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.

 1 Peter Sutcliffe

Peter Sutcliffe
1
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.

 2 Mark Thatcher

Mark Thatcher
4
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: August 15, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

Mark Thatcher is the son of former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher. For the major part of his career as a businessman, Thatcher was accused of using his mother's position to gain an upper hand, especially in the Al-Yamamah arms deal. In 2005, he was convicted for funding the 2004 Wonga Coup in South Africa.

 3 Eric Rudolph

Eric Rudolph
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Listed In: Soldiers
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: September 19, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 4 Zodiac Killer

Zodiac Killer
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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.

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 5 Ted Kaczynski

Ted Kaczynski
1
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.

 6 Theodore Kaczynski

Theodore Kaczynski
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: May 22, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
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 7 Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy
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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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 8 Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar
2
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.

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 9 Yolanda Saldívar

Yolanda Saldívar
2
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murder Convict
Birthdate: September 19, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
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.

 10 Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer
1
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.

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 11 Charles Manson

Charles Manson
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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.

 12 Al Capone

Al Capone
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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.

 13 Mark David Chapman

Mark David Chapman
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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.

 14 Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper
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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.

 15 D. B. Cooper

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

 16 Dennis Nilsen

Dennis Nilsen
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Famous As: Trade unionist, Serial killer
Birthdate: November 23, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

 17 Richard Ramirez

Richard Ramirez
1
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. 

 18 Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden
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Listed In: Terrorists
Famous As: Terrorist
Birthdate: March 10, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Saudi Arabian
Died: May 2, 2011

 19 John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy
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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.

 20 Edmund Kemper

Edmund Kemper
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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.

 21 Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)

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

 22 Ed Gein

Ed Gein
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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.

 23 Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes
1
Famous As: Business Woman
Birthdate: February 3, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

 24 Frank Abagnale

Frank Abagnale
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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.

 25 Josef Mengele

Josef Mengele
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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.

 26 Gypsy Rose Blanchard

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

 27 Scott Peterson

Scott Peterson
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Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: October 24, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

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.

 28 Ronald Kray

Ronald Kray
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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.

 29 Reginald Kray

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

 30 Harold Shipman

Harold Shipman
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Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: January 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: January 13, 2004

One of history’s most infamous serial killers, Harold Shipman was a British GP who is believed to have killed over 200 patients before being nabbed by the police. He was ultimately sentenced to life imprisonment for 15 murders but later committed suicide in prison. The case led to grave concerns about powers and the responsibilities of the Britain’s medical community.

 31 Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos
1
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.

 32 Adolf Eichmann

Otto Adolf Eichmann
2
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.

 33 Timothy McVeigh

Timothy McVeigh
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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.

 34 John Gotti

John Gotti
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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.

 35 Martin Shkreli

Martin Shkreli
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Listed In: Fraudsters
Famous As: Executive
Birthdate: March 17, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Martin Shkreli, founder and former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, received a 7-year prison sentence for securities fraud after he secured the manufacturing license for Daraprim and raised its price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. He had bought the only copy of the album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

 36 Gary Ridgway

Gary Leon Ridgway
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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.

 37 Pol Pot

Pol Pot
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Listed In: Revolutionaries
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.

 38 Frank Lucas

Frank Lucas
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Listed In: Drug Lords, Gangsters
Famous As: Drug Trafficker
Birthdate: September 9, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: May 30, 2019
Frank Lucas was a notorious drug trafficker from the 1960s and the 1970s. Legends state that he bought drugs from the "Golden Triangle" and smuggled them into the U.S. using the coffins of servicemen. His 70-year prison sentence was commuted to a 5-year sentence, after he became an informant.

 39 David Berkowitz

David Berkowitz
1
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.”

 40 Andrew Cunanan

Andrew Cunanan
2
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: August 31, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: July 23, 1997

Andrew Cunanan was an American spree killer who killed five people, including world-renowned fashion designer Gianni Versace and business tycoon Lee Miglin, during a three-month period. The motive behind the killings remains unknown as he killed himself shortly after the murders. His story has inspired several films and TV series, including the 1998 movie The Versace Murder.

 41 Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams
1
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: May 27, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

Wayne Williams is an American serial killer currently serving life imprisonment for the murders of two men in Atlanta, Georgia. Although he is convicted of only two murders, Wayne Williams is suspected to have committed at least 23 of the 30 murders that took place in Atlanta between 1979 and 1981. His chilling story has inspired TV series and films.

 42 Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger
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Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: American convicted murderer and former organized crime figure
Birthdate: September 3, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

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.

 43 Sirhan Sirhan

Sirhan Sirhan
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Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Assassin
Birthdate: March 19, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Jordanian
Sirhan Sirhan is a Palestinian militant who assassinated U.S. senator Robert F. Kennedy, brother of John F. Kennedy, by shooting him at the Los Angeles-based Ambassador Hotel, on June 5, 1968. Sirhan was convicted of murder. He is currently serving a life sentence at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.

 44 Steven Avery

Steven Avery
1
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: July 9, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

Steven Avery is an American murderer who was convicted in 2007 for the murder of Teresa Halbach. He was previously convicted in 1986 of attempted murder, only to be acquitted in 2003. His 2003 exoneration encouraged the enactment of the Criminal Justice Reform Bill, which aims at preventing wrongful convictions. His 2007 murder trial inspired the series Making a Murderer.

 45 Michael Alig

Michael Alig
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Listed In: Murderers, Actors
Famous As: Club promoter
Birthdate: April 29, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 46 Reinhard Heydrich

Reinhard Heydrich
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Famous As: Nazi Official
Birthdate: March 7, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
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.

 47 Fred West

Fred West
1
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: September 29, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
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.

 48 Robert Hansen

Robert Hansen
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Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: February 15, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
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.

 49 Henry Hill

Henry Hill
2
Listed In: Fraudsters, Gangsters
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: June 11, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
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.

 50 Myra Hindley

Myra Hindley
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Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: July 23, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: November 15, 2002
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