20th Century Criminals

Rank the Most Wicked 20th Century Criminals

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 1 
Jeffrey Dahmer
(American Serial Killer and Sex Offender)
Jeffrey Dahmer
406
Birthdate: May 21, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: November 28, 1994

One of the most notorious serial killers ever convicted in America, Jeffrey Dahmer terrorized the Milwaukee region in the 1980s. He targeted young men and boys, who he would lure to his house on some pretext before torturing and killing them. Finally arrested and imprisoned in the early 1990s, he was killed by a fellow inmate in 1994.

 2 
Pablo Escobar
(Colombian Drug Lord)
Pablo Escobar
273
Birthdate: December 1, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rionegro
Died: December 2, 1993

A notorious Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar was the founder and leader of the infamous Medellín Cartel. His drug cartel monopolized the cocaine trade into the United States and he became one of the wealthiest criminals ever in history. Dubbed "The King of Cocaine", he left behind a controversial legacy upon his death at the age of 44.

 3 
Ted Bundy
(Serial Killer)
Ted Bundy
401
Birthdate: November 24, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Burlington
Died: January 24, 1989

Ted Bundy was an American serial killer who kidnapped, raped and murdered a number of women and girls during the mid and late 1970s. He ultimately confessed to his crimes and was sentenced to death by electric chair. Later, the life of one of the most notorious criminals of the late 20th century inspired a number of books and movies.

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 4 
Charles Manson
(Led the Manson Family, a Cult Based in California)
Charles Manson
172
Birthdate: November 12, 1934
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: November 19, 2017

Criminal and cult leader Charles Manson was the leader of the notorious Manson Family, a criminal cult that committed a series of murders in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was arrested and imprisoned many times in his life and died in 2017 while serving his life sentence at California State Prison.

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 5 
Zodiac Killer
(Serial killer)
Zodiac Killer
165
Birthplace: United States

Zodiac Killer was an the unidentified American serial killer who spread terror in the northern California from late 1960s to early 1970s. In his letters to police and press, he claimed to have killed 37 people, out of which five were confirmed. Though he was never caught, his case inspired numerous books, films and television series including Clint Eastwood’s classic Dirty Harry.

 6 
John Wayne Gacy
(Serial Killer & Sex Offender)
John Wayne Gacy
278
Birthdate: March 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: May 10, 1994

John Wayne Gacy was a sex offender and a serial killer. He assaulted, raped and murdered at least 33 boys and young men in 1960s and 1970s. He tortured and killed all his victims inside his ranch house near Norridge, a village in Norwood Park. He was given death sentence in March 1980 and was executed in May 1994.

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 7 
Al Capone
(Gangster, Co-Founder & Boss of the 'Chicago Outfit' Crime Family)
Al Capone
97
Birthdate: January 17, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: January 25, 1947

Al Capone, also known by the nickname Scarface, was one of the most notorious American gangsters who controlled the organised crime in Chicago between 1925 and 1931. He was known for violence and cruelty in eliminating rival gang members, the most infamous incident being the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. His life inspired numerous books and films.

 8 
Richard Ramirez
(Serial Killer)
Richard Ramirez
309
Birthdate: February 29, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: El Paso, Texas, United States
Died: June 7, 2013

American serial killer, rapist, and burglar, Richard Ramirez terrorised the people of California, primarily Los Angeles, between 1984 and 1985 before being eventually captured by the police. The brutal criminal, also known as Night Stalker, was finally found guilty of 43 charges, including 13 murders and was sentenced to death. While on a death row, he died of cancer. 

 9 
Joaquín Guzmán Loera
(Drug lord)
Joaquín Guzmán Loera
95
Birthdate: April 4, 1957
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: La Tuna, Mexico
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
 10 
Bonnie Parker
(Bank Robber)
Bonnie Parker
99
Birthdate: October 1, 1910
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rowena, Texas, United States
Died: May 23, 1934

Best known as part of the legendary criminal couple Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie Parker was infamous for her bank robberies with her partner Clyde Chestnut Barrow. They apparently murdered several policemen, too. Their crimes were romanticized in many movies including a 1967 film starring Faye Dunaway as Bonnie.

