Every so often, some violent criminal slips through the fingers of local law enforcement. Or maybe they get lucky and escape prison. But usually, the fugitive’s days are numbered. Because once they enter the proverbial crosshairs of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, justice will eventually come knocking on their door.
Although these sociopaths may dodge the feds for a time – their misdeeds sooner or later come back to haunt them. Here are three criminals who were eventually caught after reaching the notorious status of being one of the FBI’s Most Wanted.
Prior to becoming a recluse living in the mountains of Montana, Ted Kaczynski was a well-respected, Harvard educated math whiz who taught at the prestigious university, UC Berkeley. At some point, though, Kaczynski stopped caring about algorithms and started to focus on his rapidly developing anti-government and anti-technology philosophy. So, he left the academic world behind and went off the grid – for a very long time.
And, to demonstrate his disdain for modern life, Kaczynski mailed bombs to universities and airlines for a 17-year period beginning in 1978. In total, Kaczynski’s bombs killed 3 people, while injuring another 23. The feds eventually dubbed Kaczynski as the “Unabomber,” which was an acronym for UNiversity and Airline BOMber.
For years, the FBI was stumped as to the identity of the Unabomber. This was because Kaczynski was masterful at leaving false clues and ensuring his mail bombs were untraceable. Then, in 1995, the feds got their big break – the Unabomber released a 35,000 word “manifesto,” in which he discussed the problems of modern society.
After the manifesto was published by media outlets, Kaczynski’s brother happened to read the content. He immediately recognized his brother’s voice and thoughts through the manifesto. Shortly thereafter, Kaczynski’s brother alerted the FBI, who then arrested the Unabomber in 1996. Two years later, Kaczynski was sentenced to life imprisonment.
In December 1968, Ruth Eisemann-Schier became the first woman in history to earn a spot on the dishonorable list of the FBI’s Most Wanted.
How did she achieve such notoriety? Well, Ruth and her boyfriend, Gary Krist, got themselves involved in a bit of trouble by kidnapping Barbara Mackle, the college age daughter of a wealthy land magnate. And then demanding that the affluent family cough up $500,000 for Barbara’s safe return.
While negotiating the ransom demands with law enforcement and the victim’s family, the kidnappers buried Barbara in a shallow grave, where she was locked inside a ventilated coffin that contained a small amount of food and water. Fortunately for the victim, the perpetrators’ attempt to collect the ransom – and to vanish unscathed – didn’t work out very well. Krist was arrested soon after collecting the ransom money. And shortly thereafter, Barbara was found in the grave – relatively unharmed.
Although her boyfriend was captured, Ruth escaped and was on the lam for 79 days. Eventually, the law caught up with her at the University of Oklahoma where she was pretending to be a 19-year old college kid.
Ruth was sentenced to a prison term of seven years, but only served four after being deported back to her native Honduras.
A true menace to society, Leslie Rogge was a Canadian born crook who spent his life in a revolving door of American prisons. Rogge’s first prison stint began in the 1970s at the infamous US Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. He was locked up for grand larceny and car theft.
Once he was released from Leavenworth, Rogge didn’t waste any time getting back in the game. He proceeded to rob a bank in Florida and was subsequently sentenced to 25 years in prison. This time, though, he wasn’t going to wait to be released. After about a year in lock-up, Rogge successfully bribed a prison guard, who helped him escape.
Following his gutsy jailbreak, Rogge went on to commit a slew of bank robberies. Eventually, the FBI had enough of this guy’s dangerous shenanigans, and added him to the Most Wanted list. Rogge remained on the list for 6 years. Then, he was finally brought down in Guatemala. That’s right, he had made his way down to Central America and was living under the alias of “Bill Young.”
Rogge’s downfall came after someone in Guatemala recognized him after seeing his photo on the FBI’s website. In response, the Guatemalan authorities began a nationwide manhunt. And, instead of getting potentially gunned down by foreign police, Rogge turned himself in at the US Embassy. He’s currently serving a 65-year prison sentence in Oregon.
Rogge holds the not-so-illustrious honor of being the first criminal on the FBI’ s Most Wanted list to be brought down with the help of the internet.
Justice was certainly served with the capture, arrest and prosecution of these dangerous fugitives. There are obviously a lot more outlaws from the FBI’s Most Wanted that have been captured. Any story stand out in your mind?
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