Fugitives That Have Spent The Most Time On The FBI's Most Wanted List

The FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list was created in late 1949 under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover and made public on March 14, 1950. Since then, over 500 individuals have appeared on the list, with approximately 94% of the criminals listed being captured. Tips and other assistance from the general public account for about 31% of the captures. Only 10 women have ever appeared on the list.

The list below includes the criminals who have spent the most time on the list since its inception over 70 years ago. Some of these fugitives have been captured, while others were removed for various reasons. Two of the longest-standing members of the Ten Most Wanted list remain on it to this day.

  • James 'Whitey' Bulger: Added 8/19/1999; Captured 6/22/2011
    Photo: Federal Bureau of Prisons / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    The notorious mobster James "Whitey" Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica, CA, on the evening of June 22, 2011, after a member of the public called in a tip. A PSA about Bulger and his longtime partner, Catherine Greig, had recently run on television in an effort to finally track down the man known for leading South Boston's Winter Hill Gang. Bulger had spent time in and out of prison throughout his life and was even incarcerated at Alcatraz in 1959.

    Bulger's capture came with a $2 million reward, the highest ever offered for a Top Ten Most Wanted fugitive. Bulger was charged in relation to 19 murders, and Greig was federally charged for harboring a fugitive.

    One day after being transferred to US Penitentiary Hazelton, Bulger was murdered by fellow inmates on October 30, 2018.

  • Twenty-five-year-old Victor Manuel Gerena was an armored car guard for the Wells-Fargo Express Company when he stole $7 million from them on September 12, 1983.

    It was later learned that Gerena had stolen the money for a terrorist group known as Los Macheteros. The group also purchased an air missile, which they launched into the FBI headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Gerena is believed to have fled to Cuba but has never been found. He spent 32 years on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.

  • Robert Fisher: Added 6/29/2002; Removed 11/3/2021

    On the morning of April 10, 2001, the home of Robert and Mary Fisher burst into flames. Mary's body was found in the wreckage, along with the couple's two young children. However, Robert was nowhere to be found. Police would later determine that Robert had slit the throats of his family members before setting their home on fire.

    The family's car was later found in the woods with the family dog hiding nearby. The vehicle left few clues, but there were pine needles in the car. Though police have never found Robert, he was eventually removed from the FBI's Most Wanted list after 20 years. Some believe Fisher died in the woods where he left his car, but no body has ever been recovered.

  • Alexis Flores: Added 6/2/2007

    On August 3, 2000, 5-year-old Iriana DeJesus was found murdered in the basement of a Philadelphia apartment building after being kidnapped. A bloody T-shirt was found near Iriana's body and believed to belong to a local man named Carlos.

    Meanwhile, Alexis Flores was arrested for a series of crimes before being deported to Honduras in 2005. Two years later, DNA evidence showed that "Carlos" was really Alexis Flores. Flores was immediately added to the FBI's Most Wanted List for the kidnapping and murder of Iriana DeJesus and has remained on the list for 15 years.

  • Frederick J. Tenuto: Added 5/24/1950; Removed 3/9/1964

    Frederick J. Tenuto: Added 5/24/1950; Removed 3/9/1964
    Photo: FBI / fbi.gov / Public domain

    Known as "The Angel of Death" in the New York City mafia, Frederick J. Tenuto was known for taking out hits on multiple people over the years. Tenuto had a criminal record going back to his teen years and had a reputation for easily breaking out of prison, including the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary. Tenuto's criminal record led to him being added to the Most Wanted list in 1950.

    Tenuto has not been seen since carrying out a hit in 1952. The hit was done at the request of mob boss Albert Anastasia, who later found out that at least one witness saw Tenuto commit the crime. There has long been a theory that Tenuto received a "double-decker funeral" where he was placed in the false bottom of a casket. He was eventually removed from the Most Wanted list in 1964.

  • Glen Stewart Godwin was serving a sentence for murder when he escaped from Folsom State Prison in California in 1987. Godwin fled the prison through a storm drain with the help of fellow inmates who served as clerks. However, he was arrested only five months later on drug charges in Mexico and imprisoned in Guadalajara.

    In 1991, Godwin killed a fellow inmate before escaping prison and has yet to be apprehended. The FBI believes that he is somewhere in South America.