WHY WE ARE HERE
founded by an association of
individuals who were the victims of
clever criminals - -
the kind of people who
know how to manipulate the legal system in order to deceive and steal,
then disappear across state lines (and even national boundaries) into comfortable obscurity. These
criminals have learned not to worry much about the
consequences of their acts because they know the system has to find them first.
And the odds of that happening today in America are exceedingly slim.
But even if they are found, as long as they
remain outside of the jurisdiction that holds
the warrant and the warrant is not extraditable,
there is nothing law enforcement can do about it
- a fact known to most fugitives but to very few
discouragement and disillusionment, these
victims have learned that the criminal justice
system does not offer a quick and easy solution
for finding fugitives. The difficulty of
finding at any given time literally millions of
criminal fugitives in 50 states over thousands
of miles in thousands of cities and towns is so
monumental that it can easily cause law
enforcement personnel to become
fatalistic. Over and again victims are
consoled by well-meaning police who assure them
that the fugitives "will eventually do
something stupid and be caught."
While this may be true, how many lives will they
devastate before they are caught?
When a criminal changes his name and/or uses a
false ID, it is virtually impossible for the
police or even the FBI to help a citizen
identify this person. This is because in order
to search the database of the National Crime
Information Center - the NCIC, you must have
the name, DOB or Social Security Number of a
criminal. But unfortunately, the professional
con man living on the edge or the felony
fugitive living underground rarely provide that
kind of data to their victims. (CUFF ID No. 583, wanted for attempted
murder of police officers, used a false ID to
fool police 10 times over 7 years.)
However, even if a citizen
does know the correct name of a fugitive and reports
his exact whereabouts to the police in the
municipality where a warrant was issued, an
arrest will not be made if the criminal is out
of the extradition range. These
non-extraditable crimes are not just minor
misdemeanor charges. The charges can range
from drug use to theft and fraud.
And worse yet, even if a citizen can
verify for the police that a criminal has a
warrant in several states for the same crime, an
arrest will still not be made as long as the
fugitive remains just on the other side of the
the extradition border.
When law enforcement enters a fugitive into the
NCIC, it means they are willing to pay to bring
the fugitive back from outside their
jurisdiction. Generally, it means
extradition from any state, with some
exceptions. Some states, however, have
additional requirements for NCIC warrants.
For example, Washington State will not extradite
an out-of-state fugitive wanted on a probation
warrant unless a Washington State court hears
the case, agrees with its merits and then issues
a separate warrant that is valid in
Washington. This policy allows the
fugitive ample time to flee the state if he is
aware that the police know about his
But even if a
state is willing to cooperate completely with an
extradition warrant, only about 20% of the
nation's felony fugitives are listed in the NCIC.
In 1999, that totaled approximately 516,000
felons - up 51% from 1990. So, 80% of the
approximate 2.5 million felony fugitives on
record have an excellent chance of never being
picked up for their charges as long as they
steer clear of the state that issued their
warrant. One of the reasons for the low number
of fugitives in the NCIC is the states' limited
budgets. They don't have the funding to pay for
the travel expense and paperwork of extraditing
their fugitives from another state. The end
result, of course, is that these fugitives often
commit new crimes in other states and, unless
the new state issues an extraditable warrant,
the cycle continues.
Because of the
difficulty of finding fugitives who really want
to disappear, there are literally millions of
criminals who have been running from felonies
for years, some of them for decades, and are
still living free, maybe living next door to
you, married to unknowing spouses and holding
jobs. Some of these fugitives are wanted
Number 442 in the STRAIGHT
SHOOTER database was apprehended by the Tennessee Bureau
of Investigation in May 2002 - 32 years after escaping
from jail where she had been sentenced to 99 years for
the murder of a store owner during a robbery.
During her years on the lam, she had married three times
and, when captured, was living with her most recent
husband of two years, who claimed not to know her true
In a Washington Post
interview in May 2000, a U.S. Marshals Service agent who
formerly headed the D.C. Joint Fugitive Task Force of
local and federal law enforcement agencies stated,
"You can't walk down the street today without
passing somebody who is wanted."
In an August 2, 2002 TV
interview, the attorney general of California, Bill
Lockyer, stated that the public is unrealistically
expecting law enforcement to track down fugitives.
He said in California there are more than 200,000 felony
fugitives, more than twice the number of the state's
police personnel. 2,700 of these fugitives are
wanted for murder.
The criminal justice system has spent money and time to charge, arraign and/or
convict these fugitives. It doesn't even matter if
a judge or a jury has
heard the evidence and a decision has been rendered.
The system delivered to us by the blood, sweat and tears
of our forefathers, the system that protects the rights
of both the victims and the defendants has worked...
except that the defendants cheated - they got away.
