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
20
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: April 6, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: French
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 Richard Ramirez

Richard Ramirez
34
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: February 29, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
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. 

 3 Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar
9
Listed In: Drug Lords, Gangsters
Famous As: Colombian Drug Lord
Birthdate: December 1, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Colombian
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.

 4 Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur
7
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: June 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
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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 5 Harshad Mehta

Harshad Mehta
10
Listed In: Fraudsters
Famous As: stockbroker
Birthdate: July 29, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Indian
Died: December 31, 2001

 6 Bernard Madoff

Bernard Madoff
0
Listed In: Fraudsters
Famous As: Stockbroker, Fraudster
Birthdate: April 29, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
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 7 Al Capone

Al Capone
6
Listed In: Drug Lords, Gangsters
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: January 17, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
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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 8 Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy
14
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 24, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
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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 9 Ted Kaczynski

Ted Kaczynski
11
Listed In: Terrorists
Famous As: Terrorist, Anarchist
Birthdate: May 22, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

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 John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy
10
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: March 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
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.

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 11 Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer
11
Famous As: Serial Killer, Sex Offender
Birthdate: May 21, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
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.

 12 Erik Menendez

Erik Menendez
2
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: November 27, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 13 Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson
6
Listed In: Boxers
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: June 30, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

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.

 14 Joaquín Guzmán Loera

Joaquín Guzmán Loera
0
Listed In: Drug Lords
Famous As: Drug lord
Birthdate: April 4, 1957
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Mexican

 15 Charles Manson

Charles Manson
5
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Criminal and Murderer
Birthdate: November 12, 1934
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
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.

 16 Clyde Barrow

Clyde Barrow
2
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: March 24, 1909
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: May 23, 1934

 17 Bonnie Parker

Bonnie Parker
1
Listed In: Robbers, Murderers
Famous As: Thief
Birthdate: October 1, 1910
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: May 23, 1934

 18 Zodiac Killer

Zodiac Killer
5
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Nationality: American

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.

 19 Adolf Eichmann

Otto Adolf Eichmann
5
Listed In: War Criminals
Famous As: One of the Main Organizers of the Holocaust
Birthdate: March 19, 1906
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
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.

 20 Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden
10
Listed In: Terrorists
Famous As: Terrorist
Birthdate: March 10, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Saudi Arabian
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.

 21 Blackbeard

Blackbeard
1
Famous As: Pirate
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Nationality: British
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.

 22 Josef Mengele

Josef Mengele
7
Listed In: War Criminals
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: March 16, 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
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.

 23 Edmund Kemper

Edmund Kemper
1
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: December 18, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

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.

 24 Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes
15
Famous As: Business Woman
Birthdate: February 3, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

 25 Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper
1
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: 1865 AD
Nationality: British

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.

 26 Joseph James DeAngelo

Joseph James DeAngelo
1
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 8, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

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.

 27 Ed Gein

Ed Gein
0
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: August 27, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
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.

 28 Larry Nassar

Larry Nassar
1
Famous As: Doctor
Birthdate: August 16, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

A convicted sex offender, Larry Nassar was once the USA Gymnastics national team doctor. He is a former professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. At least 250 young women and girls have accused him of sexual assault. He is currently in prison on charges of sexual assault of minors and child pornography.

 29 Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)

Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)
8
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: March 9, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
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.

 30 Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos
3
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: February 29, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
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.

 31 Luka Magnotta

Luka Magnotta
1
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: July 24, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian

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.

 32 Gypsy Rose Blanchard

Gypsy Rose Blanchard
7
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: July 27, 1991
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
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.

 33 John Gotti

John Gotti
0
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Mobster & Mafia
Birthdate: October 27, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
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.

 34 Peter Sutcliffe

Peter Sutcliffe
13
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: June 2, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

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.

 35 Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald
4
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Armed force officer
Birthdate: October 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
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.

 36 Pol Pot

Pol Pot
7
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of Cambodia
Birthdate: May 19, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Cambodian
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.

 37 Ross Ulbricht

Ross Ulbricht
4
Famous As: Drug Trafficker
Birthdate: March 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
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.

 38 David Berkowitz

David Berkowitz
0
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: June 1, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

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.”

 39 Robert Durst

Robert Durst
2
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: April 12, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

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.

 40 Ronald Kray

Ronald Kray
3
Listed In: Gangsters
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: October 24, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
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
3
Listed In: Murderers, Robbers
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: October 24, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Died: October 1, 2000

 42 D. B. Cooper

D. B. Cooper
3
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Nationality: American
Died: November 24, 1971

 43 Gary Ridgway

Gary Leon Ridgway
0
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: February 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
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.

 44 Anne Bonny

Anne Bonny
1
Famous As: 18th Century Pirate
Birthdate: March 8, 1702
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Irish, American
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. 

 45 Timothy McVeigh

Timothy McVeigh
2
Listed In: Terrorists
Famous As: Terrorist
Birthdate: April 23, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
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.

 46 H. H. Holmes

H.H. Holmes
5
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: May 16, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: 1896 AD
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.

 47 Mark David Chapman

Mark David Chapman
9
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Killer of John Lennon
Birthdate: May 10, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

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.

 48 Dylan Klebold

Dylan Klebold
0
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Mass Murderer
Birthdate: 1981 AD
Nationality: American
Died: 1999 AD

 49 Eric Harris

Eric Harris
6
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: April 9, 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: April 20, 1999

 50 Frank Abagnale

Frank Abagnale
13
Listed In: Fraudsters
Famous As: Impostor, Fraudster
Birthdate: April 27, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

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.

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