Fugitives that escaped Justice

Given its rarity, and the mystery surrounding fugitive life, there is an understandable dearth of analysis and data on the subject. Still, some cardinal rules have emerged for living off the grid...

Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer,reclusive former world chess champion and Fugitive

Fischer became a fugitive from US justice when he attempted a chess comeback by playing a match in the former Yugoslavia--then a violation of a US embargo.

Fischer didn't have to worry about leaving the US, though, because he was already outside the US when he was indicted (and he never returned).  At first he avoided capture by moving from country to country, never staying longer in any one country than his visa allowed him.  Eventually the US cancelled his passport but he continued to avoid capture by getting an Icelandic passport. 

Robert Vesco

Robert Vesco

A Last Vanishing Act for Robert Vesco, Fugitive


HAVANA — Robert L. Vesco, the fugitive financier who spent most of his life eluding American justice, might even have managed to die on the sly.

Mr. Vesco, who was sentenced to a long prison term in Cuba in 1996 and was wanted in the United States for crimes ranging from securities fraud and drug trafficking to political bribery, died more than five months ago, on Nov. 23, from lung cancer, say people close to him. If so, it was never reported publicly by the Cuban authorities, who said Friday that they considered him a “nonissue.” American officials said Friday they knew nothing about his death.

“We don’t know that it occurred,” an American official said.

George Wright

George Wright

George Wright, 47 years a Fugitive

George Edward Wright (born March 29, 1943) is a Portuguese citizen of American origin who, in 1961, graduated from Mary Bethune High School in Halifax, Virginia. Originally arrested and convicted for murder in 1962 and sentenced to up to 30 years in prison, George Wright escaped from prison in 1970 and hijacked a Delta Air Lines flight in 1972 with a number of accomplices.

On September 26, 2011, he was arrested in Portugal. The FBI requested Wright's extradition from Portugal to the United States, but was denied on the grounds that Wright is a Portuguese citizen.


The CIA's fugitive banker found after 35 years....

How Michael Jon Hand, at the center of a mystery surrounding an Australian bank with ties to American intelligence officials that defrauded investors and then collapsed, was found in Idaho 35 years after disappearing.

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Raymond Stansel

When Raymond Stansel was busted in 1974, he was one of Florida’s biggest pot smugglers. Facing trial and years in prison, he jumped bail, changed his name, and holed up in a remote Australian outpost. Even more remarkable than that? His second life as an environmental hero....