Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Online Only

December 2, 2012

Why handsome criminals seldom show up on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted

NEW YORK — Last week, the FBI announced the capture of Jose "Joe" Luis Saenz, an alleged gang member and murderer who, since 2009, had been on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. Saenz was captured in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he had been living above a beauty parlor. According to the Associated Press, Saenz had gone to great lengths to disguise his identity: losing weight, removing tattoos, disfiguring his fingerprints. But it's unclear whether he was able to alter his fat, distinctive baby face.

That baby face may have helped Saenz get on the list in the first place. Ever since the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list was created in 1950, many have assumed that the list contains the worst of the worst — that it's something like a power ranking for crooks. And, indeed, the list has contained fugitives who've loomed large in the public imagination: Osama bin Laden, James Earl Ray, Whitey Bulger, Eric Rudolph, Ramzi Yousef.

But in a New York Times article this June, Michael S. Schmidt noted that "bureau officials have also tried to select other dangerous fugitives who may have been hiding in plain sight but could be recognized by the public because they have distinctive physical features." In other words, a weird-looking fugitive is more likely to make the list than a criminal without distinctive marks.

This makes sense. The whole point of the list is to motivate the public to help identify fugitives, and it's easier to identify someone whose face is hard to forget. Joe Saenz has the sort of broad cake-eater's face that would stick in your mind if you saw it, and might trigger recognition when you saw that face on a wanted poster.

The FBI issued its first "wanted poster" in 1919, in an effort to catch a runaway soldier named William N. Bishop. (Bishop had four vaccination scars and a "massive lower jaw.") The Most Wanted list was created after a wire service reporter in need of column copy asked the FBI for a list of its 10 worst fugitives. The subsequent story generated enormous positive publicity, and prompted J. Edgar Hoover to institutionalize the format; in 1950, the bureau issued an official list of 10 notorious murderers, kidnappers, escape artists and car thieves. An American legend was born.

Text Only
Online Only
  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sparring justices find little disagreement at the opera

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg revealed a different view of U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday when she described about her passion for opera, one she shares with Justice Antonin Scalia.

    July 22, 2014

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 22, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 2.00.42 PM.png VIDEO: Train collides with semi truck carrying lighter fluid

    A truck driver from Washington is fortunate to be alive after driving his semi onto a set of tracks near Somerset, Ky., and being struck by a locomotive, which ignited his load of charcoal lighter fluid.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 22, 2014

  • Starved Pennsylvania 7-year-old weighed only 25 pounds

    A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy authorities described as being so underweight he looked like a human skeleton has been released from the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 19, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Zamperini, the Olympian and POW, was a hero because of his faith

    Louis Zamperini collected many accolades as an Olympic distance runner and brave bombardier who spent a month adrift at sea and two years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. But faith and forgiveness are what truly distinguished him.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug page

Front page
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Must Read