19th Century Criminals

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Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Criminals, including Billy the Kid, Al Capone, Ned Kelly, Jesse James and Lucky Luciano
Rank the Most Wicked 19th Century Criminals
 1 
Jack the Ripper
(Unidentified Serial Killer Active in the East End of London in 1888)
Jack the Ripper
80
Birthplace: England

Jack the Ripper was anl unidentified serial killer who predominantly targeted female prostitutes living and working in the ghetto of the East End of London. Since the murders were never solved, Jack the Ripper became infamous folklore in England. The murders were so cleverly done that the authorities were not even able to ascertain the killer's gender.

 2 
H. H. Holmes
(American Serial Killer and Con Artist)
H. H. Holmes
66
Birthdate: May 16, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gilmanton, New Hampshire, United States
Died: May 7, 1896
American serial killer H.H. Holmes was sentenced to death for the murder of his accomplice Benjamin Pitezel but confessed to 27 murders and might have killed almost 200 people. He had set up a hotel, later known as the Murder Castle, specifically for this purpose. He inspired a bestselling book.
 3 
Billy the Kid
60
Birthdate: November 17, 1859
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manhattan
Died: July 14, 1881

Billy the Kid was a gunfighter of the American Old West whose notoriety grew when he escaped from jail after killing two sheriff's deputies. He remains one of the most notorious personalities of the American Old West, whose life has been often dramatized in popular culture. His story has inspired over 50 films, including Billy the Kid, and The Outlaw.

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 4 
Jesse James
(American Outlaw, Bank and Train Robber and Leader of the 'James–Younger Gang')
Jesse James
38
Birthdate: September 5, 1847
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kearney, Missouri, United States
Died: April 3, 1882
Jesse James was an outlaw from Missouri, who robbed trains, stagecoaches, and banks. He was also a guerrilla and led the James–Younger Gang. Along with his brother Frank, he joined pro-Confederate “bushwhackers” during the American Civil War. James became a legendary Wild West figure after his death.
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 5 
Ned Kelly
(Australian Bushranger, Gang Leader and Convicted Police-Murderer)
Ned Kelly
63
Birthdate: 1854
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Beveridge, Australia
Died: November 11, 1880

The Robin Hood of Australia for many and villain for others, Ned Kelly become immortal not just for his murderous confrontation with the police, but also for his reported last words “such is life”. The bushranger and outlaw remains a cult figure in Australia even a century after his execution. His sympathizers considered his as a champion of the poor.

 6 
John Wilkes Booth
(American Stage Actor Who Assassinated United States President Abraham Lincoln)
John Wilkes Booth
42
Birthdate: May 10, 1838
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bel Air, Maryland, United States
Died: April 26, 1865
John Wilkes Booth was a stage actor belonging to the Maryland-based Booth theatrical family. He was a Confederate supporter and disagreed with President Abraham Lincoln. He thus shot and killed Lincoln in April 1865. Though Booth fled, he was tracked down and killed in Virginia 12 days later.
 7 
Albert Fish
(Serial Killer)
Albert Fish
55
Birthdate: May 19, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: January 16, 1936

Albert Fish was an American cannibal, child rapist, and serial killer. Fish confessed to three murders out of the five murders for which he was suspected. However, he claimed to have victimized about 100 people and boasted of having children in every state. His crimes and the subsequent execution by electric chair were dramatized in the film The Gray Man.

 8 
Butch Cassidy
(Train, Bank Robber and the Leader of a Gang of Criminal Outlaws ‘Wild Bunch’)
Butch Cassidy
11
Birthdate: April 13, 1866
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beaver, Utah, United States
Died: November 7, 1908

Train and bank robber Butch Cassidy was the leader of a gang of criminal outlaws known as the "Wild Bunch" in the Old West. The son of ranchers, he ran away from home as a teenager and became involved in a life of crime. He started with minor criminal offenses and eventually became a much-feared robber.

