21st Century Criminals

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 21st Century Criminals

 1 Richard Ramirez

Richard Ramirez
123
Famous As: Serial Killer
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. 

 2 Charles Manson

Charles Manson
67
Famous As: Led the Manson Family, a Cult Based in California
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.

 3 Edmund Kemper

Edmund Kemper
37
Famous As: Serial Killer
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.

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 4 Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)

Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)
48
Famous As: Serial Killer
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.
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 5 Peter Sutcliffe

Peter Sutcliffe
38
Famous As: Serial Killer
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.

 6 Gary Ridgway

Gary Ridgway
43
Famous As: Serial Killer
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.

 7 Joaquín Guzmán Loera

Joaquín Guzmán Loera
53
Famous As: Drug lord
Birthdate: April 4, 1957
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: La Tuna, Mexico
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 8 Frank Abagnale

Frank Abagnale
35
Famous As: Impostor, Fraudster
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.

 9 Richard Wershe Jr.

Richard Wershe Jr.
6
Famous As: FBI Informant, Drug Dealer
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.

 10 Griselda Blanco

Griselda Blanco
31
Famous As: Drug Lord
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.

 11 Christopher Scarver

Christopher Scarver
32
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.

 12 Jordan Belfort

Jordan Belfort
26
Famous As: Author of 'The Wolf of Wall Street'
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.

 13 David Berkowitz

David Berkowitz
47
Famous As: Serial Killer
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.”

 14 Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein
82
Famous As: President of Iraq (1979-2003)
Birthdate: April 28, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Al Awja, Iraq
Died: December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq as its president from 1979 to 2003. Described as one of the last of the great dictators of the 20th century, his regime caused the deaths of at least 250,000 Iraqis. Saddam was deposed in 2003 when a U.S led coalition invaded Iraq. Accused of crimes against humanity, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death in 2006.

 15 Karla Homolka

Karla Homolka
75
Famous As: Serial Killer
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.

 16 Dawood Ibrahim

Dawood Ibrahim
47
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: December 27, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Khed Ratnagiri, Bombay State

A mobster and drug dealer most wanted by India, Dawood Ibrahim heads the organized crime syndicate popularluy known as D-Company. He was named No.3 on The World's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives by the FBI in 2011. He is wanted on the charges of terrorism, murder, targeted killing, extortion, and drug trafficking among other crimes.

 17 Ted Kaczynski

Ted Kaczynski
51
Famous As: Unabomber
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.

 18 Joseph James DeAngelo

Joseph James DeAngelo
31
Famous As: Serial Killer
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.

 19 Henry Hill

Henry Hill
14
Famous As: Mobster
Birthdate: June 11, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, 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.

 20 Robert Pickton

Robert Pickton
6
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: October 24, 1949
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Port Coquitlam
Canadian serial killer Robert Pickton was convicted of murdering six women and later charged with the murders of 20 more women, mostly from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The latter charges were stayed. He received a life sentence without parole for 25 years. He wrote a controversial autobiography, too.

 21 Carlos Lehder

Carlos Lehder
16
Famous As: Drug Lord
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.

 22 David Parker Ray

David Parker Ray
20
Famous As: Serial Rapist, Serial Killer
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.

 23 Mary Bell

Mary Bell
10
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.

 24 Joe Exotic

Joe Exotic
34
Famous As: Former Operator of G.W. Zoo
Birthdate: March 5, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Garden City, Kansas, United States

 25 Larry Hoover

Larry Hoover
33
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: November 25, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jackson, Mississippi, United States
Gang leader Larry Hoover, also known as King Larry, established the Chicago street gang known as the Gangster Disciples. He later named the gang Growth and Development and focused on community service. He is currently in prison, serving six life sentences, including one for a murder committed in 1973. 

 26 Rodney Alcala

Rodney Alcala
30
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: August 23, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, United States
Died: July 24, 2021
Rodney Alcala received a death sentence for five murders in the 1970s, and 25 years for two more murders. Known as “The Dating Game Killer” for his appearance on the show The Dating Game in the middle of the murders, Alcala also collected explicit photos of his victims.

 27 Michael Franzese

Michael Franzese
9
Famous As: Crime Boss
Birthdate: May 27, 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Michael Franzese's story of being an influential member of the Colombo crime family to becoming a motivational speaker and writer inspired several works of art, including Martin Scorsese's 1990 film Goodfellas where he was played by actor Joseph Bono. In 1986, he was named in Fortune magazine's list of Fifty Most Wealthy and Powerful Mafia Bosses.

 28 Darlie Routier

Darlie Routier
8
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.

 29 Susan Atkins

Susan Atkins
23
Famous As: Murderer
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. 

 30 Dennis Nilsen

Dennis Nilsen
44
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 23, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, 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.

