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VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Jack Altwal
You can run but you can't hide. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the infamous members of the FBI's “Most Wanted” list who faced justice through legal or mortal means. Our countdown of the FBI's most wanted who faced justice includes Warren Jeffs, Ted Bundy, James “Whitey” Bulger, and more!

10 of the FBI’s Most Wanted Who Faced Justice


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the infamous members of the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list who faced justice through legal or mortal means.

Leslie Isben Rogge

The internet has given us some wonderful things like funny cat videos, sourdough bread recipes, or, if you’re Leslie Isben Rogge, a one-way ticket back to jail. The prolific American bank robber is believed to have carefully executed roughly 30 bank robberies over a multi-decade crime spree. He was finally arrested for one carried out in Key Largo, Florida in 1984, but managed to escape after bribing one of the guards. He made it onto the FBI’s Most Wanted List in 1990, and turned himself in six years later during a nationwide manhunt in Guatemala. The manhunt had been triggered by a first of its kind event: someone had recognized Rogge’s photo on the FBI website. He is currently incarcerated and serving a 65-year prison sentence.

Eric Rudolph

They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Well, unless you’re Eric Rudolph, then it’s pretty much just trash better left untouched. Rudolph served in the military before being discharged for marijuana use. He planted a bomb in Centennial Olympic park, Atlanta during the 1996 Summer Olympics, killing one person and injuring many others. The bombing led to the moniker ‘Olympic Park bomber’, and landed him on the FBI’s Most Wanted List in 1998. This wouldn’t be his last crime though. He was responsible for multiple additional bombings, targeting abortion clinics and a gay bar, until he was captured in 2003 while, you guessed it, rummaging through a dumpster. He pleaded guilty and received four consecutive life sentences that he is still serving in a supermax prison.

Warren Jeffs

This infamous religious-cult leader was born in 1955 in Sacramento, California. His father, Rulon, was president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon sect known for practicing polygamy. Jeffs inherited that leadership when his father passed away in 2002 - along with most of his father’s widows. He arranged marriages between his male followers and minors, landing him on the FBI’s Most Wanted List in 2006. He didn’t last long on the run though and was caught only a few months later during a routine traffic stop. While initial efforts to convict him in Utah and Arizona were overturned, it was Texas that handed him his final verdict: a 2011 life sentence for sexual assault.

Juan Garcia Abrego

Before becoming the first drug trafficker on the FBIs Most Wanted List in 1995, Juan Garcia Abrego dealt in stealing cars and trafficking drugs. He then succeeded his uncle Juan Nepomuceno Guerra as head of the famed Gulf Cartel in Mexico. Garcia Abrego revolutionized the way the cartel did business, expanding their smuggling operations and forming an alliance with the Cali Cartel in Colombia. He spearheaded money laundering operations that likely hit eight figures and oversaw massive protection rackets for other cartels. Estimates from American business and government sources in the mid-nineties put his net worth somewhere in the 10-15 billion dollar range. He was arrested for drug trafficking in 1996 and extradited to the United States where he is serving a life sentence.

Thomas James Holden

Thomas James Holden started out doing payroll delivery robberies as a member of the Holden-Keating gang. The notorious gang would end up committing dozens of robberies over the next few years, including a $135,000 U.S. Mail truck heist. Holden was first arrested in 1928 but, channeling his inner Michael Scofield, broke out just two years later. He was eventually re-arrested and remained in prison until his parole in 1947. Holden became the inaugural member of the FBI’s Most Wanted List in 1950 for the murder of his wife and brothers-in-law. Described as "a menace to every man, woman, and child in America", he was captured for the final time in 1951 thanks to a very vigilant newspaper reader. He died in prison while serving a life sentence.

James Charles Kopp

After the 1998 killing of physician Barnett Slepian, perpetrator James Charles Kopp led authorities on a manhunt that crossed international borders. Kopp’s radical anti-abortion viewpoints motivated the murder and earned him the label of “terrorist” by some institutions. He sought refuge in Mexico, Ireland, and eventually France, evading capture for years and becoming the 455th fugitive to be placed on the “Most Wanted” list. After his apprehension by French authorities in 2001, Kopp was extradited to the U.S. to face trial and eventual conviction. Though Kopp avoided the death penalty, Judge Michael D'Amico declared the act “premeditated” and “immoral.” He was given a twenty-five years-to-life sentence, which he still serves in the Mendota Federal Correctional Institution.

James “Whitey” Bulger

Most fourteen year olds are hanging out with their friends, playing sports, or complaining about their parents. Fourteen year old James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, meanwhile, was arrested and in juvie. The Boston native had already developed a reputation as a fierce, loyal, and vicious criminal, one that would only continue to grow as he took over the infamous Winter Hill Gang in South Boston. Bulger became an FBI informant in 1975, ratting out his criminal rivals. In exchange, his FBI handler made sure his own crimes were ignored. Bulger went on the run in 1994 to avoid a RICO case against him, and was added to the FBI Most Wanted List in 1999. He managed to evade capture until 2011, and was killed in prison in 2018.

Theodore “Ted” Bundy

This infamous serial killer confessed to taking the lives of over 30 women, many of them college students. His crimes, known for their cruelty and viciousness, included the 1974 Pacific Northwest killing spree and the 1978 Chi Omega Sorority House break-in in Florida. Bundy has been described as “sadistic”, “cold-hearted”, and “the definition of heartless evil” and was known to revisit many of his crime scenes. His ability to evade law enforcement struck fear into the hearts and minds of people across the country. Bundy was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List in 1978 and arrested shortly thereafter. He received three death penalty sentences and was executed via the electric chair in January 1989.

James Earl Ray

In April, 1968 outside a motel in Memphis, Tennessee, James Earl Ray assassinated activist and minister Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He fled the scene, earning himself a spot on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. Ray was eventually apprehended while trying to board a flight in the UK and sentenced to 99 years in prison. He escaped in 1977, landing him right back on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for a second time. He was re-captured 3 days later and another year tacked onto his sentence. While in prison, he maintained his innocence and claimed to have been a victim of a grand conspiracy. He pleaded for a new trial that was never granted, and died of illness in 1998.

Osama Bin Laden

Many years before he was the worldwide face of terror, Osama Bin Laden was born to a wealthy Saudi Arabian family in 1957. For years, he used his wealth to support resistance fighters in the Afghan-Soviet War before founding Al-Qaeda in 1988. The group was responsible for numerous terror attacks including the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings that landed Bin Laden on the FBIs Most Wanted List. Just a few years later, he shocked the world with the horrific events of 9/11, claiming nearly 3,000 lives in the world’s deadliest terrorist attack. He then went into hiding, leading to a decade-long global manhunt that finally ended in 2011 when he was killed by members of SEAL Team Six.

Which of these criminals do you think is the worst of the worst? Let us know in the comments below.
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