 9 
Delphine LaLaurie
(New Orleans Socialite and Serial Killer Who Tortured and Murdered Slaves in Her Household)
Delphine LaLaurie
26
Birthdate: March 19, 1780
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: December 7, 1849
Delphine LaLaurie, also known as Marie Delphine Macarty or Madame Blanque, was a socialite from New Orleans who tortured and killed countless slaves in her Royal Street mansion. Her crimes were discovered after a fire at her mansion. An outraged mob subsequently destroyed the house, while she left New Orleans.
 10 
Ching Shih
(Chinese Pirate Leader and Gambling House Owner)
Ching Shih
7
Birthdate: 1775 AD
Birthplace: Guangdong, China
Died: 1844 AD

Ching Shih went from being a prostitute who worked in a Canton brothel to a notorious pirate who controlled the Red Flag Fleet. Legend has it that pirate Zhèng Yi, or Cheng I, had married Ching Shih when he raided her brothel, and she had then taken over his fleet.

 11 
Mary Ann Cotton
(Serial Killer)
Mary Ann Cotton
31
Birthdate: October 31, 1832
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Low Moorsley, Hetton-le-Hole, County Durham, England
Died: March 24, 1873

Mary Ann Cotton was an English serial killer who was convicted for the murder of her stepson. Cotton is believed to have killed 11 of her children and three of her husbands for their insurance policies. Mary Ann Cotton was sentenced to death and was executed by hanging. 

 12 
Arnold Rothstein
(Racketeer)
Arnold Rothstein
7
Birthdate: January 17, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: nhattan, New York City, New York
Died: November 6, 1928

Arnold Rothstein, or the Brain, was a racketeer, gambler, and businessman who later became a leader of New York’s Jewish crime circuit. He had reportedly fixed the 1919 World Series. He inspired several fictional characters, including Meyer Wolfsheim in The Great Gatsby. He was murdered for declining a poker-related payment.

 13 
Amelia Dyer
(English Serial Killer Who Killed Infants)
Amelia Dyer
28
Birthdate: 1837 AD
Birthplace: Bristol
Died: June 11, 1897

Amelia Dyer was an English serial killer who killed infants over a 30-year period. She exercised the practice of baby farming and murdered children after taking them under her care. Amelia Dyer's killings inspired a murder ballad. Her case also led to stricter laws for child protection and adoption in the UK.

 14 
Johnny Ringo
(American Old West outlaw)
Johnny Ringo
5
Birthdate: May 3, 1850
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Greens Fork, Indiana, United States
Died: July 13, 1882
 15 
Belle Gunness
(Serial Killer)
Belle Gunness
22
Birthdate: November 11, 1859
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Selbu
Died: April 28, 1908
Also known as the Mistress of Murder Farms, Norwegian-born American immigrant Brynhild Paulsdatter Storset later changed her name to Belle. The brutal murderer is believed to have seduced and then butchered her countless suitors. A headless body found recovered from her burnt house was thought to be hers.
 16 
John Wesley Hardin
(Gunfighter)
John Wesley Hardin
9
Birthdate: May 26, 1853
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bonham, Texas, United States
Died: August 19, 1895
 17 
Ma Barker
(Matriarch of the Barker Family)
Ma Barker
7
Birthdate: October 8, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ash Grove, Missouri, United States
Died: January 16, 1935
 18 
William M. Tweed
(Member of the New York Senate from 1868 to 1873)
William M. Tweed
1
Birthdate: April 3, 1823
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: April 12, 1878

William M. Tweed was an American politician best known for serving as the boss of Tammany Hall, which had a major influence on the political scene of 19th-century New York State. He was later convicted for stealing millions of dollars from New York City taxpayers. His life and career inspired several films, such as Up in Central Park and Liberty.

 19 
Ike Clanton
(Member of Brigand Group - The Cowboys)
Ike Clanton
5
Birthdate: 1847 AD
Birthplace: Callaway County, Missouri
Died: June 1, 1887
 20 
Frank James
(Outlaw)
Frank James
6
Birthdate: January 10, 1843
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Clay County, Missouri, USA
Died: February 18, 1915

Frank James was an American Confederate soldier turned outlaw. He was a good student and once aspired to be a teacher. He served in the American Civil War and was later pushed into the world of crime. He became a part of the James-Younger Gang and participated in many robberies. He eventually quit crime to work other jobs. 

