Advertisement

Most-Wanted List Fugitive Dies in S.D.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

One of the FBI’s top 10 fugitives died in a San Diego hospital this week of a cerebral hemorrhage after a dozen years of eluding capture and trial on charges of racketeering, murder and extortion.

Leo Joseph Koury, 56, who holds record for longevity on the FBI’s most-wanted list, died early Monday at Villa View Community Hospital, where he was taken by a friend the day before and registered as William Franklin Biddle.

Koury was placed on the “10 Most Wanted” list in April, 1979, for a host of crimes he allegedly committed in the Richmond, Va., area. He was a known organized crime figure who operated several homosexual bars and restaurants in the Richmond area and was indicted in October, 1978, on federal charges of racketeering, murder, attempted murder, several counts of extortion, mail fraud and obstruction of justice.

One charge involved the 1975 murder of a rival club’s employee, whose body later turned up in a river. Koury is accused of ordering that hit and of arranging a random shooting at another rival bar that left one customer dead and two others wounded.

Advertisement

Villa View hospital administrators could give little information about the man who was admitted as Biddle except to confirm that the cause of his death was listed as a massive cerebrovascular accident due to hypertension.

San Diego County Public Administrator Susan Graves took over responsibility for Biddle’s body because no next of kin could be identified, the FBI reported Friday. It was only when Graves received an anonymous telephone call identifying Biddle as Koury that the FBI was contacted.

Biddle’s fingerprints were identified as those of Koury by the Richmond office of the FBI. Koury stayed more than a dozen years on the FBI hit list with pictures posted in U.S. post offices around the country.


Advertisement