 11 
Osama Bin Laden
(Terrorist)
Osama Bin Laden
170
Birthdate: March 10, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: May 2, 2011
Osama Bin Laden, former leader of the international terrorist organization Al Qaeda, had orchestrated the September 11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Center, among others. The attacks led to the U.S.’s War on Terror, and Laden was eventually tracked down and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011.
 12 
Ted Kaczynski
(American Domestic Terrorist)
Ted Kaczynski
87
Birthdate: May 22, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

From a brilliant mathematician and an assistant professor at University of California, Theodore Kaczynski became the notorious American criminal—Unabomber—who was responsible for mail bombs that killed three people and injured 23 in eighteen years. He was eventually caught and sentenced to life imprisonment after his anti-technology essay sent to the media was recognised by his brother.

 13 
Ed Gein
(Murderer, Suspected Serial Killer & Body Snatcher)
Ed Gein
123
Birthdate: August 27, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: La Crosse County, Wisconsin, United States
Died: July 26, 1984

Popularly known as the Butcher of Plainfield, Ed Gein was a murderer and body snatcher. His spine-chilling life insane acts like exhuming corpses and making keepsakes and trophies from their skin and bones, inspired films like The Silence of the Lambs, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Psycho.

 14 
Edmund Kemper
(Serial Killer)
Edmund Kemper
109
Birthdate: December 18, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Burbank, California

Edmund Kemper is a serial killer, rapist and a necrophile. He was charged, convicted and sentenced to eight concurrent life sentences in 1973 for murdering ten people, including his paternal grandparents and mother. Most of his victims were female college students and hitchhikers, whom he lured into his vehicle and then killed them. He later decapitated and violated them.

 15 
Josef Mengele
(German Physician Known for His Atrocities at the Auschwitz II Concentration Camp)
Josef Mengele
106
Birthdate: March 16, 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bavaria, Germany
Died: February 7, 1979

Known as Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele was the chief doctor of Auschwitz concentration camp and was responsible for killing thousands of Jews as well as torturing the prisoners mercilessly and conducting inhuman experiments on them. These included injecting them with chemicals and stitching twin children together. Despite his horrible crimes, the infamous Nazi doctor could never be captured.

 16 
Christopher Scarver
(Serial Killer)
Christopher Scarver
156
Birthdate: July 6, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Christopher Scarver is a convicted murderer whose physical assault on Jesse Anderson and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer at the Columbia Correctional Institution resulted in the death of both Anderson and Dahmer. Already sentenced to life for killing a man named Steve Lohman, Christopher Scarver received two more life sentences for killing Anderson and Dahmer.

 17 
Aileen Wuornos
(American Serial Killer)
Aileen Wuornos
198
Birthdate: February 29, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rochester, Michigan, United States
Died: October 9, 2002

Sexually and physically assaulted by her own grandfather during her childhood and teenage years, Aileen Wuornos took to prostitution to support herself. From becoming pregnant at age 14 to engaging in sexual activities in exchange for drugs, Aileen's early life played a major role in turning her into a serial killer. Her story eventually became quite famous in popular culture.

 18 
Jordan Belfort
(Author of 'The Wolf of Wall Street')
Jordan Belfort
60
Birthdate: July 9, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States
The former stock broker, who was convicted for stock-market manipulation and cheating several investors, Jordan Belfort spent 22 months in prison before he was released and altered his way of living. Using his life experiences, he became a motivational speaker and also authored two memoirs, one of which, The Wolf of Wall Street, was adapted into an award winning film.
 19 
Ronald Kray
(Gangster Involved in Organised Crime in the East End of London, England, from the late 1950s to 1967)
Ronald Kray
52
Birthdate: October 24, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Haggerston, London, England
Died: March 17, 1995

Ronald Kray was a British criminal involved in organized crime in the East End of London in the 1950s and 1960s. Along with his twin brother, Reggie, he ran a gang that was notorious for committing murders, armed robberies, and arson among other criminal activities. The brothers were arrested in 1968 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

 20 
Frank Abagnale
(Impostor, Fraudster)
Frank Abagnale
63
Birthdate: April 27, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bronxville, New York, United States

Frank Abagnale’s life story inspired the film Catch Me If You Can. He was a con man, imposter and did check forgery from the age 15 to 21. He assumed the identities of an airline pilot, a physician and a lawyer, among others. He was eventually arrested and after spending few years in prison started working for the federal government.