 31 Tsutomu Miyazaki

Tsutomu Miyazaki
17
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: August 21, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Itsukaichi, Tokyo
Died: June 17, 2008
Japanese serial killer, rapist, and cannibal Tsutomu Miyazaki, better known as the Otaku Murderer or the Little Girl Murderer, kidnapped and killed four girls, from ages 4 to 7, and then dismembered the bodies and indulged in necrophilia. He was convicted in 1997 and hanged to death in 2008.

 32 Joseph Lyle Menéndez

Joseph Lyle Menéndez
0
Famous As: American brothers who were convicted in 1996 for the murders of their parents
Birthdate: January 10, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, United States

 33 Leslie Van Houten

Leslie Van Houten
8
Famous As: Murderer
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.

 34 George Jung

George Jung
9
Famous As: Drug Trafficker
Birthdate: August 6, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
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

 35 Susan Smith

Susan Smith
13
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.

 36 Ross Ulbricht

Ross Ulbricht
15
Famous As: Drug Trafficker
Birthdate: March 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Austin, Texas
Ross Ulbricht, or "Dread Pirate Roberts,” created the dark market site Silk Road, which let people make anonymous drug deals, using bitcoins. He was eventually convicted of a number of crimes, including hacking and money laundering, and was sentenced to a double life imprisonment plus 40 years without parole.

 37 Diane Downs

Diane Downs
7
Famous As: Criminal
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. 

 38 Nate Dogg

Nate Dogg
23
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, USA
Died: March 15, 2011

Nicknamed King of Hooks, American singer and rapper Nate Dogg is best known for his collaborations with other celebrated rappers like Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Dr. Dre.  Equally successful as a solo artist, he had recorded three solo albums as well as a string of singles, concurrently charting 16 times on the Billboard Hot 100 as a featured artist.

 39 Patricia Krenwinkel

Patricia Krenwinkel
6
Famous As: Murderer, Member of Manson Crime Family
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.

 40 Anna Delvey

Anna Delvey
12
Famous As: Fraudster
Birthdate: 1991 AD
Russian-born German citizen Anna Sorokin made headlines when she was convicted of duping people by posing as a fictitious heiress named Anna Delvey. She would dine at fancy restaurants and check into luxury hotels, making her companions pay for her and then wouldn’t pay them back. She inspired a Netflix drama.

 41 Scott Peterson

Scott Peterson
20
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.

 42 Lee Boyd Malvo

Lee Boyd Malvo
15
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: February 18, 1985
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Lee Boyd Malvo was involved in the Beltway sniper attacks of 2002, which killed 10 people and injured three in the Washington Metropolitan Area. He had befriended his accomplice in the act, John Allen Muhammad, as a juvenile. Malvo is currently serving multiple life sentences at a supermax prison.

 43 Assata Shakur

Assata Shakur
19
Famous As: Murder Convict
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.

 44 Robert Hansen

Robert Hansen
43
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: February 14, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Estherville, Iowa, United States
Died: August 21, 2014

One of America’s most notorious serial killers, Robert Hansen was called ‘The Butcher Baker’ as he owned a bakery. He is said to have killed seventeen women and raped many others in and around Anchorage, Alaska, during the 1970s and 1980s. Most of his victims were strippers and sex workers. He was sentenced to 461 years in prison in 1984.

 45 Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo

Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo
20
Famous As: Drug Lord
Birthdate: August 1, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Badiraguato Municipality

Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo is a convicted Mexican drug lord. He led a now-defunct criminal group called the Guadalajara Cartel alongside Rafael Caro Quintero and Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo. In 1982, the Drug Enforcement Administration indicted him in a money laundering operation, but he fled back to Mexico where he was finally arrested in 1985.

 46 Brendan Dassey

Brendan Dassey
7
Famous As: Convicted Murderer
Birthdate: October 19, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, United States
Brendan Dassey is a convicted murderer who confessed to the rape and murder of Wisconsin-based photographer Teresa Halbach and the mutilation of her corpse. His story was featured in the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer. Dassey’s uncle, Steven Avery, too, was convicted of the crime.

 47 Jihadi John

Jihadi John
10
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: August 17, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Al Jahra, Kuwait
Died: November 12, 2015

 48 Omar al-Bashir

Omar al-Bashir
9
Famous As: Former President of Sudan
Birthdate: January 1, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hosh Bannaga, Sudan

Omar al-Bashir is a Sudanese politician who served as the seventh president of Sudan. A former military officer, he is the founder of the National Congress Party that remained the dominant political party in the country until 2019. He was deposed in a coup d'état the same year and subsequently arrested and convicted on multiple corruption charges.

 49 Charles Salvador

Charles Salvador
9
Famous As: British criminal who has been referred to in the British press as the "most violent prisoner in Britain" and "Britain's most notorious prisoner
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.

 50 Warren Jeffs

Warren Jeffs
6
Famous As: Sex offender
Birthdate: December 3, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States

Wareen Jeffs is the Leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ. He is currently in jail after being convicted of sexual assault on minors. Like his father, Warren Jeffs is also notorious for polygamy and presiding over murky affairs at his church. Born prematurely, he appeared in the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List in 2006 following allegations of arranging marriages of underage girls.