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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Arrest of Mobster “Whitey” Bulger Creates 2nd Opening on FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List

By Allan Lengel

For the second time in the less than two months, the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List has another opening.

In May,  the U.S. gunned down Top Ten fugitive Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Then on Wednesday evening, after a 16-year search, FBI agents in Santa Monica, Calif., arrested Top Ten fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger, a notorious Boston mobster who is accused of killing 19 people. His girlfriend was also arrested.

Filling the Top Ten vacancies is a process.

The FBI solicits from its field offices a candidate.

Often, dozens of recommendations come in to headquarters. Field offices submit packets with information about the case, including a case file, photos and reasons why the person is worthy of joining the list. Some submissions include endorsements from local police chiefs.

The Violent Crimes/Major Offenders Unit also solicits input from the media representatives at headquarters.

The candidates for the list are reviewed by a committee of agents from the Violent Crimes/Major Offenders unit, who carefully look over the submissions and case files.

Then higher ups at headquarters decide who makes the list. The FBI director ultimately signs off on it.

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