 21 
Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)
165
Birthdate: March 9, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pittsburg, Kansas, United States
Dennis Rader, better known as BTK, an abbreviated form of “blind, torture, kill,” is an American serial killer. He murdered 10 people and then sent letters to the police and the media, explaining his crimes. Following a 10-year hiatus, he began sending letters again, leading to his arrest and conviction.
 22 
David Berkowitz
(Serial Killer)
David Berkowitz
98
Birthdate: June 1, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.

A convicted serial killer, David Berkowitz is believed to have killed six people and wounded seven others. He eluded the police for several months before being captured. He is currently serving six consecutive life sentences in the maximum-security prison, Shawangunk Correctional Facility. He was popularized by the media under the name “Son of Sam.”

 23 
Gary Ridgway
(Serial Killer)
Gary Ridgway
108
Birthdate: February 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Nicknamed “the Green River Killer,” Gary Ridgway is a serial killer convicted of killing 49 women by driving them to remote locations, strangling them, and then disposing of their bodies in the Green River. DNA technology helped the police nab him. He had served in the Vietnam War earlier.
 24 
Lee Harvey Oswald
(U.S. Marine Veteran Who Assassinated John F. Kennedy)
Lee Harvey Oswald
60
Birthdate: October 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Died: November 24, 1963

Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for killing Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit. Further investigation suggested that he had murdered US President John F. Kennedy about 45 minutes before murdering Tippit. Though he denied the accusations, he was charged with the murder of Kennedy. While in police custody, Oswald was shot dead by Jack Ruby, a nightclub owner.

 25 
Lucky Luciano
(Father of the Modern Organized Crime in the United States)
Lucky Luciano
40
Birthdate: November 24, 1897
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lercara Friddi, Italy
Died: January 26, 1962

An Italian-born gangster, Lucky Luciano is regarded as the father of modern organized crime in the US; he served as the first boss of the Genovese crime family. He also played a key role in the rise of the National Crime Syndicate. His life and style inspired several films, television series, and books. His eponymous biopic was released in 1973.

 26 
D. B. Cooper
(American Criminal)
D. B. Cooper
15
Birthplace: United States

D. B. Cooper is a media epithet for an unidentified man, who in 1971 hijacked a Boeing aircraft for four parachutes and $200,000. On receiving the ransom, he released the passengers; but forced the pilot to fly towards Mexico City, jumping off the plane with the $200,000 somewhere between Seattle and Reno. Nothing has been found about him since then.

 27 
Whitey Bulger
(Crime Boss)
Whitey Bulger
26
Birthdate: September 3, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 30, 2018

Whitey Bulger was an Irish-American FBI informant and organized crime boss. His arrest and subsequent trial exposed FBI handler John Connolly who had helped Bulger in return for the latter's information about the Patriarca crime family. Bulger's life and work inspired the 2015 film Black Mass. Many fictional TV and film characters have also been inspired by Whitey Bulger.

 28 
John Dillinger
(American Gangster and Bank Robber)
John Dillinger
60
Birthdate: June 22, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Died: July 22, 1934

A gangster of the Great Depression era, John Dillinger led a group known as the "Dillinger Gang". His gang was accused of robbing 24 banks and four police stations. He was a master evader and escaped the police’s attempts to capture him many times. He was finally shot to death by the authorities in 1934.

 29 
John Gotti
(American Gangster and Boss of the 'Gambino Crime Family')
John Gotti
52
Birthdate: October 27, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
Died: June 10, 2002

John Gotti was the boss of the Gambino crime family, described as America's most powerful crime syndicate. It made millions per year from criminal activities like racketeering, loan sharking, drug trafficking, prostitution, extortion, pornography and illegal gambling. The FBI convicted him in 1992 and he was sentenced to life in prison without parole and later died of throat cancer.

 30 
Joseph James DeAngelo
(Serial Killer)
Joseph James DeAngelo
89
Birthdate: November 8, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bath, New York, United States

Joseph James DeAngelo is an American serial killer, rapist and burglar who carried out his crimes for many years in 1970s and 1980s and was finally captured by the police in 2018. The former police officer and auto mechanic, who was known by various names like Golden State Killer and Visalia Ransacker, was sentenced to life in prison in 2020.

