BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - They are known as the some of the most dangerous criminals inthe world, the FBI's most wanted fugitives.
In order to get on the top ten list a couple of things need tohappen.
First, the fugitive must be considered a dangerous menace tosociety. Second, nationwide publicity must be able to assist in thearrest of the person.
What do James Kopp, Ralph Phillips and two bank robbers fromthe 1960's have in common?
"They were extremely violent," said Buffalo FBI agent EarlGould.
And among ten fugitives who committed crimes in the Buffaloarea, propelling them to the FBI's top ten most wanted list.
Making the top ten, which turns 60 years old next month,requires a couple of things.
"How bad the crimes were," said Gould.
Gould addeed, "Just how badly we need to get this individual offthe streets and into custody."
The top ten list was first published in 1950, after a wireservice reporter made a simple request to the FBI.
Gould said, "We'd like to know what your toughest guys are. Thepeople that you want to go after the most."
The story generated so much publicity that the late FBI DirectorJ. Edgar Hoover launched the top ten as a regular program.
In the early 1960's Albert Nussbaum and Bobby Wilcoxson madethe list after committing takeover style robberies in Buffalo,Brooklyn and Washington, D.C.
In the Brooklyn heist a bank guard was shot to death with athompson machine gun.
Gould said, "Actually for their time, they were the most violentbank robbers for their time."
In 1999, James Kopp made the list for killing Amherstobstetrician Dr. Barnett Slepian.
After firing a high-powered rifle from a wooded area behindthe Slepian home, Kopp fled the country.
He remained a top ten fugitive until his capture in 2001.
Former FBI Agent John Culhane Jr. says the top tendesignation gave the case a higher profile around the globe.
At one point, he says, Kopp tried traveling to Australiausing an altered passport.
Culhane said, "And because he was on the list, the top ten list,Australia reached out for us, which helps us even though it wasafter the fact. It tells us we're looking in the rightdirection."
In 2006, Ralph Phillips was placed on the FBI's top ten listafter shooting three state troopers, one of whom died from hiswounds.
Interestingly, Phillips was on the list one day. He wascaptured before the FBI made his top ten status public.
Gould said, "Ironically, that's happened nine times in thecourse of the top ten list in the last 60 years."
Since it began, 463 individuals out of 494 on the list have beenlocated.
While the FBI doesn't necessarily rank fugitives, the one bigfish who's still commanding a $25 million reward is suspectedterrorist Osama Bin Laden.
"If I had to rank the one individual, obviously it's Osama BinLaden," said Gould.
Unless a "top tenner" is captured, found dead or surrenders,they are only removed from the list when they meet one of twoconditions.
One, the federal process against them is dismissed. And two,they no longer fit the top ten criteria.
In the case of Ralph Phillips, the FBI paid out $25,000 dividedbetween three tipsters.
For James Kopp, the FBI and Department of Justice paid out$675,000.
>>See the Top Ten Fugitives arrested within the BuffaloDivision, and the Top Ten Fugitives who committed crimes within theBuffalo Division,
A Buffalo Police vehicle was involved in a two-car crash around 8:40 a.m. Monday. The crash happened at Bailey and LaSalle Avenues.
A Buffalo city jail cell block attendant was arrested early Saturday morning on multiple animal cruelty charges.
An airman from Niagara Falls was away training for the Air Force for months. After being apart from his family, he decided to surprise them at Kelly’s Country Store in Grand Island.
Police say that with the assistance of local media, they were able to identify the person responsible.
Monday is being billed as a national "Day of Action" among teachers and community groups who are worried about the state of education.
Buffalo Police say a man was shot and killed Sunday night near Shirley and Suffolk Avenues. Police were called to the scene around 9 p.m