Fascinating Vintage Wanted Posters for America’s Most Dangerous Criminals

A wanted poster was a notice distributed to let the public know about an alleged criminal on the loose. They often included a picture or a facial composite, but a photograph was not always available at the time.

The posters would list those wanted, their crimes, and the reward.

Wanted ads were a prevalent site in the Wild West before TV, Radio, and other forms of media could caution people about dangerous criminals.

A $50 reward offer for the arrest, conviction, and recovery of a 1913 Overland Roadster, Model 69, from Spokane, Washington. John Moe Collection
Wanted ad for John Wesley Hardin, the Gentleman Killer, who killed Deputy Sheriff Charles Webb of Brown County Texas, 1874. Pinterest
An 1824 wanted poster issued by the Spanish Empire and offering a gold and silver bounty for the capture of pirate captain Roberto Cofresí. Wikipedia
A Wanted poster for Billy the Kid offering a $500 reward, ordered by Lew. Wallace, Governor of New Mexico. True West Magazine
Wanted Poster for Bonnie and Clyde ordered by the U.S. Department of Justice, 1934. Wikimedia Commons
$1,000 reward for the capture and convictions of the thieves who broke into the property of Henry Morgan & Co. 1875. Nova Scotia Archives
$1,000 reward for the detection and apprehension of the murder of Bridget Landergin, from Boston, 1873. Nova Scotia Archives
$10,000 reward for WM.M. Tweed, who was indicted for forgery, among other crimes and escaped from prison December 4, 1875. Nova Scotia Archives
$500 reward for the capture of those responsible for the abduction of 10-year-old Katie Mary Curran. Boston, 1874. Nova Scotia Archives
$1000 reward for the arrest and delivery of Thomas Reed to the Sheriff of Galveston County, TX, 1879. Nova Scotia Archives
1858 Reward for $100 for Sophia Gordon, a runaway slave from a farm near Washington. DCPL Commons
1880, Boston. Wanted poster for John A. Woodward who embezzled roughly $82,000. Nova Scotia Archives
An 1877 Wanted poster for Joseph Rudderham, John Mulligan, and Cornelius Sughro, wanted by Special Police Officer N.B. Furnald of Quincy, Massachusettes. Nova Scotia Archives
An 1879 Wanted Ad for W.B. Jones from Missouri. Nova Scotia Archives