 21 
Sundance Kid
(Criminal)
Sundance Kid
2
Birthdate: 1867 AD
Birthplace: Mont Clare, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: November 7, 1908

Sundance Kid was the nickname of Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, an outlaw and member of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch in the American Old West. He first met Cassidy around 1896 and became part of his gang. As a Wild Bunch member, Sundance Kid participated in several train and bank robberies. He is believed to have been killed in 1908.  

 22 
Jean Lafitte
(French Pirate Who Helped the US Forces Defend New Orleans against the British in 'Battle of New Orleans')
Jean Lafitte
1
Birthdate: September 25, 1780
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Biarritz, France
Died: 1823 AD

French pirate Jean Lafitte, or The Terror of the Gulf, along with his brother Pierre, owned a blacksmith shop in New Orleans that served as a hub for smuggled goods. He helped the US army in defending New Orleans against the British forces during the War of 1812.

 23 
Belle Starr
(Outlaw)
Belle Starr
6
Birthdate: February 5, 1848
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Carthage, Missouri, United States
Died: February 3, 1889
 24 
Zerelda Mimms
(Jesse James' Wife)
Zerelda Mimms
5
Birthdate: July 21, 1845
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Logan, Kentucky
Died: November 13, 1900

Zerelda Mimms was the wife of bank and train robber Jesse James. She was the daughter of a pastor. Her mother, Mary Elizabeth, and Jesse James' father, Robert S. James, were siblings, making Zerelda and Jesse first cousins. Zerelda married Jesse in 1874. The couple had four children, two of whom died in infancy. 

 25 
Grace Marks
5
Birthdate: 1828
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ulster
Died: 1873 AD
 26 
Jane Toppan
(Serial killer)
Jane Toppan
6
Birthdate: March 31, 1854
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boston
Died: October 29, 1938
 27 
Leon Czolgosz
(American Steelworker and Anarchist Who Assassinated President William McKinley)
Leon Czolgosz
12
Birthdate: May 5, 1873
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: October 29, 1901

Steelworker Leon Czołgosz was an anarchist who assassinated President William McKinley. He shot McKinley twice from point-blank range on September 6, 1901, and the president died of his wounds on September 14. Czołgosz was eventually convicted and executed for his crime. He was the main character in the musical Assassins.

 28 
Doc Scurlock
(Cowboy)
Doc Scurlock
3
Birthdate: January 11, 1849
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tallapoosa County, Alabama, United States
Died: July 25, 1929
 29 
Hawley Harvey Crippen
(Homeopath & Killer of His Wife)
Hawley Harvey Crippen
4
Birthdate: September 11, 1862
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Coldwater, Michigan, United States
Died: November 23, 1910
 30 
Marguerite Alibert
(French Socialite Who Became a Royal Courtesan)
Marguerite Alibert
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1890
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 2, 1971

Born to working-class parents, Marguerite Alibert initially sang at local bars and worked as a prostitute. She later became Prince Edward’s (later King Edward VIII of the UK) courtesan. She shot her second husband, Ali Fahmy, to death at Savoy Hotel but got away by showcasing herself as a victim of brutality.

 31 
Black Bart
(Outlaw)
Black Bart
3
Birthdate: 1829 AD
Birthplace: Norfolk, England
Died: January 31, 1888

Black Bart was the nickname of Charles E. Boles, an outlaw who was one of the most notorious stagecoach robbers to operate in Northern California during the 1870s and early 1880s. He was considered a “gentleman bandit” with a love for sophistication. His final robbery took place in 1883, following which he was arrested. He was released in 1888. 

