The FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitive’s List Turns 60
While One of Its Success Stories Celebrates Birthdays Behind Bars.
Just a few days after Leslie Rogge spent his 70th birthday in prison, the FBI was having its own birthday party of sorts. They were celebrating the 60th anniversary of the birth of the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. Created in 1950, the list has led to the capture of over 460 people. Rogge is one of over 491 people who have made the list.
In his new book Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber, author Dane Batty goes inside the FBI’s extensive chase of Rogge, who robbed nearly 30 banks and got away with over $2 million dollars, throughout the United States and across several different countries. In a unique behind the scenes look, he uncovers Rogge’s evasion tactics and the FBI’s tactics in bringing him into custody.
As could be expected, Rogge’s reflections on his capture and making the Top Ten list are not cause for celebration. “It may sound like I’m bitter, but really, I knew what would happen if they caught up with me. It still baffles me why they got so upset. No one was ever hurt or harmed, and I landed on the Top Ten—the first time they put someone on it with no violence.”
The FBI credits the list for aiding in their search efforts through heightened media attention and public awareness. The FBI’s own podcast radio show Inside the FBI cites Rogge’s case as an example of the list’s success. “Leslie Rogge is an interesting one. Leslie Rogge was the first person to be apprehended as the result of the Internet, and he was captured down in Guatemala.”
When the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives List turns 70 in 2020, Rogge will be 80 and have 27 years left in prison. He is due to be released on February 10th, 2047.