20th Century Murderers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Rank the Most Wicked Murderers

 1 Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy.
35
Famous As: Serial Killer
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.

 2 Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer.
42
Famous As: Serial Killer, Sex Offender
Birthdate: May 21, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: West Allis, Wisconsin, U.S.
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.

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 3 Sirhan Sirhan

Sirhan Sirhan.
8
Famous As: Assassin
Birthdate: March 19, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Sirhan Sirhan is a Palestinian militant who assassinated U.S. senator Robert F. Kennedy, brother of John F. Kennedy, by shooting him at the Los Angeles-based Ambassador Hotel, on June 5, 1968. Sirhan was convicted of murder. He is currently serving a life sentence at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.

 4 Zodiac Killer

Zodiac Killer.
7
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
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.

 5 John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy.
25
Famous As: Serial Killer
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.

 6 Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)

Dennis Rader (BTK Killer).
15
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: March 9, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pittsburg, Kansas, U.S.
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.

 7 Reginald Kray

Reginald Kray
12
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: October 24, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hoxton, London, England
Died: October 1, 2000
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 8 Bonnie Parker

Bonnie Parker
11
Famous As: Thief
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.

 9 John Gotti

John Gotti.
3
Famous As: Mobster & Mafia
Birthdate: October 27, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, 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.

 10 Ed Gein

Ed Gein.
11
Famous As: Murderer
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.

 11 Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald.
15
Famous As: Armed force officer
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.

 12 Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger.
6
Famous As: American convicted murderer and former organized crime figure
Birthdate: September 3, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dorchester

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.

 13 Tex Watson

Tex Watson
2
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: December 2, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Farmersville, Texas, United States

 14 Mark David Chapman

Mark David Chapman.
18
Famous As: Killer of John Lennon
Birthdate: May 10, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas

Mark David Chapman gained notoriety after murdering popular English singer-songwriter, John Lennon, of Beatles. A fan of the Beatles, Chapman said he was frustrated with Lennon's public statements and lifestyle. He even admitted that he contemplated murdering Paul McCartney, Ronald Reagan, and Johnny Carson. His story formed the bases of films like Chapter 27 and The Killing of John Lennon.

 15 Saeed Hanaei

Saeed Hanaei
13
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: April 5, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mashhad, Iran
Died: April 8, 2002

 16 Susan Atkins

Susan Atkins.
9
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: May 7, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Gabriel, California
Died: September 24, 2009

Susan Atkins was an American murderer who was convicted for participating in eight killings, including the infamous Tate murders, carried out by members of the Manson Family. Sentenced to life imprisonment, Atkins was the longest-serving female inmate in California history at the time of her death. 

 17 Sammy Gravano

Sammy Gravano.
2
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: March 12, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States
Sammy Gravano, also known as “Sammy the Bull,” was initially part of the Colombo crime family and later the underboss of the Gambino crime family. He became a government witness against John Gotti, the Gambino family boss. He was also involved in the murder of Gambino boss Paul Castellano.

 18 Eric Harris

Eric Harris
15
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: April 9, 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States
Died: April 20, 1999

 19 Scott Peterson

Scott Peterson.
7
Famous As: Murderer
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.

 20 Patricia Krenwinkel

Patricia Krenwinkel.
2
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: December 3, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

A former member of the notorious Charles Manson's "Family," Patricia Krenwinkel is a criminal who has participated in multiple murders. She was part of the gang that murdered actress Sharon Tate, who was pregnant at the time of her death. Krenwinkel has been denied parole fourteen times and is currently incarcerated at the California Institution for Women.

 21 James Earl Ray

James Earl Ray.
8
Famous As: Assassin
Birthdate: March 10, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Alton, Illinois, United States
Died: April 23, 1998

James Earl Ray was charged with assassinating Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis on April 4, 1968 and was convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison in 1969. He served 29 years of his sentence before he died at the age of 70 from problems related to kidney disease and liver failure caused by hepatitis C.

 22 Christopher Scarver

Christopher Scarver.
7
Famous As: Serial Killer
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.

 23 Vincent Gigante

Vincent Gigante
0
Famous As: Mobster
Birthdate: March 29, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: December 19, 2005

 24 James Holmes

James Holmes.
5
Famous As: Mass Murderer
Birthdate: December 13, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Diego, California, U.S.
James Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70 more in the July 2012 Colorado shooting at a movie theater which was screening The Dark Knight Rises. He had also set up his apartment with bombs before the shooting. He received 12 consecutive life sentences and 3,318 years without parole.

 25 John Eleuthère du Pont

John Eleuthère du Pont.
1
Famous As: Philanthropist, Murderer
Birthdate: November 22, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: December 9, 2010

 26 Susan Smith

Susan Smith.
4
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: September 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Union, South Carolina

Susan Smith is an American murderer who was convicted for murdering her children, Michael and Alexander, who were three-year-old and 14-month-old respectively. She falsely claimed that her kids were kidnapped by a black man before being adjudged guilty of the crime. Sentenced to life in prison, Smith is currently incarcerated at the Leath Correctional Institution in South Carolina.

 27 Mary Bell

Mary Bell.
6
Famous As: Murder Convict
Birthdate: May 26, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England
Mary Bell was convicted of strangling 4-year-old Martin Brown and 3-year-old Brian Howe in 1968, when she was just 11. She committed the second crime with a 13-year-old friend named Norma Joyce Bell. After she was released in 1980, after 12 years, she took up various pseudonyms.

