Since its inception 67 years ago, 512 people have made it onto the FBI “Top Ten” list — but only 10 women have ever been named.
Launched on March 14, 1950, the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” program is designed to publicise particularly dangerous fugitives who may otherwise go under the radar.
The program, which relies heavily on the media and community to bring some of the country’s “toughest” men and women to justice, has led to 160 wanted fugitives being captured with public assistance.
But during that time, women have rarely made the list. According to the FBI, to make the list “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”.
So in almost 70 years — what did these women do to make America’s Most Wanted list?
As the first woman to make it onto the list — almost two decades after it started — Ruth Eisemann-Schier paired up with her boyfriend to kidnap a 20-year-old student and bury the young woman alive.
Eisemann-Schier and her partner, Gary Stephen Krist, buried Barbara Mackle alive in Gwinnett County, Georgia, after demanding a $US5000,000 ransom.
The young woman from Emory University in Atlanta was kept alive via a breathing tube, that was inserted in a ventilated fibregla
ss box. The coffin was equipped with an air pump, battery lamp, food and water.
When Eisemann-Schier and Krist received the ransom figure from Mackle’s wealthy land-developing father, the pair told police where to find the student, who was uncovered with nothing but dehydration.
Eisemann-Schier spent three months on the run, before being arrested and sent to jail, where she served four years in prison. Following her incarceration, Eisemann-Schier was deported back to her birthplace of Honduras.
MARIE DEAN ARRINGTON
Mean Marie was the second woman to land on the FBI’s list in 1969, after she escaped from a correctional institution in Florida, where she was awaiting execution for the murder of a legal secretary.
The secretary worked for the lawyer who’d failed to get Arrington’s two children acquitted of felony charges.
Arrington remained on the run for three years before she was nabbed in 1971 while working as a waitress in New Orleans.
Her death sentence was downgraded to life in prison, where she eventually died from reported heart complications in 2014.
ANGELA YVONNE DAVIS
Angela Yvonne Davis was perhaps one of the most famous wanted cases in FBI history. As a prominent author, scholar and activist, Davis was a former philosophy instructor who had been fired from her position at UCLA, when guns she had purchased became involved in an armed holdup and escape in a courtroom in California.
In August 1970, three defendants and a judge were killed in a shootout with police. The guns used in the holdup were purchased by Davis, meaning she was charged with murder.
Going on the run, Davis was arrested two months after the ordeal in a hotel room in New York City, but was acquitted of both kidnapping and murder by a jury who found that while she did have ownership of the guns, it didn’t make her responsible for the four deaths.
Following her acquittal, Davis became a prominent activist for human and social rights, receiving the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union in 1979.
She ran for VP of the Communist Party in the USA on two separate occasions, and also had
John Lennon and Yoko Ono write a protest song about her in 1972.
BERNARDINE RAE DOHRN
Bernardine Dohrn made the FBI list in 1970, for her general radical activities in the late 60s and early 70s.
At 28, Dohrn was the leader of a radical group known as Weather Underground, which was involved in several bombings at police stations around New York, as well as the Pentagon in 1983.
Dohrn was placed on the FBI Most wanted list in 1970, where she stayed for three years. But in 1980, Dohrn and her husband, William Ayers, surrendered — despite being removed from the list after a federal judge dropped most of the charges laid against her.
Despite the dismissal, Dohrn was still sentenced to one year in prison after pleading guilty to charges of aggravated battery and bail jumping.
After serving time, Dohrn went on to study law and become a member of the law faculty at the Northwestern University in Illinois.
SUSAN EDITH SAXE AND KATHERINE ANN POWER
Susan Saxe and Katherine Power were both 21 when they were placed on the ‘Most Wanted’ list together in 1970.
The pair were ‘radical roommates’ at Brandeis University when they paired up with two male ex-convicts to rob a Boston bank.
One of the men shot and killed a policeman during the robbery, leaving Saxe and Power to go on the run.
Saxe stayed on the run for five years before being caught and sent to prison, while Power managed to completely avoid jail until 1993 — when she turned herself into authorities after suffering from a guilty conscious. She then spent six years behind bars after pleading guilty to armed robbery and manslaughter, completing a Bachelor’s degree while in prison.
DONNA JEAN WILLMOTT
Almost 17 years passed until another woman landed on the FBI ‘Most Wanted’ list. Donna Willmott, 44, had been a fugitive for several years before being placed on the list alongside her husband, Claude Daniel Marks, making the pair the first couple to make the list together.
Willmot and Marks earned a spot in 1987 after scheming to blow up a federal prison in Kansas to try and release a Puerto Rican nationalist leader by the name of Oscar López Rivera.
Changing their identities, the pair were on the run for seven years, before turning themselves in on December 6, 1994.
According to The New York Times, the pair were listed as ‘terrorists’ on their wanted poster — and as “armed and dangerous”.
SHAUNTAY L. HENDERSON
Shauntay Henderson was placed on by the FBI for being the alleged leader of a notorious gang in Kansas City, Missouri.
Henderson, who was captured by authorities on March 31, 2007 — the same day she was placed on the list — was wanted in connection with an execution-style shooting death of a man in his car in 2006.
Henderson, then 24, was acquitted of murder but convicted of voluntary manslaughter. In May 2012, Henderson was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison for the manslaughter conviction, which will run consecutively to her seven year federal prison charge for being a felon in possession of a weapon.
Henderson is scheduled to be released from Waseca Federal Correctional Institution in Minnesota in March 2017.
Brenda Delgado was added to the list just last year, becoming the 506th person ever to be part of the ‘Most Wanted Fugitives’.
The baby faced 33-year-old had been a fugitive for more than six months, for the murder of Dallas dentist Kendra Hatcher.
According to authorities, Delgado became jealous of her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend Hatcher, and allegedly hired a hitman to kill her.
Hatcher, 33, was shot and killed in September 2015 in the carpark of her Dallas apartment, while Delgado fled to Mexico after being questioned by FBI agents.
Detectives believe Delgado, a jilted lover, hired Kristopher Love to kill Hatcher. She then hired Crystal Cortez to drive the getaway SUV. The trio were charged with capital murder.
SHANIKA S. MINOR
Shanika Minor is the most recent woman to make the list, after being accused of shooting her mother’s pregnant neighbour in Milwaukee.
Minor, 24, became part of a large-scale manhunt, after she allegedly killed her mother’s pregnant neighbour, Tamecca Perry, who was just five days away from her due date.
The FBI alleged that both Minor and her mother had earlier argued with Ms Perry over loud music. Minor then confronted the woman and shot her in the chest, the FBI said.
Following the shooting, Minor fled the scene and went to Fayetteville in North Carolina, where she was arrested at a motel after four months on the run.
When she was put on the ‘Most Wanted’ list, the FBI were offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to her capture.
Minor was charged in July 2016 with one count of first degree intentional murder, and one count of first degree intentional murder of an unborn child for the shooting deaths of Ms Perry and her unborn baby.