FBI Adds 10th Woman to 'Most Wanted' List: Meet Them All - Rolling Stone
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FBI Adds 10th Woman to ‘Most Wanted’ List: Meet Them All

From 1960s militant radicals to a hardened gangster, meet the women who’ve made the FBI’s infamous list

10, Women, FBI, Most Wanted, List, Rolling Stone

This week, accused murderer Shanika S. Minor became the 10th woman to make the FBI's Most Wanted list.

While there might not be too many real-life Thelma and Louises, every once in a while, a woman is considered dangerous enough to make the FBI's official list of 10 Most Wanted fugitives. This week, accused murderer Shanika S. Minor became the 509th person – yet only the 10th woman – to be added to the list since its debut in 1950. Though former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover was at first wary about creating a list of the most wanted criminals – as to not encourage the behavior – a 1950 news story on the "toughest guys" evading the FBI changed his mind. He quickly launched the program, hoping that excitement and publicity caused by the article would lead to citizen participation in the discovery and capture of dangerous fugitives. Here, meet the 10 women menacing enough to make the cut.

Bernardine Rae Dohrn, 10, Women, FBI, Most Wanted, List, Rolling Stone


Bernardine Rae Dohrn

Added October 14th, 1970; Charges dismissed, December 7th, 1973

By 1970, University of Chicago Law School graduate Bernadine Rae Dorhn was a leader of the Weather Underground. Dohrn went into hiding in March of that year after three of the Weathermen were killed while trying to manufacture bombs, accidentally blowing up a town house in New York's Greenwich Village. She was dropped from the Most Wanted list after three years when District Court Judge Damon Keith dismissed the 1970 case against the Weatherman due to the government's illegal means of obtaining information against the movement's members. She and her soon-to-be husband, William C. Ayers, another leader of the movement, resurfaced in 1980 and she pled guilty to aggravated battery and jumping bail. She was fined and placed on three years probation. Two years later, Dohrn spent seven months in jail for not cooperating with grand jury one the investigation of the 1981 armed robbery of a Brink's armored car in Nanuet, New York. That robbery, perpetrated by members of the Black Liberation Army and former members of the Weathermen, resulted in the deaths of a Brink's guard and two police officers.

Since 1998, she has taught as a clinical associate professor at Northwestern University School of Law.

Angela Yvonne Davis, 10, Women, FBI, Most Wanted, List, Rolling Stone


Angela Yvonne Davis

Added August 18th, 1970; captured October 13th, 1970

Davis' placement on the FBI's watch list was highly controversial. In 1970, the former philosophy professor was charged with murder and kidnapping, leading to her evasion of the police and being put on the most wanted list. But as The New York Times reported a day after her arrest, "The charges against Miss Davis do not allege that she was at the scene of the kidnap-murders…Miss Davis was charged under a California law that makes an accomplice equally guilty for having purchased the guns used." The guns in question were used for a courthouse kidnapping during the trial of the Soledad Brothers' – George L Jackson, Fleeta Drumgo, and John Wesley Clutchette, accused of killing a white guard Soledad prison – that left four dead, including a judge. She was acquitted in 1972 and cleared of all charges, going on to become a famed political activist, prisoners' rights advocate, and influential scholar in her post at the  University of California Santa Cruz. Last March, in honor of Women's History Month, Democracy Now! held an interview with Davis about the upcoming presidential election and the role of Black Lives Matter in the election season.

Marie Dean Arrington, 10, Women, FBI, Most Wanted, List, Rolling Stone

Marie Dean Arrington

Added May 29th, 1969; captured December 22nd, 1971      

Marie Dean Arrington was placed on the FBI list after escaping from prison in Marion County, Florida. She had been incarcerated since 1968 for the violent murder of Vivian "June" Ritter, the 37-year-old secretary of Florida public defender Bob Pierce. After Pierce unsuccessfully defended both of Arrington's children – her son for armed robbery and her daughter for fraud and forgery – Arrington sought closure. When she went to his office, though, he wasn't there, so Arrington took his secretary hostage, shot her multiple times, and ran her over with Ritter's own car. All of this was part of a grandiose – yet unsuccessful – plan to ensure her son's release from his lifetime prison sentence.

According to her obituary in the Orlando Sentinel, this wasn't her first crime. She had already been convicted of manslaughter for the death of her husband, and was out on bail awaiting sentencing at the time of Ritter's murder. In 1971, she was found waitressing in New Orleans and given the death penalty, until it was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1972, and her sentence was commuted to life in prison. But her crimes didn't stop just because she was behind bars – over the years, she accrued 61 violations for possession of weapons, drugs, battery and inciting a riot, among other offenses.

In 2014, Arrington died at age 80 from heart problems at the Lowell Correctional Institution Annex in Marion County, Florida – the same prison from which she'd escaped 45 years before. 

10, Women, FBI, Most Wanted, List, Rolling Stone, Ruth Eisemann-Schier


Ruth Eisemann-Schier

Added December 28th, 1968; captured March 5th, 1969      

At 26, Ruth Eismann-Schier became the first woman considered dangerous enough to warrant a spot on the FBI's list after aiding Gary Steven Krist in the kidnapping of 20-year-old Barbara Jane Mackle. Mackle's father had a personal relationship with president-elect Richard Nixon – as well as his status as a millionaire land developer in Florida – so Krist figured her family would be able to pay a hefty ransom for her return. On December 17, 1968, Eismann-Schier and Krist kidnapped Mackle from an Atlanta motel room and buried her in a box a foot and a half underground.  The kidnappers kept her alive – they supplied an air pump, food, water, and a battery-powered lamp in the box – and they successfully demanded $500,000 in $20 bills for her release. Mackle was rescued on December 20th, 1968, 83 hours after her burial. Krist was soon captured, but Eismann-Schier fled. She was placed on the FBI's "10 Most Wanted List" on December 28nd, and was indicted for kidnapping on January 3rd, 1969. She evaded capture until March 5th and was found only after applying for a nursing position in Oklahoma under the name Donna Sue Wills, due to a routine applicant fingerprint check.

That May, Eismann-Schier pled guilty, claiming that she was in love with Krist. Serving three years of her seven-year sentence, she was then deported to her native Honduras. Krist was granted parole in 1979 due to cited personality changes and the chairman of the Georgia Parole Board's argument that, because there was no intent to kill and Mackle was found alive, "little harm was done."

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