Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Top Ten Fugitive Destinations


A popular destination for Depression-era Chicagoland gangsters on the run, Wisconsin remains a go-to spot for many fugitives. John Dillinger and his gang famously hid there in 1934. 82 years before Dillinger, a runaway slave named Joshua Glover made history when he escaped from St. Louis, Mo., and sought asylum in Racine, Wis. Glover's capture under the Fugitive Slave Act, subsequent rescue from jail by Sherman Booth and escape to Canada led Wisconsin to attempt to nullify the Act, making it the only state to do so.

John Dillinger
John Dillinger

More recently, in 2006, two Oklahoma prison escapees on a multi-state crime-spree were captured in Wisconsin after a high-speed chase through the Badger State's Monroe County ended with the police's successful use of spike strips. Authorities suspected that the men, Truman Gross, 24, and Benjamin Beck, 32, were headed to Wichita, Kan., but the runaways, like many before them, headed to America's Dairyland instead.

Truman Gross (left)  and Benjamin Beck
Truman Gross (left) and Benjamin Beck

PROS: You can throw on a Packers hat to blend in and forget your worries in self-touted Beer Capital of the World Milwaukee, or head north to Canada.

CONS: Wisconsin is of course in the U.S., which means that, besides a law forbidding the substitution of margarine for butter in public eating establishments, the same rules apply. So whichever pesky law you're running from, it's likely eventually to catch up with you in Wisconsin.