Who Is The Most Wanted Person In The World?

It's a tricky line to walk: everybody wants to be wanted, but nobody wants too much of a good thing. Like so many Kings Midas of human attention, some folks wind up overwhelmed by how much the world ends up longing for them. One example is Idris Elba. The rest of the examples are criminals.

The idea that there's a "World's Most Wanted Criminal" is certainly appealing, bringing to mind images of supervillains and James Bond adversaries. But how do we determine which nefarious nogoodnik is the king of the bad guys? In a world with thousands of different cultures, isn't it impossible to find one antagonist who meets some universal objective standard for evil and becomes worldwide public enemy number one?

The short answer is "yes." Officially speaking, there's no single criminal mastermind that sits at the top of the world's most wanted list, so in trying to define somebody as such, we'll have to extrapolate a little. We could say, for example, that Earth's most sought after villain is Victor Manuel Gerena, the armed robber who spent the longest time on the FBI's most wanted list, taking up real estate there for 32 years between 1984 and 2016, but his trail ran cold decades ago and he's now presumed dead. Turning to the current rogue's gallery on the FBI's most wanted list doesn't provide much in the way of answers, since membership is so fluid and the criminals aren't ranked, leaving us without that satisfying "number one" spot promised to us by so many spy movies.

In general, we might do better to turn to the International Criminal Court, a worldwide tribunal tasked with bringing war criminals to justice. Their list, like the FBI's, doesn't rank criminals by how heinous their actions are, but the man who stands out the most on their docket is Joseph Kony. You might remember Kony as the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, a horrifying military organization out of Uganda with a penchant for child slavery and the sort of behavior most people only see in their worst nightmares. While the United States gave up pursuing him once his organization became too small to pose a threat to the government, his list of atrocities is long and gruesome and remains unpunished to this day.