Criminals

Criminals are the individuals who have committed a crime. Crimes refer to any unlawful activity that is punishable by a state. The term 'criminal'; is not a strictly defined one as different states have different laws regarding crimes and unlawful activities. A crime generally can be said to be an activity that causes harm to an individual, the community or the state. Criminals may commit crimes as a means of earning their livelihood, out of jealousy, greed or malice, for recreational purposes, out of boredom, or for a plethora of other reasons. Crimes may be classified as personal crimes, property crimes, inchoate crimes and statutory crimes. Offences that cause harm to a person such as assault, murder, sexual offences, etc. come under personal crimes while robbery, burglary, arson and forgery are categorized as property crimes. Often high profile criminals are given wide coverage in mass media which accords to them a sort of celebrity status. So fascinated are people with the tales of murderers that Jack the Ripper till date remains a hot topic of discussion. Serial killer Ted Bundy is so notorious that many books and films were based on his life. Jim Jones of the infamous People's Temple incident continues to intrigue psychologists till date. Read on to learn lurid details about the notorious criminals from all over the world.

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 Criminals

 1 Charles Sobhraj

Charles Sobhraj
32
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: April 6, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ho Chi Minh City
Charles Sobhraj, better known as the “Bikini Killer” and “The Serpent,” is an infamous criminal who was convicted of murdering twelve tourists in Southeast Asia in the 1970s, purely out of his hatred for hippies. After serving jail time in India, he is now serving a life sentence in Nepal.

 2 David Berkowitz

David Berkowitz
5
Listed In: Serial Killers
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.”

 3 Erik Menendez

Erik Menendez
7
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: November 27, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Blackwood, New Jersey, United States

 4 Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar
12
Listed In: Drug Lords, Gangsters
Famous As: Colombian Drug Lord
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.

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 5 Harshad Mehta

Harshad Mehta
16
Listed In: Fraudsters
Famous As: stockbroker
Birthdate: July 29, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rajkot district
Died: December 31, 2001

 6 Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur
15
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: June 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 13, 1996

Tupac Amaru Shakur, popularly known as 2Pac or Makaveli, is considered as one of the greatest American rappers of all time. Talent and trouble went hand in hand in Shakur’s journey to fame; the higher Shakur rose in his iconic status, the deeper he became entangled in gang violence and an infamous rivalry, which sadly led to his untimely demise.

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 7 Bernard Madoff

Bernard Madoff
5
Listed In: Fraudsters
Famous As: Stockbroker, Fraudster
Birthdate: April 29, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Queens, New York City, New York
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 8 Richard Ramirez

Richard Ramirez
44
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. 

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 9 Ted Kaczynski

Ted Kaczynski
16
Listed In: Terrorists
Famous As: Terrorist, Anarchist
Birthdate: May 22, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago

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.

 10 Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy
16
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.

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 11 John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy
10
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.

 12 Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson
10
Listed In: Boxers
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: June 30, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S

A former professional boxer who reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion for three years, Mike Tyson is considered a colossal figure in boxing. Claiming his first heavyweight title at the young age of 20, he went on to become one of the best heavyweights of all time. Also a controversial person, he was once imprisoned on rape charges.

 13 Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer
22
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.

 14 Charles Manson

Charles Manson
5
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Criminal and Murderer
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.

 15 Al Capone

Al Capone
7
Listed In: Drug Lords, Gangsters
Famous As: Gangster
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.

 16 Yolanda Saldívar

Yolanda Saldívar
11
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murder Convict
Birthdate: September 19, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Yolanda Saldívar is serving a sentence for the murder of Latin pop star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez in March 1995. Yolanda managed Selena’s fan club and fashion boutiques and was fired for embezzling money from both. When Selena confronted her, Yolanda refused to submit the financial records and shot her to death.

 17 Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden
12
Listed In: Terrorists
Famous As: Terrorist
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.

 18 Clyde Barrow

Clyde Barrow
6
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: March 24, 1909
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ellis County, Texas, United States
Died: May 23, 1934

 19 Bonnie Parker

Bonnie Parker
6
Listed In: Robbers, Murderers
Famous As: Thief
Birthdate: October 1, 1910
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rowena, Texas, United States
Died: May 23, 1934

 20 Zodiac Killer

Zodiac Killer
5
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.

 21 Gypsy Rose Blanchard

Gypsy Rose Blanchard
9
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: July 27, 1991
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Louisiana
Gypsy Rose Blanchard came in the public eye after she teamed up with her boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, to murder her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard. Dee Dee was suffering from Munchausen syndrome, which made her create an illusion that Gypsy suffered from several chronic illnesses, whereas Gypsy was a normal child.

 22 Joaquín Guzmán Loera

Joaquín Guzmán Loera
2
Listed In: Drug Lords
Famous As: Drug lord
Birthdate: April 4, 1957
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: La Tuna, Mexico

 23 Blackbeard

Blackbeard
2
Famous As: Pirate
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Bristol
Died: November 22, 1718

Blackbeard was a notorious English pirate who struck fear into the hearts of his opponents during the early 18th century. His life has inspired several video games, TV miniseries, and films. Tim Powers' novel On Stranger Tides houses a fictionalized version of Blackbeard; the novel was later adapted into a film titled Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

 24 Adolf Eichmann

Otto Adolf Eichmann
7
Listed In: War Criminals
Famous As: One of the Main Organizers of the Holocaust
Birthdate: March 19, 1906
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Solingen, Rhine Province, Germany
Died: May 31, 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.

