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10 Fugitives from Justice Who Disappeared

Fugitives from Justice

Justice is a very difficult thing to get. Sometimes, even when the judicial system and the federal institutions are doing their best to catch criminals who have committed heinous crimes, it can be cumbersome to nab the culprits that are very skilled in keeping a low profile. Fugitives, which is what criminals who go into hiding to evade arrest for their crimes are called, are usually very difficult to catch. There are several times when the fugitive eventually dies of natural causes or old age before justice catches up with them. Here are a few notorious cases of fugitives who have never been caught and have escaped justice by disappearing into oblivion.

1. Leo Burt

Leo Frederick Burt is a criminal from the USA who was indicted for the Sterling Hall Bombing which occurred at the University of  Wisconsin Madison campus on the 24th of August, 1970 as an act of opposition against sending US troops to Vietnam. He has been eluding the authorities for about 50 years now and remains a fugitive.

Leo Burt
Leo Burt (on the left), Sterling Hall (on the right). Image credit: FBI, Wisconsinhistory.org

The Sterling Hall Bombing claimed the life of Robert Fassnacht. Many people suffered major injuries, and the loss from property damage was estimated to be about 2.1 million dollars.

It was later found out that Leo Burt, who had also been an avid crew rower back in his college days, played a major role in the manufacturing and planting of the bomb.

David Fine and Karl Armstrong were his accomplices in this bombing. It was considered an act of protest against the Vietnam War, and all its perpetrators, except Burt, have been caught and are serving time for it.

Leo Burt however, is still a fugitive from the law and has never been caught to this day. However, around the year 2010, several leads were being pursued as several rumors of sightings of Leo Burt resurfaced. (1, 2, 3)

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2. Robert William Fisher

Robert William Fisher has been evading the law for about 20 years now. He is wanted in connection with the killing of his wife and two children. On April 10, 2001, the bodies of Mary, Bobby, and Brittney Fisher were found inside their house which was rigged to explode. Fisher was the only suspect being pursued for this crime and he remains a fugitive.

Robert William Fisher
Robert William Fisher (on the left), Robert Fisher, with Mary, Brittney, and Bobby (on the right). Image credit: FBI, azcentral

Robert William Fisher was a United States Navy veteran, worked as a firefighter, and eventually as a cardiovascular technician at the Mayo Clinic Hospital. He was married to Mary Fisher and had two children, Brittney and Bobby.

They were said to have been several problems with Fisher before this event. Reportedly, Fisher was very controlling and even abusive at times. When their bodies were found, Mary had a bullet wound in her head and the throats of the children had been slit.

There was a major manhunt after this incident, but Fisher was never caught. Several people speculate that Robert Fisher might just have committed suicide after this heinous crime. It is still not entirely known as to what made a man like Fisher commit this heinous crime. (1, 2

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3. Eugene Palmer

Eugene Palmer is a fugitive who is wanted for the murder of his daughter-in-law, Tammy Palmer, in Stony Point, New York. He allegedly shot her with a shotgun, and she succumbed to her injuries in New York on September 24, 2012. 

Eugene Palmer
Eugene Palmer (on the left), Tammy Palmer (on the right). Image credit: FBI, lohud

Eugene Palmer has been notoriously evading the cops and authorities that have been hunting him. Eugene Palmer and the victim Tammy had a very difficult relationship with several reports of heated arguments and the alleged assault by Tammy with a log. 

On the day of the murder, Eugene reportedly hid in the woods until he came in contact with Tammy, who was returning after dropping her two kids off at school. As soon as she reached the place he was hiding, he is said to have shot at her three times with a shotgun.

The first two did minor damage, one grazing her arm and the other missing. However, the third shot was a lethal chest shot, and she eventually died from the injuries. Palmer escaped the scene in a pickup truck which was later found abandoned with no sign of him. 

The search parties, which consisted of search dogs, we’re unable to locate Palmer, and he remains a hunted fugitive to this day. Eugene Palmer was featured in the FBI Ten Most Wanted List on May 29, 2019, as its 523rd fugitive entrant. (1, 2, 3)

4. Catherine Marie

Catherine Marie Kerkow, a girl from Coos Bay Oregon, was allegedly a key perpetrator of the Western Airlines Flight 701 hijacking which happened on June 3, 1972. She has evaded both the FBI and Interpol for 44 years, and to this day, she remains the longest-tenured female fugitive who is still believed to be well and good.

Catherine Marie
Catherine Marie, Western Airline Flight (Image used for representational purposes). Image credit: FBI, Piergiuliano Chesi /Wikimedia

Catherine Marie Kerkow was known to be a member of the revolutionary Black Panthers group. On June 3, 1972, she, along with an accomplice, threatened to blow up a Western Airlines flight they were on. They also demanded the authorities a ransom of five hundred thousand dollars.

Eventually, they let the 97 passengers on the plane off at San Francisco, California, and flew to Algeria. Although they were both granted political asylum there, they were eventually arrested on fake passport charges, but only her accomplice got extradited to the USA.

Her whereabouts remain a mystery to this date, but it is speculated that she escaped her arrest and is alive and well. (1, 2)

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5. William Bradford Bishop

William Bradford Bishop Jr. was a US Army officer in the counterintelligence division who also worked as a US Foreign Service officer later.  He allegedly killed his wife, his mother, and his three sons on March 1, 1976, in Bethesda, Maryland, and has been evading arrest ever since. He remains a fugitive to this day. 

William Bradford Bishop
William Bradford Bishop (on the left), Annette, William Bradford III, Brenton, and Geoffrey (on the right). Image credit: FBI, adst

Bishop was an accomplished counterintelligence official and was fluent in five languages. It is reported that on the day of the murders, Bishop left early from work at Foggy Bottom, D.C, after realizing that he didn’t get an anticipated promotion, withdrew a lot of money from his account, and bought a lot of equipment like a gas can, a sledgehammer, a pitchfork, and a shovel.

He eventually went home and killed his family members one by one, carrying their bodies far away by car to a swamp in a forest about 275 miles away. He eventually lit the bodies on fire with the gasoline he bought and fled the place.

He was spotted once or twice after that by witnesses, but he was never caught. His name was eventually added to the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List in the year 2014 and was later dropped from the list to accommodate more serious fugitives in 2018, as he would turn 81 years old at that time. (1, 2)

Also read: 10 Criminals Who Got Caught Due to Their Hilarious Stupidity

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