Tupac's Step-Aunt Is The FBI's First "Most Wanted" Woman

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Tupac's Step-Aunt Is The FBI's First "Most Wanted" Woman

Image of Shakur at the time of her 1973 arrest courtesy of Pan-African News Wire

Assata Shakur has the dubious honor of breaking into one of the last male-dominated spheres: the FBI's most wanted list. Shakur, formerly Joanne Chesimard, was a 1970s radical in prison for killing a New Jersey State Trooper in 1973.

In 1979, Chesimard made a daring daylight escape from prison with the help of the Black Liberation Army and the Weather Underground and fled to Cuba, where she has lived ever since. Once in Cuba, she changed her name to Assata Shakur. Lack of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba and its proximity to the US make it an easy destination for fugitives. 

The FBI announced Thursday that she'll be added to the agency's "Most Wanted Terrorist" list, bringing new attention to an old case. Shakur is the first woman on the list, created after 9/11, and only the second domestic terrorist. The Department of Justice also doubled the bounty of Shakur, raising it to $2 million.