 28 Richard Kuklinski

Richard Kuklinski.
10
Famous As: Contract Killer
Birthdate: April 11, 1935
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey, United States
Died: March 5, 2006
Richard Kuklinski, known as The Iceman, was a contract killer who worked for various mafia families. He earned his nickname after he froze the body of a victim. He received a life sentence for killing two gang members and two associates and later received 30 more years for another murder.

 29 Armin Meiwes

Armin Meiwes.
2
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: December 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Essen
Armin Meiwes, also known as "The Master Butcher," was a computer repair man who killed and ate engineer Jürgen Armando Brandes, who had voluntarily offered himself to be eaten, in response to an advertisement on an online cannibalism-oriented forum. Armin is now serving a life sentence for murder.

 30 Nathuram Godse

Nathuram Godse.
12
Famous As: Assassin of Mahatma Gandhi
Birthdate: May 19, 1910
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Maharashtra
Died: November 15, 1949

Nathuram Godse was an Indian man who gained notoriety for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi, a popular figure in India's successful campaign for independence from British rule. He was an advocate of Hindu nationalism and opposed many of Gandhi’s political views. He shot Gandhi thrice at point-blank range on 30 January 1948. Godse was later executed for this crime.

 31 Richard Speck

Richard Speck.
2
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: December 6, 1941
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kirkwood, Illinois, United States
Died: December 5, 1991
Richard Speck sent shockwaves across Chicago when he killed eight student nurses in the Jeffery Manor neighborhood, in 1966. He strangled or stabbed all his victims, also raping one, while a ninth lady escaped by hiding. Speck was sentenced to death, but his sentence was later commuted to 400-1200 years. 

 32 Albert Anastasia

Albert Anastasia.
2
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: September 26, 1902
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Parghelia, Calabria, Italy
Died: October 25, 1957
Italian-American mobster Umberto "Albert" Anastasia, or Anastasio, co-founded the American Mafia and later co-established Murder, Inc. Nicknamed The One-Man Army, he later became the boss of the Gambino crime family and also began controlling the New York waterfront. He was killed on the orders of Carlo Gambino and Vito Genovese.

 33 Henri Charrière

Henri Charrière
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 16, 1906
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint-Étienne-de-Lugdarès, France
Died: July 29, 1973

 34 Stanley Williams

Stanley Williams
4
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: December 29, 1953
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Died: December 13, 2005

 35 John List

John List.
4
Famous As: American mass murderer
Birthdate: September 17, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bay City, Michigan, United States
Died: March 21, 2008
John List murdered his mother, wife, and three children at their house in New Jersey in 1971. He then relocated to Denver, as Bob Clark, became an accountant, remarried, and even joined a Lutheran congregation. He was arrested and convicted through an America's Most Wanted episode, after 18 years.

 36 Richard Loeb

Richard Loeb
0
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: 1905 AD
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: 1936 AD

 37 Nathan Leopold

Nathan Leopold
1
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: November 19, 1904
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: August 29, 1971

 38 Robert Maudsley

Robert Maudsley.
0
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: June 26, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toxteth, Liverpool

Robert Maudsley is an English serial killer currently serving life imprisonment at Wakefield Prison, England. He committed three of his four murders in prison, forcing the authorities to keep him in solitary confinement. Maudsley's case was sensationalized as it was claimed that he had eaten part of the brain of one of his victims, although the PCC refuted such claims.

 39 Darlie Routier

Darlie Routier.
4
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: January 4, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Altoona, Pennsylvania, United States
Darlie Routier was convicted of stabbing her 5-year-old son Damon to death in 1996 and sentenced to death by lethal injection. She was also charged with killing her other son, 6-year-old Devon, but not tried for it. Following multiple appeals by her, fresh DNA tests were ordered and are pending.

 40 Carmine Persico

Carmine Persico.
2
Famous As: Boss of the Colombo Crime Family
Birthdate: August 8, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn
Died: March 7, 2019

Gangster and mafia boss Carmine Persico, also known as The Snake, Junior, and Immortal, led the New York-based Colombo crime family for a long time. He had been convicted for a number of crimes, including racketeering and loan-sharking and was serving a 139-year sentence when he died in 2019.

 41 John Franzese

John Franzese.
1
Famous As: Crime Boss
Birthdate: February 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Naples

John Franzese was a mobster who served as the underboss of the infamous Colombo crime family from 1963 to 1967. In 2005, he once again became the underboss of the crime family until he was convicted in 2011. Franzese was 100 years old at the time of his release; he was the only centenarian in federal custody at that time.

 42 George Hill Hodel

George Hill Hodel.
1
Famous As: Suspected Murderer
Birthdate: October 10, 1907
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Died: May 16, 1999

 43 Carmine Galante

Carmine Galante.
0
Famous As: Drug Trafficker
Birthdate: February 21, 1910
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: East Harlem, New York, United States
Died: July 12, 1979

 44 Raymond Washington

Raymond Washington
2
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: August 14, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: August 9, 1979

 45 Ruth Ellis

Ruth Ellis
0
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: October 9, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rhyl, Flintshire, Wales, UK
Died: July 13, 1955

 46 Caril Ann Fugate

Caril Ann Fugate.
0
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: July 30, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lincoln, Nebraska, United States

 47 Nathan Gale

Nathan Gale
1
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: September 11, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Marysville, United States
Died: December 8, 2004

 48 Robert Stroud

Robert Stroud
0
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 8, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, USA
Died: November 21, 1963

 49 Byron De La Beckwith

Byron De La Beckwith
4
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: November 9, 1920
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Colusa, California, United States
Died: January 21, 2001

 50 Jack Unterweger

Jack Unterweger
4
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: August 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Judenburg, Styria, Austria
Died: June 29, 1994