The FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list arose from a conversation held in late 1949, during a game of Hearts between J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, and William Kinsey Hutchinson, International News Service Editor-in-Chief, who were discussing ways to promote capture of the FBI's "toughest guys". This discussion turned into a published article, which received so much positive publicity that on March 14, 1950, the FBI officially announced the list to increase law enforcement's ability to capture dangerous fugitives.
Individuals are removed from this list when the fugitive is captured, killed, or if the charges against them are dropped; they are then replaced by a new entry selected by the FBI. In five cases, the FBI removed individuals from the list after deciding that they were no longer a "particularly dangerous menace to society". Donald Eugene Webb, added to the list in 1981, was on the list longer than anyone, at 25 years, 10 months, and 27 days. Billie Austin Bryant spent the shortest amount of time on the list, being listed for two hours in 1969. On rare occasions, the FBI will add a "Number Eleven" if that individual is extremely dangerous but the Bureau does not feel any of the current ten should be removed.
The list is commonly posted in public places such as post offices. In some cases, fugitives on the Top 10 List have turned themselves in on becoming aware of their listing. As of July 26, 2008, 490 fugitives have been listed (eight of them women), and 459 captured or located, 150 (31%) of them due to public assistance. The FBI maintains other lists of individuals, including the Most Wanted Terrorists, along with FBI Crime Alerts, Missing Persons, and other fugitive lists. The most recent Ten Most Wanted Fugitive captured is Michael Registe.