And now more money and time must be spent to find them.
And while they are free, many of them will commit more
crimes and harm more innocent victims.
Most people will probably
live their entire lives without having a close
encounter with a fugitive. But if you are
that rare individual who finds yourself working
or associating with someone who "just seems
suspicious," what do you do? If you
go to the local police, you may be shocked to
learn that their internal protocol does not
permit them to divulge to the public the names
of people who have outstanding warrants.
But even if you are fortunate
enough to know someone in the police department
who will make an exception for you or you are in
a forwarding thinking municipality that will
give you warrant information, you still may not
get to the truth. If the person does not
have outstanding warrants in the NCIC or in your
state's wants and warrants database, it is
possible for the person to have an outstanding
warrant in one of over 18,000 municipal
jurisdictions in the U.S. And what
do you do if the person is using an alias?
In 1997 in Massachusetts a fugitive named
Charles Jaynes was able to evade apprehension from 75
different warrants in 18 different jurisdictions until
he was finally caught - after murdering a 10-year-old
boy. Surely, there were citizens who at one time
or another were suspicious of this person. Was it
not their responsibility to let the police know about
their suspicions? And is it not the responsibility
of the police to take these tips seriously and check
them out? If neither is done, then one thing is
inevitable - fugitives will continue to evade capture.
As a result of the 9/11 tragedy major
reforms in the criminal justice system have taken place, many of which address the fugitive
issue. The FBI is modernizing its
technology, including the integration of law enforcement
databases; biometrics, such as facial recognition and
retina scanning, is being implemented in airports and
other public arenas; a national driver's license is
being considered; ID chips imbedded under the skin are
even being suggested for parolees and
probationers. Currently, Florida is testing GPS
units, worn as ankle bracelets by sex offenders, which
can record the whereabouts of the offender at any
time. And Illinois is testing similar GPS
recorders for parolees and those under house arrest.
even if law enforcement is able to establish a
fool-proof method for identifying fugitives,
current protocol will dictate that it remain an internal
mechanism, not to be shared with the public. Many law enforcement agencies currently refuse to
provide information on outstanding warrants to anyone
other than another police agency. The reasoning is that if
not told that they have an outstanding warrant, it will
be easier to track and arrest them because they
will not make an effort to hide.
It doesn't require statistics to know that far
more fugitives are captured from citizens' tips than are arrested when they drop by the police
department for one reason or another only to be
surprised with handcuffs by the duty officer - or when
they are accidentally picked up at a traffic
stop, the most common way fugitives are
some of the same police departments that won't provide
information on the phone to a citizen trying to
find out if someone has an active warrant
publicize the wanted posters of selected
fugitives on their Web sites - because they need
the public's assistance to find the criminal.
the sake of all dedicated police officers who risk their
lives daily to protect their communities, we look
forward to the reforms that will increase the
safety of their jobs as well as improve the chances of
catching fugitives. However, we know that the
public must be able to help them in their search for
fugitives. It is in the best interest of the police
and the public as a whole. And that is why we have
created the STRAIGHT SHOOTER Web site.
know citizens want to help the police protect
them. When TV executives tried to take
America's Most Wanted off the air, the public
uproar quickly changed their minds.
Crime Stoppers, Silent Witness and other crime TIPS
programs have for years worked hand-in-hand with law
enforcement with outstanding results. And now,
post 9/11, the public's help is more important
than ever as federal agencies shift their funds
and manpower from domestic crime-fighting to
The Internet offers an
incredible opportunity to expose fugitives.
It is a 24-hour-a-day bulletin board accessible anywhere
in the world. All that is required is a fool-proof
database that allows a searcher to find a fugitive
regardless of what kind of disguise or alias is used. That is what CUFF has
done. Virtually everything known about the subject
can be entered, from the physical description to
detailed background information. If a
fugitive is in the database, a searcher will find the
subject simply by inputting the selected criteria and
then viewing the mug shots.
We have christened our Web site
"STRAIGHT SHOOTER" because a
fair-minded, forthright, law-abiding person is often described as a
"straight shooter" - quite the opposite
of the fugitives in our database. And
because that's what it will take to
resolve the fugitive crisis - principled people who aim
directly at the problem and aren't afraid to pull the
political trigger. Criminal fugitives are enemies of the
people and, as we were cruelly reminded on 9/11/2001,
some enemies try to seriously hurt you - even blow up the building you are working in.
Mohamed Atta, one of
the masterminds of the 9/11 attack, was a
fugitive from justice in Florida when he and his
fellow hijackers steered an airliner into one of
the World Trade Center towers. Atta, who
had an outstanding warrant in Broward County,
Florida for failing to appear in court in June
2001 for driving without a license, was actually
stopped for speeding one month later in another
Florida county, but his warrant did not appear
in the national, state or county databases.
