FBI. Special Agents in the CID and Office of Public Affairs evaluate the proposed fugitives and send their candidate to FBI Executive Management for final approval.

There are only three ways a fugitive can be removed from the "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list, notes the FBI. The fugitive is captured; the charges or federal process against the fugitive is dismissed; or the fugitive is deemed no longer an extreme danger to society. When the FBI removes a member from the list, another is chosen to take his place.

The list began in 1950, states the FBI, when the agency partnered with the national news media to get public attention and assistance in apprehending the worst criminals. From the inception of the list to 2015, the FBI has captured 156 "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" directly due to public assistance. The FBI provides a reward of at least $100,000 for information directly leading to the arrest of one of these fugitives.

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