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All Of The Women Who Have Spent Time On The FBI’s Most Wanted List

Since the FBI debuted its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list on March 14, 1950, over 500 individuals have been placed on the list. Despite hundreds of suspected criminals having appeared on the list in the last seven decades, only 10 of the fugitives have been women. In fact, the first woman wasn't added to the list until December 1968. These women have been added to the list for a variety of crimes including murder, kidnapping, bank robberies, and alleged involvement in extremist groups. Although some of them were apprehended and sent to prison, others were exonerated and went on to live successful lives as professors and authors.

Below, we'll meet the 10 women on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list and learn their stories.

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  • Ruth Eisemann-Schier: Added 12/28/1968, Arrested 3/5/1969

    Ruth Eisemann-Schier: Added 12/28/1968, Arrested 3/5/1969
    Photo: FBI / fbi.gov / Fair Use

    Ruth Eisemann-Schier holds the distinction of being the first woman ever to be added to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. Eisemann-Schier was added to the list on December 28, 1968, after she and her boyfriend, Gary Stephen Krist, kidnapped Barbara Mackle, the daughter of a Georgia millionaire. The couple held Mackle for a $500,000 ransom and then buried her in a coffin, which had breathing tubes and food, allowing Mackle to survive.

    Eisemann-Schier was arrested on March 5, 1969, after she was found at the University of Oklahoma pretending to be a student. Although Eisemann-Schier was sentenced to seven years in prison for the kidnapping, she served only four before being deported to her home country of Honduras, where she still lives.

  • Angela Yvonne Davis: Added 8/18/70, Arrested 10/13/70

    Angela Yvonne Davis was arrested in October 1970 after being accused of supplying guns that led to a courtroom shoot-out and four deaths. Davis had been a professor of philosophy and a member of the US Communist Party leading up to the shooting. She was acquitted of all charges in June 1972 and later ran for vice president of the US Communist Party in 1980.

    Davis eventually became a professor of history and wrote several popular books, including Women, Race, and Class. Davis continues to teach at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is a vocal advocate for civil rights and women's rights.

  • Shanika Minor: Added 6/28/2016, Arrested 7/1/2016

    Shanika Minor: Added 6/28/2016, Arrested 7/1/2016
    Photo: FBI / fbi.gov / Fair Use

    Shanika S. Minor was the 509th person to be added to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List in 2016. Around 3 am on March 6, 2016, Minor shot her mother's upstairs neighbor, Tamecca Perry. The two had reportedly argued hours earlier about Perry playing loud music, at which time Minor took out a gun and fired a shot into the air. Minor's mother tried to intervene during the second altercation, but Minor shot Perry in the chest, killing her almost instantly. Perry's unborn child also died at the scene. Perry was due to give birth only one week after the shooting. Minor fled the scene but was later apprehended.

    On August 24, 2017, Minor was sentenced to 30 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervision. She was 25 at the time.

  • Bernardine Rae Dohrn: Added 10/14/1970, Case Dismissed 12/7/1973

    Bernardine Rae Dohrn: Added 10/14/1970, Case Dismissed 12/7/1973
    Photo: United States Department of Justice / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    Bernadine Rae Dohrn was a co-founder and leader of the "radical left" group the Weather Underground in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The FBI attempted to link a number of law enforcement deaths to bombings believed to be carried out by the Weather Underground and added Dohrn to its Most Wanted list in 1970. However, corruption within the investigation and an inability to link any deaths or injuries to the Weather Underground led to the US Department of Justice dropping all charges in 1973.

    Dohrn remained in hiding until 1980 and later became a law professor at Northwestern University.

  • Brenda Delgado: Added 4/6/2016, Arrested 4/8/2016

    Brenda Delgado: Added 4/6/2016, Arrested 4/8/2016
    Photo: FBI / fbi.gov / Fair Use

    33-year-old Brenda Delgado fled the United States in October 2015 after she was questioned by authorities in relation to the murder of Dallas-area dentist Kendra Hatcher. It was later learned that Delgado had hired two individuals to help take out a hit on Hatcher, who was reportedly dating Delgado's ex-boyfriend.

    Delgado was captured only two days after being put on the Most Wanted list and was extradited from Mexico to Texas. Although Delgado did not fire the shot that killed Hatcher, her involvement in orchestrating the crime led to a capital murder charge and life in prison. She was the 506th person added to the Ten Most Wanted list. 

  • Marie Dean Arrington: Added 5/29/1969, Arrested 12/22/1971

    Before Marie Dean Arrington was added to the FBI's Most Wanted list in 1969, she was already facing 20 years in prison for the 1968 death of her husband. While out on an appeal bond in 1969, Arrington shot legal secretary Vivian June Ritter. Ritter worked for a Florida public defender who had represented Arrington's sons in a felony case and lost. Arrington received the death penalty for Ritter's murder but escaped prison by cutting through a window screen.

    Arrington was apprehended in 1971, but the death penalty charge was commuted to life in prison. Arrington died in prison in 2014.