 31 
Griselda Blanco
(Colombian Drug Lady of the Medellín Cartel)
Griselda Blanco
68
Birthdate: February 15, 1943
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cartagena, Colombia
Died: September 3, 2012
Griselda Blanco, also known as La Madrina and the Black Widow, was the first billionaire female drug lord. As part of the Medellin Cartel, she smuggled cocaine from Colombia into Miami, New York, and Southern California. She spent 15 years in jail and was shot dead by an unidentified motorcyclist.
 32 
Peter Sutcliffe
(British Serial Killer)
Peter Sutcliffe
85
Birthdate: June 2, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bingley, England
Died: November 13, 2020

English serial killer Peter Sutcliffe was dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper as he was likened to the infamous unidentified serial killer, Jack the Ripper, by the press. Convicted of killing 13 women and injuring nine other, Peter Sutcliffe was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2000, ITV aired a crime drama miniseries based on Peter Sutcliffe's murders titled This Is Personal.

 33 
Harold Shipman
(Serial Killer)
Harold Shipman
121
Birthdate: January 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nottingham
Died: January 13, 2004

One of history’s most infamous serial killers, Harold Shipman was a British GP who is believed to have killed over 200 patients before being nabbed by the police. He was ultimately sentenced to life imprisonment for 15 murders but later committed suicide in prison. The case led to grave concerns about powers and the responsibilities of the Britain’s medical community.

 34 
Albert Fish
(Serial Killer)
Albert Fish
74
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.

 35 
Henry Hill
(American Mobster Who was Associated with the Lucchese Crime Family)
Henry Hill
45
Birthdate: June 11, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: June 12, 2012
Henry Hill was a mobster from New York’s Lucchese crime family, who later testified against his former associates. His life inspired the book Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family and the film Goodfellas. He was associated with crimes such as gambling, drug trafficking, and high-profile robberies at the JFK Airport.
 36 
Karla Homolka
(Canadian Serial Killer)
Karla Homolka
142
Birthdate: May 4, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Port Credit, Mississauga, Canada

Karla Homolka raped and killed three minors along with her ex-husband Paul Bernardo. After their arrest, Bernardo was sentenced to life imprisonment, while Homolka served 12 years in prison following a plea bargain. Although she had claimed that she was an unwilling accomplice to the killings, a videotape that surfaced after the plea bargain suggested otherwise, resulting in public outrage.

 37 
George Jung
(American Drug Trafficker and Smuggler)
George Jung
26
Birthdate: August 6, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Weymouth, Massachusetts, USA
George Jung, nicknamed Boston George and El Americano, smuggled cocaine into the U.S., as part of the Medellín Cartel, in the 1970s and the 1980s. He served a 20-year prison term for his crimes. He inspired the biopic Blow and contributed to the fictional account of his life story, Heavy
 38 
Bugsy Siegel
(American Mobster Who was a Driving Force Behind the Development of the Las Vegas Strip)
Bugsy Siegel
19
Birthdate: February 28, 1906
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: June 20, 1947

Notorious mobster Bugsy Siegel held significant influence within the Italian-American Mafia and was regarded as a “celebrity gangster.” Good-looking and charismatic, he was an enigmatic figure. He played a key role in the development of the Las Vegas Strip. Noted for his prowess with guns, he met a grisly end when he was shot dead in 1947.

 39 
Richard Wershe Jr.
(FBI Informant, Drug Dealer)
Richard Wershe Jr.
33
Birthdate: July 18, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Michigan
Richard Wershe Jr. became the youngest FBI informant when he was around 14 to 16 years of age. He had started selling cocaine as a teenager and was arrested at 17. He was sentenced to life but was granted parole later. He inspired the 2018 movie White Boy Rick.
 40 
Adolf Eichmann
(German Military Official and One of the Major Organisers of the Holocaust)
Adolf Eichmann
88
Birthdate: March 19, 1906
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Solingen, Germany
Died: June 1, 1962
Adolf Eichmann was a Nazi lieutenant colonel and one of the chief organizers of the Holocaust, that involved mass deportation and murder of Jews. In 1962, Eichmann was captured by the Mossad in Argentina and was then taken to Israel. He was eventually tried and hanged for crimes against humanity.
 41 
Jack Ruby
(American Nightclub Owner Who Murdered Lee Harvey Oswald)
Jack Ruby
28
Birthdate: April 25, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 3, 1967

Jack Ruby was a Dallas nightclub owner who shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of the 35th US President, John F Kennedy. Jack Ruby was charged with first-degree murder. He died of cancer in January 1967 in a hospital just after The Texas Court of Appeals had reversed his death sentence and was slated to grant him a new trial.

