Wanted Posters & Related Collectibles

Henry Harland Shelton


Henry Harland Shelton

FBI Most Wanted #9

Identification Order 2291

On 10 Most Wanted List: 03-23-1950 to 06-23-1950

Shelton was arrested in Indianapolis by FBI Agents. Shelton was armed with a .45 caliber automatic weapon and drew it during the arrest. Agents shot and wounded Shelton.

Henry Harland Shelton, prison escapee, added kidnapping and car theft to his criminal repertoire on September 17, 1949. Shortly before midnight, an electrical worker stopping for a sandwich in Amasa, Michigan, walked out of the lunchroom to his car where two men with drawn knives forced him into the front seat. There, pinned between his kidnapers, under constant threat of death, the victim was forced to accompany the pair on a wild cross-country ride which lasted through the night, the following day, and into the  early morning of the second day.

The “cruise” extended from Michigan, to Illinois and into Wisconsin, then back to Illinois and Indiana. In route to Indianapolis the kidnapers stole a license plate from a parked car. The victim learned from his captors they had escaped September 5, 1949, from the Michigan House of Correction and Branch Prison, and had been living in the woods twelve days.

On the morning of the second day, the kidnapers stopped for breakfast at a filling station in Kontmorenci, Indiana. While one ate his meal, the other guarded the victim. Constantly on the alert for an opportunity to break away, the victim sprang from the car and ran. His captor pursued him for a short distance, then returned to the car and blew his horn for his partner. After the two kidnapers left, the victim returned to the filling station and contacted the Indiana State Police.

The two men, identified as Henry Harland Shelton, and Sam Lieb, abandoned their victim’s car and stole three additional automobiles in rapid succession. In each instance the owner was threatened with a knife in the course of the theft.

Lieb was apprehended in the course of a holdup but Shelton, with him at the time, made good his escape. On October 14, 1949, a Federal Grand Jury at South Bend, Indiana, returned an indictment charging Shelton with violating the Federal Kidnapping Statute and the Interstate Transportation of a Stolen Motor Vehicle Statute.

Three months after making the “Top Ten” list, Shelton was apprehended. Special Agents learned Shelton patronized a neighborhood tavern regularly. On June 23, 1950 Special Agents of the FBI and officers of the Indianapolis Police Department took strategic positions outside the tavern to prevent Shelton’s escape. As Shelton approached the tavern entrance a Special Agent moved in behind him at a distance to block his escape. Another Agent confronted Shelton and, calling to him by name, identified himself as an FBI Agent. He advised Shelton he was under arrest. Shelton stepped backwards and turned, grabbing a .45 caliber automatic pistol which had been concealed in his belt. As he drew the gun both Agents fired and Shelton fell to the ground.

Following Shelton’s arrest, his automatic was determined to be fully loaded with a cartridge in the chamber. On August 21, 1950, a recovered Henry Shelton entered a plea of guilty in United States District Court at Hoammond, Indiana, to charges of violating the Federal Kidnapping Statute and the Interstate Transportation of Stolen Motor Vehicle
Statute. He received a sentence of forty-five years on the kidnapping charge and five years on the car theft charge, sentences to run concurrently.

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 13 July, 2011.

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