American Criminals

Rank the Most Wicked American Criminals

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 1 
Jeffrey Dahmer
(American Serial Killer and Sex Offender)
Jeffrey Dahmer
403
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 
Ted Bundy
(Serial Killer)
Ted Bundy
396
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.

 3 
Charles Manson
(Led the Manson Family, a Cult Based in California)
Charles Manson
171
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.

 4 
Zodiac Killer
(Serial killer)
Zodiac Killer
162
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
(Serial Killer & Sex Offender)
John Wayne Gacy
276
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 
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.

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 7 
Richard Ramirez
(Serial Killer)
Richard Ramirez
307
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. 

 8 
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.

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 9 
Ed Gein
(Murderer, Suspected Serial Killer & Body Snatcher)
Ed Gein
121
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.

 10 
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.

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 11 
Edmund Kemper
(Serial Killer)
Edmund Kemper
108
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.

 12 
Christopher Scarver
(Serial Killer)
Christopher Scarver
152
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.

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 13 
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.

 14 
Jordan Belfort
(Author of 'The Wolf of Wall Street')
Jordan Belfort
58
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.
 15 
H. H. Holmes
(American Serial Killer and Con Artist)
H. H. Holmes
84
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.
 16 
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.

 17 
Billy the Kid
84
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.

 18 
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.”

 19 
Gary Ridgway
(Serial Killer)
Gary Ridgway
106
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.
 20 
Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)
164
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.
 21 
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.

 22 
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.

 23 
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.

 24 
Jesse James
(American Outlaw, Bank and Train Robber and Leader of the 'James–Younger Gang')
Jesse James
52
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.
 25 
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.

 26 
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.

 27 
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.

 28 
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.

 29 
Albert Fish
(Serial Killer)
Albert Fish
72
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.

 30 
Henry Hill
(American Mobster Who was Associated with the Lucchese Crime Family)
Henry Hill
44
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.
 31 
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
 32 
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.

 33 
John Wilkes Booth
(American Stage Actor Who Assassinated United States President Abraham Lincoln)
John Wilkes Booth
58
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.
 34 
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.
 35 
Gary M. Heidnik
(Serial killer)
Gary M. Heidnik
10
Birthdate: November 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Eastlake, Ohio, United States
Died: July 6, 1999
 36 
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.

 37 
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. 
 38 
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.
 39 
Pee Wee Kirkland
(Basketball player)
Pee Wee Kirkland
5
Birthdate: May 6, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
 40 
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.

 41 
Carlo Gambino
(Italian-American Crime Boss of the Gambino Crime Family)
Carlo Gambino
16
Birthdate: August 24, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Palermo, Italy
Died: October 15, 1976

Carlo Gambino was an Italian-American kingpin of the famous Gambino crime family. He took over the Commission of the Mafia after the incarceration of Vito Genovese in 1959. Although he was involved in organized crime for more than five decades, he was imprisoned for only 22 months for a tax evasion charge. Carlo Gambino is often portrayed in crime films.

 42 
Larry Hoover
(Criminal)
Larry Hoover
50
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. 
 43 
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.

 44 
John List
(American Mass Murderer)
John List
20
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.
 45 
Patricia Krenwinkel
(American Convicted Murderer and Member of the Manson Family)
Patricia Krenwinkel
20
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.

 46 
Anne Bonny
(Irish Pirate Operating in the Caribbean and One of the Few Female Pirates in Recorded History)
Anne Bonny
16
Birthdate: March 8, 1697
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cork, Ireland
Died: March 31, 1721

Irish pirate Anne Bonny is considered one of the most famous female pirates of all time. She operated in the Caribbean in the early 18th century. As a teenager, she became the partner and lover of the notorious English pirate captain Calico Jack Rackham. She was captured in 1720 when she was pregnant. Her fate remains unknown. 

 47 
Frank Costello
(Crime Boss and Member of the Luciano Crime Family)
Frank Costello
7
Birthdate: January 26, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cassano allo Ionio, Italy
Died: February 18, 1973

Frank Costello was an Italian-American kingpin of the famous Luciano crime family. After serving as a trusted consigliere for the Luciano crime family under Lucky Luciano, Costello became acting boss in 1937 when underboss Genovese fled to Italy, while Luciano was imprisoned. However, he retired in 1957 to avoid an altercation with Genovese, who wanted to rule the crime family.

 48 
Meyer Lansky
(One of the Most Financially Successful Gangsters in American History)
Meyer Lansky
26
Birthdate: July 4, 1902
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Grodno, Belarus
Died: January 15, 1983
Meyer Lansky, or the "Mob's Accountant,” was key to the formation of the National Crime Syndicate along with Charles "Lucky" Luciano. A member of the Jewish mob, he built a worldwide gambling empire that included casinos in Las Vegas. Hyman Roth from The Godfather Part II was based on him.
 49 
Rodney Alcala
(American Serial Killer and Sex Offender)
Rodney Alcala
65
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.
 50 
James Burke
(Mobster)
James Burke
13
Birthdate: July 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: April 13, 1996