Osama bin Laden is not the first villain to be the target of a U.S. military manhunt. In 1916 bandit turned war hero PANCHO VILLA made a deadly raid on Columbus, N.M., and a U.S. military force was sent to track him down, to no avail. Seven years later, Villa was killed by Mexican assassins outside his ranch. TIME noted the death in an issue with a cover story on actress Eleonora Duse.
Seven [Mexicans] take possession of a cross-roads hut in the outskirts of Parras. After three days of waiting they see an automobile coming down from the big ranch in the hills. As the car slows up at the cross-roads they open fire from seven rifles. Of 40 bullets which catch the car, 16 sink into the body of one man. Pancho Villa has been killed by his enemies... At the height of his fortune Villa commanded 35,000 men. He might, after his capture of Mexico City, have become dictator, but he lost his head, and in March, 1916, at the ebb of his fortunes he raided Columbus, N.M. The U.S. Government sent General Pershing and 4,000 men to "get" Villa, dead or alive. The expedition cost $100,000,000 and failed to get Villa, though it broke his power. After his final defeat, he promised to settle down and be good, if it were made worth his while. It was... [He] is mourned by five ladies, each claiming to be his widow. This does not include Senora Luz Corral de Villa, his lawful wife, who is living in the United States.
--TIME, July 30, 1923