 32 
Mary Surratt
(Criminal, Businessperson)
Mary Surratt
2
Birthdate: 1823 AD
Birthplace: Waterloo, Maryland, United States
Died: July 7, 1865
 33 
Bill Doolin
(American Bandit Outlaw and Founder of the Wild Bunch)
Bill Doolin
0
Birthdate: 1858 AD
Birthplace: Johnson County, Arkansas, United States
Died: August 24, 1896

Bill Doolin was an outlaw and bandit who founded the Wild Bunch, also known as the Doolin-Dalton Gang. This group of criminals committed a series of bank robberies and train robberies in Arkansas, Kansas, Indiana, and Oklahoma during the 1890s. His gang was extremely powerful. He was relentlessly pursued by lawmen and was shot to death in 1896.  

 34 
Mary Jane Kelly
(Criminal)
Mary Jane Kelly
5
Birthdate: 1863 AD
Birthplace: Limerick, Ireland
Died: November 9, 1888
 35 
George Atzerodt
(Criminal)
George Atzerodt
1
Birthdate: June 12, 1835
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Anrode, Germany
Died: July 7, 1865
 36 
Minnie Dean
(Serial killer)
Minnie Dean
4
Birthdate: September 2, 1844
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Greenock, Scotland
Died: August 12, 1895
 37 
Fritz Haarmann
(Serial killer)
Fritz Haarmann
10
Birthdate: October 25, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: April 15, 1925
 38 
Owney Madden
(Gangster)
Owney Madden
2
Birthdate: December 18, 1891
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Leeds
Died: April 24, 1965
 39 
Elisabeth Becker
2
Birthdate: July 20, 1923
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nowy Staw, Poland
Died: July 4, 1946
 40 
Gerda Steinhoff
2
Birthdate: January 29, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wrzeszcz, Gdańsk, Poland
Died: July 4, 1946
 41 
Louis Buchalter
(Gangster)
Louis Buchalter
4
Birthdate: February 6, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: March 4, 1944
 42 
Sam Bass
(Outlaw)
Sam Bass
3
Birthdate: July 21, 1851
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mitchell, Indiana, United States
Died: July 21, 1878

Sam Bass was a 19th-century train robber and outlaw. Having lost his parents as a child, he lived with an uncle for a few years before leaving home. He started doing odd jobs but was dissatisfied with the pay. So, he took to a life of crime and participated in numerous train robberies. He was killed by the lawmen. 

 43 
Frankie Yale
(Criminal)
Frankie Yale
1
Birthdate: January 22, 1893
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Longobucco
Died: July 1, 1928
 44 
Linda Hazzard
(Physician, Serial killer)
Linda Hazzard
5
Birthdate: December 18, 1867
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Carver, Minnesota, United States
Died: June 24, 1938
 45 
Adam Worth
(art thief)
Adam Worth
1
Birthdate: 1844 AD
Birthplace: Kingdom of Prussia
Died: January 8, 1902

Adam Worth was a German-born American thief whose short stature earned him the nickname Napoleon of the criminal world. It is widely believed that he was the inspiration behind Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Professor James Moriarty. In the 1976 period comedy film Harry and Walter Go to New York, Adam Worth was portrayed by English actor Sir Michael Caine.

 46 
Elzy Lay
(Outlaw of the Old West in the United States)
Elzy Lay
0
Birthdate: November 25, 1869
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mount Pleasant, Ohio, United States
Died: November 10, 1934

Elzy Lay was an American outlaw who was part of the infamous Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch. A close associate of the founder of the gang Butch Cassidy, Lay played an important role in leading the gang which operated out of a remote pass called Hole-in-the-Wall in Johnson County, Wyoming. Lay's arrest in 1899 led to the collapse of the gang.

 47 
Edward H. Rulloff
(Doctor, Lawyer)
Edward H. Rulloff
1
Birthdate: July 9, 1819
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Died: May 18, 1871
 48 
Martha Rendell
(Criminal)
Martha Rendell
7
Birthdate: August 10, 1871
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Australia
Died: October 6, 1909
 49 
Paul Ricca
(mobster)
Paul Ricca
2
Birthdate: November 14, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Naples
Died: October 11, 1972
 50 
Marie Lafarge
(First French Person to be Publicly Convicted Based on Direct Forensic Toxicological Evidence for Murdering Her Husband)
Marie Lafarge
0
Birthdate: January 15, 1816
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 7, 1852