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 20th Century Murderers

 1 
Ted Bundy
(Serial Killer)

Ted Bundy
183
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 
Zodiac Killer
(Serial killer)

Zodiac Killer
55
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United States of America

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.

 3 
Jeffrey Dahmer
(Serial Killer, Sex Offender)

Jeffrey Dahmer
147
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.

Recommended Lists:

 4 
Richard Ramirez
(Serial Killer)

Richard Ramirez
129
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. 

 5 
John Wayne Gacy
(Serial Killer & Sex Offender )

John Wayne Gacy
119
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 
Ed Gein
(Murderer, Suspected Serial Killer & Body Snatcher)

Ed Gein
32
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.

 7 
Charles Manson
(Led the Manson Family, a Cult Based in California)

Charles Manson
68
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.

You May Like

 8 
Aileen Wuornos
(Serial killer)

Aileen Wuornos
88
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.

 9 
Bonnie Parker
(Bank Robber)

Bonnie Parker
30
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.

 10 
Christopher Scarver
(Serial Killer)

Christopher Scarver
32
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.

 11 
John Gotti
(Boss of the Gambino Crime Family)

John Gotti
16
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.

 12 
Ronald Kray
(Gangster)

Ronald Kray
23
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.

 13 
Lee Harvey Oswald
(U.S. Marine Veteran Who Assassinated John F. Kennedy)

Lee Harvey Oswald
23
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.

 14 
Joseph James DeAngelo
(Serial Killer)

Joseph James DeAngelo
32
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.

 15 
James Earl Ray
(Assassin)

James Earl Ray
20
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.

 16 
Jack Ruby
(Assassin of of Lee Harvey Oswald)

Jack Ruby
10
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.

 17 
Mary Bell
(Murder Convict)

Mary Bell
13
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.

 18 
Darlie Routier
(Murderer)

Darlie Routier
11
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.

 19 

Leslie Van Houten
10
Birthdate: August 23, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Altadena, California, United States

Leslie Van Houten is a convicted murderer. A former member of the infamous Manson Family, Houten played a major role in the Tate-LaBianca murders of 1969. Since her highly publicized court trials, Leslie Van Houten has been portrayed in several films; she has been played by actresses like Kristen Hager, Tania Raymonde, Greer Grammer, Hannah Murray, and Victoria Pedretti.

 20 
Susan Atkins
(Murderer)

Susan Atkins
24
Birthdate: May 7, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Gabriel, California, United States
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. 

 21 
Susan Smith
(Murderer)

Susan Smith
13
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.

 22 
Diane Downs
(Criminal)

Diane Downs
7
Birthdate: August 7, 1955
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Diane Downs killed her own daughter in 1983. She also tried killing her other children and then made up a story about how a man had tried carjacking her and had shot her children. She was sentenced to life plus 50 years but is eligible for parole at age 65. 

 23 
Patricia Krenwinkel
(Murderer, Member of Manson Crime Family)

Patricia Krenwinkel
6
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.

 24 
Richard Speck
(Murderer)

Richard Speck
7
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. 

 25 
Scott Peterson
(Murderer)

Scott Peterson
21
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.

 26 
Tex Watson
(Murderer)

Tex Watson
6
Birthdate: December 2, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Farmersville, Texas, United States

 27 
Assata Shakur
(Murder Convict)

Assata Shakur
20
Birthdate: July 14, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Assata Shakur is a former member of the revolutionary organization 'Black Liberation Army'. Sentenced to life for murder, Shakur escaped from the 'Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women' and was eventually granted political asylum in Cuba. She is the first woman to be added to FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list. Her life inspired the documentary film Eyes of the Rainbow.

 28 
John List
(Murderer)

John List
6
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.

 29 

Albert Anastasia
6
Birthdate: February 26, 1902
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Parghelia, 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.

 30 
Charles Harrelson
(Hitman, Organized crime figure)

Charles Harrelson
5
Birthdate: July 23, 1938
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lovelady, Texas, United States
Died: March 15, 2007

Charles Harrelson was a hitman who was convicted of assassinating John H. Wood Jr., a U.S. federal judge. Harrelson was the father of Woody Harrelson, who became an actor later, though Harrelson mostly remained estranged from his son. Harrelson's story inspired the 10-episode podcast Son of a Hitman.

 31 
Robert Maudsley
(Serial Killer)

Robert Maudsley
12
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.

 32 

Vincent Gigante
7
Birthdate: March 29, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: December 19, 2005

 33 
Armin Meiwes
(Murderer)

Armin Meiwes
8
Birthdate: December 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Essen, Germany
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.

 34 

Stanley Williams
12
Birthdate: December 29, 1953
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Died: December 13, 2005

 35 
Grim Sleeper
(Criminal)

Grim Sleeper
11
Birthdate: August 30, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: March 28, 2020

 36 
Arun Gawli
(Politician)

Arun Gawli
4
Birthdate: July 17, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kopargaon, India

 37 
Nathuram Godse
(Assassin of Mahatma Gandhi)

Nathuram Godse
42
Birthdate: May 19, 1910
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Baramati, Maharashtra, India
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.

 38 
Ruth Ellis
(Model)

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

 39 

Karla Faye Tucker
3
Birthdate: November 18, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Died: February 3, 1998

Karla Faye Tucker was a convicted criminal who killed two people with a pickaxe during a burglary. She committed the crime with a few accomplices in 1983. She was convicted of murder the following year and sentenced to death. She was executed by lethal injection in 1998. She was the first woman to be executed in US since1984. 

 40 
Nathan Leopold
(Murderer)

Nathan Leopold
3
Birthdate: November 19, 1904
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: August 29, 1971

 41 
Richard Loeb
(Murderer)

Richard Loeb
1
Birthdate: 1905 AD
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: 1936 AD

 42 

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

 43 
Drew Peterson
(Police Officer)

Drew Peterson
3
Birthdate: January 5, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bolingbrook, Illinois, United States

John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan
4
Birthdate: December 18, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England
Died: November 8, 1974

 45 

Cleveland Torso Murderer
3
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United States

 46 
Anne Perry
(Writer)

Anne Perry
2
Birthdate: October 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England, UK

Juliet Hulme, better known as Anne Perry, is the bestselling author of the widely popular William Monk and Thomas Pitt series of novels. She changed her name after a 5-year sentence for killing her friend’s mother at age 15. She has also worked as a flight attendant.

 47 
Leonard Peltier
(Activist)

Leonard Peltier
3
Birthdate: September 12, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Anishinabe (Chippewa) Turtle Mountain Reservation, North Dakota, USA

 48 

Caril Ann Fugate
4
Birthdate: July 30, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lincoln, Nebraska, United States

 49 
Joseph Massino
(Criminal)

Joseph Massino
1
Birthdate: January 10, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, USA

 50 
James Burke
(Mobster)

James Burke
3
Birthdate: July 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: April 13, 1996