Looking Back -- Oct. 10, 2010

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past.You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or mary.braswell@albanyherald.com.

In honor of today's date, 10-10-10, here is a look back at one of the best known "tens" in history --the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.


* The FBI's Ten Most Wanted fugitives list arose from a conversation held in late 1949, during a game of hearts between J. Edgar Hoover, director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, and William Kinsey Hutchinson, International News Service (the predecessor of the United Press International) editor-in-chief, who were discussing ways to promote capture of the FBI's "toughest guys."

* This discussion turned into a published article, which received so much positive publicity that on March 14, 1950, the FBI officially announced the list to increase law enforcement's ability to capture dangerous fugitives.

* The first person placed on the list was Thomas James Holden, wanted for the murder of his wife, her brother and her stepbrother.

* Since its inception, 494 fugitives have been on the Top Ten list and 463 have been located and/or apprehended.

* Citizen cooperation is credited with 152 of the successful apprehension and/or location of fugitives.

* 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. A resident of Washington, D.C. ,heard noises in his attic and contacted police. Billie Austin Bryant was found hiding in the attic. He was just four blocks from his home where he fatally shot two FBI agents.

* The longest amount of time spent on the Top Ten list is over 26 years. Victor Manual Gerena was placed on the list May 14, 1984 and remains there today. He is wanted in connection with the 1983 armed robbery of approximately $7 million from a security company in West Hartford, Conn.

* The oldest person to be placed on the list was James J. Bulger, who was added in August 1999, a month before his 70th birthday. Bulger is believed to be a major figure in a crime organization in the Boston area. He remains on the list.

* The criteria that determines a fugitive's placement on the Top Ten list is two-fold. First, the individual must have a lengthy record of committing serious crimes and/or be considered a particularly dangerous menace to society due to current criminal charges. Second, it must be believed that a nationwide publicity effort can be of assistance in apprehending the fugitive, who, in turn, should not be notorious due to other publicity.

* There is no ranking within the list.

* The Ten Most Wanted are only removed from the list when they meet one of the following conditions -- (1) They are captured, (2) The federal process pending against the individual is dismissed (not an FBI decision) or (3) They no longer fit the criteria. Only six cases have been removed for the third reason.

* The highest number of located fugitives in a single year came in 1968 with 33. In its 60 years of history, only in 1993 and 2005 were no apprehensions made.

* Posters, commonly seen in post offices, are still responsible for the most apprehensions by way of publicity with 49.

* Eleven fugitives have died during capture.

* Foreign authorities have made 32 captures. A total of 42 captures have been made in foreign countries, several as a result of a joint effort .

* Twenty-one fugitives have surrendered.

* Fourteen fugitives have been found deceased.

* A total of eight women have made the list. The woman on the list for the longest time was Katherine Ann Power (Oct. 10, 1970-June 15, 1984). Power was removed from the list when it was felt she no longer fit the criteria. She remained at large until she surrendered in Oregon in 1993.

* The first woman placed on the Top Ten list was Ruth Eismann-Schier. She remained on the list from Dec. 28, 1968 through March 5, 1969. She was arrested in Norman, Okla. by the FBI, along with her partner, Gary Steven Krist, also on the list. The pair were later indicted in Georgia for kidnapping with ransom.

* Six people have appeared on the list more than once.

* Seventeen cases have been solved as a result of "America's Most Wanted" television show.

* The states with the most arrests of fugitives are California (59) and New York (40). Tied for third place are Florida and Illinois with 32 each. Eight fugitives have been found in Georgia.

* Rewards are offered for information leading to the capture of fugitives on the list. Unless otherwise stated that reward amount is $100,000.

* The Rewards For Justice Program, U.S. Department of State, is offering a reward of up to $25 million for information leading directly to the apprehension and/or conviction of Usama (as spelled on the list) Bin Laden. An additional $2 million is being offered through a program developed and funded by the Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association.


* A dime is sometimes referred to as a ten-cent piece.

* Virgins, according to the Bible, come in tens -- five foolish and five wise.

* A #10 can equals approximately 25 servings.

* Bo Derek became a household name after the movie "10" opened in 1979.

* "Ten" is the debut studio album by the band Pearl Jam, released on Aug. 27, 1991, through Epic Records.

* Ten is the number of violin sonatas composed by Ludwig van Beethoven.

* In ten-pin bowling 10 pins are arranged in a triangular pattern and there are 10 frames per game.

* "Number 10" player is most often used as a synonym for a soccer team's playmaker.

* Ten-codes are commonly used on emergency service radio systems.

* Counting from one to 10 before speaking is often done in order to cool one's temper.

* There are 10 official inkblots in the Rorschach inkblot test.

* The freeway that runs from California to Florida is Interstate 10.

* 10 Downing Street is the residence of the British Prime Minister.

* A No. 10 envelope measures 4 1/8 by 10 3/8 inches.