Manhunt (law enforcement)
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In law enforcement, a manhunt is an extensive and thorough search for a wanted and dangerous fugitive involving the use of police units, technology, and help from the public.
A manhunt is conducted when the suspect believed to be responsible for a serious crime is at large and is believed to be within a certain area. Any police units within reach of the area will then participate in the search, each covering parts of the area. If possible, the officers will form a perimeter around the area, guarding any and all possible escape routes from the containment.
A manhunt may have one of the following outcomes:
- The successful capture of the suspect within the area of the manhunt
- The death of the suspect within the area of the manhunt.
- Escape from the area by the suspect, followed by plans by other law enforcement agencies to search for the suspect elsewhere
- The search being called off, if police determine the chances of catching the suspect are minimal
Also, if the fugitive resists using deadly force with the law enforcement officers, they are typically authorized to respond in kind.
Fugitive manhunt agencies and organizations
- Bounty hunter
- British Security Service (MI5)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Teams
- Texas Ranger Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety
- US Marshals Service
- Central Reserve Police Force
Sometimes, police departments conducting manhunts will solicit help from the public in locating the suspect. They will do this by broadcasting a description and other information on television, radio, and other public media, by going door to door and asking individuals if they have seen the suspect, and by placing wanted posters in public places.
When this happens, citizens are advised not to personally confront the suspect, but rather to call police and report their sightings.
One type of manhunt for which public participation is normally sought is an AMBER Alert. In an Amber Alert, the main purpose of the mission is to rescue the victim, ahead of the capture of the suspect. The public is usually given notice of an Amber Alert through additional forms of media, including highway overhead signs and text messaging.
If anyone is found aiding the suspect in any way, such as helping the suspect in hiding, or providing false information to the police about the suspect, may face legal consequences themselves, even being charged for the same crime as the suspect.
- 1982 Chicago Tylenol murders
- 1993 shootings at CIA Headquarters
- 2001 anthrax attacks
- 2010 Northumbria Police manhunt
- 2015 death of Joe Gliniewicz
- 2019 Northern British Columbia murders
- Adam Yahiye Gadahn
- Adolf Eichmann
- Albert Johnson
- Aribert Heim
- Beltway sniper attacks and search for John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo
- Bojinka plot (Abdul Hakim Murad, Wali Khan Amin Shah)
- Bonnie and Clyde
- Christopher Jordan Dorner
- Henry Every
- Jack Unterweger
- John Dillinger
- John Wilkes Booth
- Josef Mengele
- Joseph Palczynski
- Jürgen Conings
- Malcolm Naden
- Maurice Clemmons, see also Lakewood shootings
- Robert Vesco
- The Green River Killer
- Zodiac Killer
- 1993 World Trade Center bombing (Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Rahman Yasin)
- Abu Ali al-Harithi
- Boston Marathon bombing (Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev)
- Centennial Olympic Park bombing (Eric Rudolph)
- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
- Oklahoma City bombing (Terry Nichols)
- Osama bin Laden
- Pan Am Flight 73 (Zayd Hassan Abd Al-Latif Masud Al Safarini)
- Pan Am Flight 103
- Pan Am Flight 103 bombing investigation
- Ted Kaczynski (Unabomber)
- TWA Flight 847
- 2010 Arizona prison escape
- 2015 Clinton Correctional Facility escape
- Aafia Siddiqui
- Ante Gotovina
- Charles Victor Thompson
- Clark Rockefeller
- Clovis, New Mexico jail break
- Frank Morris, John Anglin, and Clarence Anglin, escapees of Alcatraz during 1962. Their fates remain unknown.
- El Chapo
- Goran Hadžić
- Mas Selamat bin Kastari
- Mecklenburg Correctional Center escapees from Death Row
- Operation Crevice
- Operation Kratos
- Project Coronado - a four-year manhunt which targeted members of the La Familia Michoacana drug cartel.
- Radovan Karadžić
- Ratko Mladić
- Texas Seven
Famous fictional manhunts
- The federal manhunt for George Foyet in the FBI crime drama Criminal Minds.
- The manhunt for an assassin known as The Jackal in Frederick Forsyth's novel The Day of the Jackal.
- The cross-country manhunt for the Fox River 8 in the second season of Prison Break.
- The statewide manhunt for Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive.
- The manhunt for Robert "Butch" Haynes (Kevin Costner) in Clint Eastwood's "A Perfect World" (1993).
- The cross-country manhunt for Mark Schereden in U.S. Marshals.
- The manhunt throughout California for Adrian Monk in the Monk episode "Mr. Monk Is On The Run."
- The citywide manhunt for Henry Darius in the CSI: NY episode "Manhattan Manhunt."
- The nationwide manhunt for Francis Dolarhyde in Manhunter (1986) and Red Dragon (2002).
- The international manhunt for Dr. Hannibal Lecter in both The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal.
- The manhunt for escaped prisoner/wizard Sirius Black in the Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
- The cross-country manhunt for notorious methamphetamine producer Heisenberg in the penultimate episodes of Breaking Bad.
- The citywide manhunt for undercover DEA agent turned vigilante Max Payne in the video game Max Payne.
- The worldwide manhunt by several different agencies for fugitive Jason Bourne in the Bourne series of movies.
- Mac and Dennis hunt Rickety Cricket in a season 4 episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
- The FBI Fugitive Unit manhunt two couples on a killing spree in several states in the CBS drama FBI: Most Wanted.
- The citywide manhunt for Eddie Munson in the fourth season of Stranger Things.
- Bounty hunter
- Deadly force
- List of murderers by number of victims
- Lone wolf (terrorism)
- Manhunt (military)
- Mexican drug war
- War crime