Because the Delray Beach, Florida police officer who
stopped Atta in July did not know about the
outstanding warrant, he was cited for a traffic
violation and sent on his way. His warrant
did not appear in the databases because "If
all of them (warrants) were put in, it would
lock down the system," a police captain in
Delray Beach told Associated Press in
CUFF is confident that the
technology is available today that will allow all
fugitives to be entered into a national database without
locking down the system. The credit reporting
agencies manage to handle tens of millions of records
without locking down and so does the Social Security
Administration. The technology is not the
problem. The will to do it is.
The STRAIGHT SHOOTER.Net
Web site provides a safe, secure way for Straight Shooters to
help find fugitives: (1) Simply search the
database and if you spot a fugitive whose whereabouts
you know, call the listed Contact or e-mail STRAIGHT
SHOOTER and (2) Enter into the
database a fugitive who has harmed you so others may
help find the criminal before further damage is done and
so that justice can be obtained.
Anyone may enter a fugitive in
the database. All information will be verified by
STRAIGHT SHOOTER to ensure accuracy. All subjects
are reviewed and updated monthly. New entries are
published weekly. Photos are available for most
fugitives. Tips can be directed to STRAIGHT
SHOOTER or to the contact listed for the database
The database is not limited only to criminal
fugitives. It also contains child support
fugitives, sex offenders, criminal histories, unknown
suspects, persons with unknown identities, unsolved
crimes, missing persons and civil judgments.
The criminal database includes
ALL of the fugitives published on all federal
government fugitive Web sites: The FBI's Ten Most Wanted,
the FBI's Most Wanted Fugitives, the U.S. Marshal's 15
Most Wanted, the U.S. Marshal's Major Cases, U.S.
Customs, the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S.
Navy, the U.S. Air Force and the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms (BATF). It also includes all
American fugitives on the Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) Web site. Because of
the large number of foreign fugitives on this
site, some of them have not been included.
The database also includes
fugitives from all 50 states, with charges ranging from
bad check writing to murder.
Each week more fugitives are
entered into the database and those that are apprehended
are added to the Round-Up Roster.
CUFF does not have official membership
requirements. You may join by donating or
just by caring enough about the fugitive problem
to e-mail us your thoughts.
If you are a fraud
victim, you may wish to e-mail us your
circumstances to see if we can help.
Here's what we can do:
We Can Help.
if you are a fraud victim who successfully
prosecuted or obtained a judgment against a con
artist, you may want to register as a volunteer
Fraud Fighters Force.
These are victims with steel backbones who chose to
attack rather than acquiesce. They are willing to
share their experiences with others in the hopes of
prosecuting con artists as well as giving emotional
support to the victim.
You may also want to write your
legislator urging them to change the laws that make it
difficult to apprehend fugitives.
all know the old adage: "Those who
show up at the meeting make the
rules." A very few people can make a
very big difference simply by caring enough to
express their opinion.
We welcome you to STRAIGHT
SHOOTER and hope you'll tell your friends about
us. We are here to expose fugitives so
that they may be apprehended and our communities
made safe. The more people who view the
database the better the odds of finding the
fugitives that are in it. We also
encourage you to call your local police
department and ask them if they are putting
their fugitives in the STRAIGHT SHOOTER database
and putting a STRAIGHT SHOOTER link on their Web
site. The more public exposure fugitives have
the greater the odds of finding them. We
also gladly accept suggestions for improving our
volunteering for youth mentoring programs that
could help a child learn to read or learn life
skills. 60% of black children can't read
by the fourth grade! This, in itself, is a
crime, but who should be arrested? If a
volunteer can turn a child away from despair and
hopelessness and head them in the direction of
education and individual responsibility, then
this individual citizen will have done more for
our communities than the schools and government
have been able to do in the past thirty
years. Volunteering for these programs
does work! The Big Brother and Big Sister
organization says there is a 60% improvement in
the school skills of the children participating
in their programs. Call your city hall to obtain
a list of volunteer organizations in your
town. Or go to Mentoring.org
and input your zip code to find volunteer
programs near you. Or e-mail us and we'll send
you a list.
CUFF believes the
social health of all communities begins in the
family. This is where moral training has
to begin - moral training that discourages
criminal acts and harm to others. Going to
church can help because ministers are educated
in Bible history and principles and can present
the concepts in an easily understandable
format. Even if we are not
religious, it is important that our children be
exposed to religious beliefs so they can make up
their own minds. Take your children to
Sunday school if you don't already. You
will be very happy with the results and so will
your community when your child grows up to obey
the moral laws of the Ten Commandments.