This is the Face of New Jersey’s Most-Wanted Felon
To look at her, she could be your next-door neighbor. But don't let the friendly smile fool you. Joanne Chesimard is a convicted cop-killer and she's on the loose.
In 1973, Chesimard was wanted by the New Jersey state police for her involvement in several felonies. At the time, she was a member of the Black Liberation Army, a violent militia group who had declared war against the United States.
Through the years, the Black Liberation Army, or BLA, was responsible for bank robberies, bombings, and murders.
On May 2, 1973, New Jersey State Trooper James Harper made, what he thought was a routine traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike near exit 9. It turned out to be anything but routine.
According to the FBI,
On May 2, 1973, Chesimard, who was part of a revolutionary extremist organization known as the Black Liberation Army, and two accomplices were stopped for a motor vehicle violation on the New Jersey Turnpike by two troopers with the New Jersey State Police. At the time, Chesimard was wanted for her involvement in several felonies, including bank robbery. Chesimard and her accomplices opened fire on the troopers. One trooper was wounded and the other was shot and killed execution-style at point-blank range. Chesimard fled the scene, but was subsequently apprehended. One of her accomplices was killed in the shoot-out and the other was also apprehended and remains in jail.
In 1977, Chesimard was convicted of first-degree murder, and several other felonies. She was sentenced to life in prison. Unfortunately, that's not where the story ends.
In November 1977, Chesimard was found guilty of first-degree murder, assault and battery of a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, annd several other felonies. She was sentenced to life in prison.
On November 2, 1979, Chesimard escaped from prison and made her way to Cuba. It is believed that today, Chesimard joins the list of other American fugitives who are protected by Cuba.
On May 2, 2013, Joanne Chesimard became the first woman to make the FBI's most wanted terrorist list.
Today, there is a $2,000,000 reward for the capture of Joanne Chesimard.