How the FBI chooses who is on the Ten Most Wanted list

Posted on: July 22, 2011

Ever wonder how criminals get to be on the “Ten Most Wanted” list? With Osama bin Laden and James “Whitey” Bulger off the list, who will fill the gap left behind. An article in the Denver Post tells us how it is done.

All 56 field offices across the country get to submit names to the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters. Special agents in the CID and the office of public affairs review the submissions. A proposed candidate(s) is then sent to the assistant director of the CID, and then to the director of the FBI himself, Robert Mueller.

This may not be picking the winner on “American Idol” but it sounds pretty efficient to me. However, to get on the list you must pass two criteria. First, the fugitive must have a lengthy criminal record or be considered a serious danger. Second, the FBI must believe that the nationwide publicity that comes with being on the list will help apprehend the fugitive.

Unfortunately, as long as there are criminals there will be enough names to fill up the Ten Most Wanted list.


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