 42 
Carlos Lehder
(Drug Lord)
Carlos Lehder
34
Birthdate: September 7, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Armenia, Colombia

German-Colombian drug kingpin Carlos Lehder, co-founder of the Medellín Cartel, which smuggled cocaine into the U.S., formed the Muerte a Secuestradores, to fight against the kidnappings of his cartel members. He escaped from the kidnappers but spent a 33-year sentence in the U.S., following which he was released.

 43 
Charles Salvador
(British Criminal Who Has Been Referred to in the British Press as the 'Most Violent Prisoner in Britain')
Charles Salvador
24
Birthdate: December 6, 1952
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Luton, Bedfordshire, England

Former bare knuckle boxer Charles Salvador, also known as Charles Bronson, is also a highly infamous criminal, who was once convicted for an armed robbery. Known for his violent temper, he later penned several books, one of them on fitness. He is also a talented painter and poet.

 44 
Dennis Nilsen
(Scottish Serial Killer and Necrophile)
Dennis Nilsen
75
Birthdate: November 23, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fraserburgh, Scotland
Died: May 12, 2018

Dennis Nilsen was a Scottish necrophile and serial killer who killed at least 12 boys and young men between 1978 and 1983. Also known as the Muswell Hill Murderer, Nilsen committed these crimes in London, England, where he would lure his victims into his house before strangulating them to death. He was convicted in 1983 of six counts of murder.

 45 
Hideki Tojo
(27th Prime Minister of Japan)
Hideki Tojo
34
Birthdate: December 30, 1884
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kōjimachi, Tokyo, Japan
Died: December 23, 1948

Hideki Tojo headed the Imperial Japanese Army and was the Japanese minister of war, apart from being Japan’s prime minister from 1941 to 1944. His tenure witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor. After Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers, Tojo was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death.

 46 
David Parker Ray
(Serial Rapist, Serial Killer)
David Parker Ray
72
Birthdate: November 6, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Belen, New Mexico
Died: May 28, 2002
David Parker Ray was said to have killed 60 women from Arizona and New Mexico. He earned the nickname “Toy-Box Killer” for using a sound-proof truck full of items of sexual torture, which he named his “toy box.” Though convicted of kidnapping and torture, he escaped a murder conviction.
 47 
Dean Corll
(American Serial Killer and Pederast)
Dean Corll
59
Birthdate: December 24, 1939
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States
Died: August 8, 1973
Dean Corll, also known as the “Candy Man” and the “Pied Piper,” was a serial killer who, along with accomplices David Brooks and Elmer Henley, was responsible for the grisly Houston Mass Murders. The group kidnapped, assaulted, and strangulated or shot at least 28 young men and boys. 
 48 
Timothy McVeigh
(American Domestic Terrorist Who Was Responsible for the 1995 ‘Oklahoma City Bombing’)
Timothy McVeigh
43
Birthdate: April 23, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lockport, New York, United States
Died: June 11, 2001

A Gulf War veteran, Timothy McVeigh made headlines after carrying out the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. He defended his actions saying that he wanted to inspire a revolution against what he considered a tyrannical government. The bombing remains the most malignant act of domestic terrorism in American history. He was executed by lethal injection in 2001.

 49 
Pee Wee Kirkland
(Basketball player)
Pee Wee Kirkland
8
Birthdate: May 6, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
 50 
Scott Peterson
(Murderer)
Scott Peterson
37
Birthdate: October 24, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Diego, California

Former salesman, Scott Peterson, is a convicted murderer who is imprisoned in San Quentin State Prison. Peterson was convicted for the murder of his seven months pregnant wife, Lacy, and unborn son, Connor. Though Lacy’s family initially thought him to be innocent, evidence gathered later proved otherwise. The case attracted tremendous media attention and even inspired numerous movies and documentaries.