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FBI Celebrates Anniversary of “Top Ten” Program

FBI Philadelphia March 10, 2010

PHILADELPHIA—Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Janice K. Fedarcyk announced today that Sunday, March 14, 2010, marks the FBI’s celebration of the 60th anniversary of the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” program.

The “Top Ten” program is designed to publicize particularly dangerous fugitives. It is an extremely important law enforcement tool and media involvement is crucial to its success. 

The Top Ten program began from a newspaper story in late 1949. A reporter for International News Service asked the FBI for the names and descriptions of the “toughest guys” the Bureau would like to capture. The story had so much appeal and generated so much positive publicity that on March 14, 1950, former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover implemented the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program. From the time of its inception, 494 fugitives have been placed on the Top Ten list and 463, or 94 percent, have been apprehended or located. Citizen cooperation has resulted in 152 apprehensions of Top Ten fugitives, and 46 have been arrested as a direct result of newspaper/magazine publicity and 27 as a result of television publicity.

Since March 14, 1950, the Philadelphia Division has added 16 fugitives to the Top Ten list:

  • eight fugitives from Philadelphia and the suburbs
  • eight fugitives from other areas in our territory, including Sunbury, Lancaster, Bloomsburg, Scranton, Stroudsburg, Silverdale, Holmesburg, and Lewisburg

Frederick J. Tenuto was the first fugitive from the Philadelphia Division to be placed on the list, on May 24, 1950, for a murder that occurred in Holmesburg, Pennsylvania. He was captured on March 9, 1964. Semion Mogilevich was the last fugitive from the Philadelphia Division to be placed on the list, on October 21, 2009, for RICO and fraud in Newtown, Bucks County. He has not yet been captured. Currently, the Philadelphia Division has two fugitives on the Top Ten list: Mogelivich and Alexis Flores, who is wanted for the kidnapping and murder of a young girl in Philadelphia in 2007.

Information about today’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives can be found on the Internet, television, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, podcasts, cell phone applications, and digital billboards. As technology continues to advance and innovative applications surface, the FBI intends to utilize all the tools available to publicize the Top Ten fugitives and engage the public in helping to locate them. More information about the Top Ten fugitives is available on the FBI’s Internet home page at www.fbi.gov or at the Philadelphia Division website at http://philadelphia.fbi.gov. Also, please visit www.phillybandits.com to see bank robbers, armed robbers, and other fugitives currently being sought by law enforcement in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.