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.

1Dennis Nilsen

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

2Joseph James DeAngelo

Joseph James DeAngelo
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Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthday: 08 November 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.

3Zodiac Killer

Zodiac Killer
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Famous As: Serial killer
Birthday: 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.

4Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar
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Famous As: Colombian Drug Lord
Birthday: 01 December 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Colombian
Died: 02 December 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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5Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy
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Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthday: 24 November 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: 24 January 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.

6Al Capone

Al Capone
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Famous As: Gangster
Birthday: 17 January 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: 25 January 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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7Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer
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Famous As: Serial Killer, Sex Offender
Birthday: 21 May 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: 28 November 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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8Ted Kaczynski

Ted Kaczynski
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Famous As: Terrorist, Anarchist
Birthday: 22 May 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.

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9Charles Manson

Charles Manson
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Famous As: Criminal and Murderer
Birthday: 12 November 1934
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: 19 November 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.

10Edmund Kemper

Edmund Kemper
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Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthday: 18 December 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.

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11John Gotti

John Gotti
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Famous As: Mobster & Mafia
Birthday: 27 October 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: 10 June 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.

12Frank Abagnale

Frank Abagnale
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Famous As: Impostor, Fraudster
Birthday: 27 April 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.

13John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy
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Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthday: 17 March 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: 10 May 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.

14Richard Ramirez

Richard Ramirez
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Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthday: 29 February 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: 07 June 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. 

15Dawood Ibrahim

Dawood Ibrahim
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Famous As: Criminal
Birthday: 27 December 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Indian

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.

16Robert Hansen

Robert Hansen
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Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthday: 15 February 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: 21 August 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.

17David Berkowitz

David Berkowitz
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Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthday: 01 June 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.”

18Harold Shipman

Harold Shipman
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Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthday: 14 January 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: 13 January 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.

19Josef Mengele

Josef Mengele
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Famous As: War Criminal
Birthday: 16 March 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: 07 February 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.

20Scott Peterson

Scott Peterson
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Famous As: Murderer
Birthday: 24 October 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.

21Paul Castellano

Paul Castellano
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Famous As: Gangster
Birthday: 26 June 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: 16 November 1985

Popularly known as the Howard Hughes of the Mob, Paul Castellano was the head of the Gambino crime family. He played such a prominent role in the American underworld that he was later portrayed in several films, such as Gotti, Witness to the Mob, and The Big Heist

22Fred West

Fred West
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Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthday: 29 September 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: 01 January 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.

23Samantha Lewthwaite

Samantha Lewthwaite
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Famous As: Suspected Terrorist
Birthday: 05 December 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: 12 November 2014

Called the ‘white widow’, British national Samantha Lewthwaite is one of the most wanted terrorists in the world. She has been linked to the Somali terrorist group Al Shabaab and was reportedly involved in the 2013 Nairobi Westgate shopping mall terror attack. She is the widow of one of the four suicide bombers who carried out the July 2005 London subway terror attacks.

24Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes
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Famous As: Business Woman
Birthday: 03 February 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

25John List

John List
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Famous As: Criminal
Birthday: 17 September 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: 21 March 2008

26Eric Rudolph

Eric Rudolph
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Famous As: Criminal
Birthday: 19 September 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

27Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper
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Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthday: 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.

28Timothy McVeigh

Timothy McVeigh
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Famous As: Terrorist
Birthday: 23 April 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: 11 June 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.

29Ed Gein

Ed Gein
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Famous As: Murderer
Birthday: 27 August 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: 26 July 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.

30Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos
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Famous As: Serial killer
Birthday: 29 February 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: 09 October 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.

31Mark David Chapman

Mark David Chapman
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Famous As: Killer of John Lennon
Birthday: 10 May 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

32Michael Franzese

Michael Franzese
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Famous As: Crime Boss
Birthday: 27 May 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

33Andrew Cunanan

Andrew Cunanan
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Famous As: Serial killer
Birthday: 31 August 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: 23 July 1997

34John Dillinger

John Dillinger
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Famous As: Bank Robber
Birthday: 22 June 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: 22 July 1934

35Pol Pot

Pol Pot
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Famous As: Former Prime Minister of Cambodia
Birthday: 19 May 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Cambodian
Died: 15 April 1998

36Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams
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Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthday: 27 May 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

37Lucky Luciano

Lucky Luciano
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Famous As: Gangster
Birthday: 11 November 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Italian, American
Died: 26 January 1962

38Gary Ridgway

Gary Leon Ridgway
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Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthday: 18 February 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

39Adolf Eichmann

Otto Adolf Eichmann
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Famous As: One of the Main Organizers of the Holocaust
Birthday: 19 March 1906
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: 31 May 1962

40Rosemary West

Rosemary West
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Famous As: Serial killer
Birthday: 29 November 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

41D. B. Cooper

D. B. Cooper
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Famous As: Criminal
Birthday: 0000 AD
Nationality: American

42Henry Hill

Henry Hill
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Famous As: Criminal
Birthday: 11 June 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: 12 June 2012

43Billy the Kid

Billy the Kid
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Famous As: Gunman
Birthday: 17 November 1859
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: 14 July 1881

44H. H. Holmes

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

45H. H. Holmes

H. H. Holmes
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Famous As: Criminal, Serial killer
Birthday: 16 May 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: 07 May 1896

46Jared Fogle

Jared Fogle
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Famous As: Actor
Birthday: 23 August 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

47Jesse James

Jesse James
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Famous As: American Outlaw & Gang Leader
Birthday: 05 September 1847
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: 03 April 1882

48Anders Behring Breivik

Anders Behring Breivik
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Famous As: Terrorist
Birthday: 13 February 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Norwegian

49Robert Durst

Robert Durst
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Famous As: Criminal
Birthday: 12 April 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

50Blackbeard

Blackbeard
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Famous As: Pirate
Birthday: 0000 AD
Nationality: British
Died: 22 November 1718
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