The History of Wanted and Reward Posters

From Outlaws to Osama bin Laden

The Wild West

  1. Billy the Kid – Died from a gunshot wound on July 14th, 1881. Pat Garrett, lawman, collected over $7,000.
  2. Butch Cassidy – Escaped to Bolivia and was killed in a shootout with the Bolivian Army in November 1908.
  3. The Dalton Gang – Two of the brothers were killed in 1892. Emmett Dalton survived and served 14 years.
  4. John Wesley Hardin – Died in August of 1895 from a gunshot wound. Served 17 years in prison.
  5. Wyatt Earp & Doc Holliday – Earp lived to be 80 and died in 1929. Holliday died at 36 from Tuberculosis.
  6. Frank & Jesse James – Jesse was killed by outlaw Robert Ford in 1882. Ford received a portion of the reward.
  7. Frank & Jesse James – Frank lived until 1915, choosing a simpler life after Jesse was murdered.
  8. Pearl Hart – In and out of prison her whole life, this female bandit passed away in 1955 at the age of 84.

Gangsters and Mob Men

  1. Bonnie & Clyde – Died in a Louisiana ambush in 1934. The six lawmen who killed them earned $200 each.
  2. Clyde & Marvin Barrow – Marvin was shot six times and then died a short while later from pneumonia in 1933.
  3. Al Capone – Served eight years in Federal prison before his release and eventual death in 1947 from a stroke.
  4. John Dillinger – The $5000 reward went to brothel owner, Anna Sage, who informed police of his whereabouts.
  5. Machine Gun Kelly – Served time at Alcatraz and Leavenworth for his crimes. He died in prison in 1954.
  6. Pretty Boy Floyd – Killed by federal agents in 1934. Between 20,000 and 40,000 people attended his funeral.
  7. Whitey Bulger – The FBI paid out $2.1 million in rewards. Bulger was beaten to death in prison in 2018 at the age of 89.

Recent Criminals

  1. Andrew Cunanan – After murdering his fifth victim, Gianni Versace, he killed himself eight days later in 1997.
  2. Angela Davis – The 79-year-old activist is alive and well and a professor at the University of California.
  3. Donald De Freeze – Leader of the Symbionese Liberation Army, he killed himself after kidnapping Patty Hearst.
  4. Kathy Boudin – After 23 years in prison she was paroled in 2003. She became a professor at Columbia University and died in 2022.
  5. Naomi Jaffe – Prominent member of the Weather Underground Organization. She’s an activist still today at the age of 79.

Serial Killers

  1. Ted Bundy – Murdered at least 30 women. Arrested in 1977, he escaped and was arrested again in 1978. He was executed in 1989.
  2. The I-70 Killer – Murdered at least six people in 1992. He was never apprehended or named. Cold Case.
  3. Jack the Ripper – Unidentified serial killer who murdered at least five people in London, England in 1888.
  4. Rodney Alcala – The Dating Game Killer appeared on an episode of the show in 1978. He was given the death penalty three times and died in prison in 2021, at the age of 77. His victim count ranges from 8 to 130.
  5. The Zodiac Killer – Claimed to have killed 37 people in the late 1960’s, he’s still never been identified.

Around the World

  1. Adolf Hitler – Died by suicide via gunshot in 1945 after realizing he’d lost the Battle of Berlin.
  2. Daniel Breen – Leader of the Irish Republican Army. He died at the age of 75 near his birthplace of County Tipperary, Ireland.
  3. Osama bin Laden – Killed in Pakistan in 2011 by a group of Navy Seals as a result of Operation Neptune Spear.
  4. Pablo Escobar – Colombian drug lord who was shot and killed by Colombian police while attempting to escape via rooftop.
  5. Pancho Villa – A general in the Mexican Revolution. Villa was executed by political enemies while driving in his Dodge touring car in 1923.
  6. Vito Sorisi, Rosario and Giovanna Castelli – Members of the Italian Black Hand, wanted for kidnapping a child.

Infamous Cases

  1. Charles Lindbergh Jr. Kidnapping – Abducted from his home in East Amwell, New Jersey, in 1932. The child’s body was found by the side of a road two months after his disappearance.
  2. John Wilkes Booth – A portion of the $100,000 reward was divided among the officers and the twenty-six soldiers who cornered and killed Booth and took Booth’s accomplice, David Herold into custody.
  3. Patty Hearst – In 1976 she was convicted of bank robbery and using a firearm during the commission of a felony. She served 22 months after Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence. In 2001, Bill Clinton granted her a full pardon. She is alive and well at the age of 69.
  4. The Sodder Children – After the 1945 house fire, the five missing children were never seen again. Some believed that the Sicilian Mafia had moved them to Italy.
  5. D.B. Cooper – The 1971 hijacker has never been identified or found. The FBI suspended the active investigation in 2016.
  6. James Earl Ray – Murdered Martin Luther King Jr. with a single shot in 1968. After hiding in Canada, Lisbon and Portugal, he was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport.

The Original

  • Percy Lefroy Mapleton – Was the British “railway murderer” of 1881. Mapleton was the subject of the first police composite picture to appear on a “wanted” poster and in a newspaper.

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