 25 Josef Mengele

Josef Mengele
8
Listed In: War Criminals
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: March 16, 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Günzburg, Bavaria, German Empire
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.

 26 Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes
19
Famous As: Business Woman
Birthdate: February 3, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, USA

 27 Edmund Kemper

Edmund Kemper
2
Listed In: Serial Killers
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.

 28 Ed Gein

Ed Gein
1
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.

 29 Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos
4
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: February 29, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Troy, 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.

 30 Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)

Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)
9
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.

 31 Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper
1
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: 1865 AD
Birthplace: England

Jack the Ripper was anl unidentified serial killer who predominantly targeted female prostitutes living and working in the ghetto of the East End of London. Since the murders were never solved, Jack the Ripper became infamous folklore in England. The murders were so cleverly done that the authorities were not even able to ascertain the killer's gender.

 32 Fred West

Fred West
2
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: September 29, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Much Marcle, United Kingdom
Died: January 1, 1995

Fred West was a serial killer who derived pleasure from acts, such as voyeurism, sexual assaults, murder, and various sexual fetishes that pushed his victims beyond their sexual limits. He committed murders and sexual assaults along with his wife Rose, who worked as a prostitute at their residence. Fred committed suicide at HM Prison Birmingham in 1995.

 33 Joseph James DeAngelo

Joseph James DeAngelo
3
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 8, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bath, New York

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.

 34 Robert Durst

Robert Durst
2
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: April 12, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York,City New York

Robert Durst is a real estate heir and suspected killer of three people, including his first wife Kathleen McCormack Durst and longtime friend Susan Berman. The events surrounding Durst's trial have inspired films and TV series like All Good Things and The Jinx. His life also inspired the book A Deadly Secret, which was later adapted into a TV film.

 35 Dylan Klebold

Dylan Klebold
0
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Mass Murderer
Birthdate: 1981 AD
Birthplace: Lakewood, Colorado, United States
Died: 1999 AD

 36 Eric Harris

Eric Harris
7
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: April 9, 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States
Died: April 20, 1999

 37 John Gotti

John Gotti
0
Listed In: Murderers
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.

 38 Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald
6
Listed In: Murderers
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.

 39 Scott Peterson

Scott Peterson
3
Listed In: Murderers
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.

 40 Ronald Kray

Ronald Kray
6
Listed In: Gangsters
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: October 24, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hoxton, 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.

 41 Reginald Kray

Reginald Kray
4
Listed In: Murderers, Robbers
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: October 24, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hoxton, London, England
Died: October 1, 2000

 42 Pol Pot

Pol Pot
9
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of Cambodia
Birthdate: May 19, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Prek Sbov, Cambodia
Died: April 15, 1998

Pol Pot was a Cambodian politician who served as the prime minister of Democratic Kampuchea from 1975 and 1979. Widely considered a totalitarian dictator, Pol Pot was responsible for the Cambodian genocide, which resulted in the death of 1.5 to 2 million people. He was found guilty of crimes against humanity and placed under house arrest until his death.

 43 Mark David Chapman

Mark David Chapman
13
Listed In: Murderers
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.

 44 Luka Magnotta

Luka Magnotta
2
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: July 24, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Scarborough, Canada

Luka Magnotta is a Canadian convicted murderer and former pornographic film actor. He was arrested for murdering Jun Lin, an international student from Wuhan. The murder was sensationalized by the media as Luka Magnotta mailed the victim's feet and hands to federal political party offices and elementary schools. The murder inspired a three-part documentary series titled Don't F**k with Cats.

 45 Gary Ridgway

Gary Leon Ridgway
0
Listed In: Serial Killers
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.

 46 Frank Abagnale

Frank Abagnale
14
Listed In: Fraudsters
Famous As: Impostor, Fraudster
Birthdate: April 27, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Rochelle

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.

 47 Reinhard Heydrich

Reinhard Heydrich
5
Famous As: Nazi Official
Birthdate: March 7, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Halle
Died: June 4, 1942

Reinhard Heydrich was a Nazi police officer and a high-ranking SS. Heydrich is widely regarded as one of the main architects of the Holocaust, a World War II genocide that killed some six million Jews. Described by Adolf Hitler as the man with the iron heart, Heydrich is regarded as the darkest figure of the Nazi era by many historians.

 48 Dawood Ibrahim

Dawood Ibrahim
2
Listed In: Gangsters, Terrorists
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.

 49 Anne Bonny

Anne Bonny
1
Famous As: 18th Century Pirate
Birthdate: March 8, 1702
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cork, Republic of Ireland
Died: April 22, 1782

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. 

 50 Timothy McVeigh

Timothy McVeigh
2
Listed In: Terrorists
Famous As: Terrorist
Birthdate: April 23, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lockport,New York
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.

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