This week marked the anniversary of the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper that made headlines worldwide.

It was the 1970s, and a terrorist organization calling itself the Black Liberation Army (BLA), carried out a host of bank robberies, bombings, and even murder.

On May 2, 1973, Joanne Chesimard and two accomplices were stopped by NJ State Troopers for a routine traffic violation.

At the time, Chesimard was wanted for several crimes, including bank robberies.

The troopers, Werner Foerster and James Harper had no idea this was a stop that would forever change their lives.

Shootout on New Jersey Turnpike

Joanne Chesimard, and her accomplices, Sundiata Acoli and Zayd Malik Shakur opened fire on the troopers.

Troopers returned fire and when it was over, Trooper Harper was injured, and Trooper Werner Foerster was killed.  Zayd Shakur was also killed in the shootout.

Chesimard and Acoli fled and were eventually captured.

Both were convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Incredibly, this is just the beginning of a bizarre story that continues to this day.

In November 1979, Chesimard escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility for Women (aka Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women)

It is believed that members of the BLA and another terrorist organization helped Chesimard in her escape.

Escape to Cuba

Joanne Chesimard managed to elude authorities until 1984 when she turned up in Cuba.

The Cuban government granted Chesimard political asylum, and despite efforts to bring her to justice, it is believed she continues to live there to this day.

In 2013, Chesimard became the first woman to make the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list.

Joanne Chesimard is wanted for murder. 

Chesimard is a black woman who is believed to be between 72 and 77 years of age.

She has brown eyes and is approximately 5'7" tall.

She also goes by many aliases including Assata Shakur, Joanne Byron, Barbara Odoms, Joanne Chesterman, Joan Davis, Justine Henderson, Mary Davis, Pat Chesimard, Jo-Ann Chesimard, Joanne Debra Chesimard, Joanne D. Byron, Joanne D. Chesimard, Joanne Davis, Chesimard Joanne, Ches Chesimard, Sister-Love Chesimard, Joann Debra Byron Chesimard, Joanne Deborah Byron Chesimard, Joan Chesimard, Josephine Henderson, Carolyn Johnson, Carol Brown, "Ches" 

Chesimard is said to keep her hair in many different styles and is known to wear African tribal clothing.

The FBI is offering a $1,000,000 reward for information directly leading to the apprehension of Joanne Chesimard.

Joanne Chesimard is considered to be armed and extremely dangerous.

Dangerous Felons on the Loose in NJ

Some of the Most Wanted Fugitives in NJ

Gallery Credit: Steve McKay/Townsquare Media

South Jersey Police Officers Who Died in the Line of Duty

This is a tribute to South Jersey police officers who tragically have died in the line of duty.

Gallery Credit: Eddie Davis












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