Joanne Chesimard: FBI adds first woman to its most wanted terrorist list


Joanne Chesimard, 65, a convicted murderer, is the first woman to be put on the FBI's most wanted terrorist list. She escaped prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba. Today is the 40th anniversary of the murder.



Joanne Chesimard, a former Black Liberation Army (BLA) member and convicted murderer, has become the first woman to be put on the FBI's most wanted terrorist list.

She is also the second domestic terrorist to be put on the list.

Forty years ago today, May 2, 1973, Chesimard shot and killed New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster with his own pistol during a traffic stop.

She was convicted of murder in 1977 but escaped prison in 1979 with the help of her Black Liberation Army colleagues and the leftist terrorist organization, the Weather Underground.

Armed members of the BLA entered the prison and neutralized the guards before fleeing with Chesimard.

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She made it all the way to Cuba and was taken in by then leader Fidel Castro.

Tense US-Cuba relations have meant that Chesimard has lived in relative peace on the island even into old age.

She is now 65 years old.

The FBI initially offered $1 million for her capture but upped that number to $2 million, likely due to the anniversary of the killing.

"This case is just as important today as it was when it happened 40 years ago," said Mike Rinaldi, a lieutenant in the New Jersey State Police, in a press release.