Best known as part of the legendary criminal couple Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie Parker was infamous for her bank robberies with her partner Clyde Chestnut Barrow. They apparently murdered several policemen, too. Their crimes were romanticized in many movies including a 1967 film starring Faye Dunaway as Bonnie.
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.
A gangster of the Great Depression era, John Dillinger led a group known as the "Dillinger Gang". His gang was accused of robbing 24 banks and four police stations. He was a master evader and escaped the police’s attempts to capture him many times. He was finally shot to death by the authorities in 1934.
The Robin Hood of Australia for many and villain for others, Ned Kelly become immortal not just for his murderous confrontation with the police, but also for his reported last words “such is life”. The bushranger and outlaw remains a cult figure in Australia even a century after his execution. His sympathizers considered his as a champion of the poor.
Train and bank robber Butch Cassidy was the leader of a gang of criminal outlaws known as the "Wild Bunch" in the Old West. The son of ranchers, he ran away from home as a teenager and became involved in a life of crime. He started with minor criminal offenses and eventually became a much-feared robber.
Pretty Boy Floyd was the nickname of Charles Arthur Floyd, a bank robber who operated in the West and Central states of America. While the law enforcement officials considered him a criminal, the public had a positive opinion of him as he burned mortgage documents during the robberies, freeing many people from their debts. The FBI killed him in 1934.
Baby Face Nelson was an American bank robber. He gained notoriety during the early and mid-1930s for leading his own gang and carrying out organized crime, such as bank robbery. He was responsible for killing many FBI agents and was killed in a furious gun battle called The Battle of Barrington. His life inspired many films, including Baby Face Nelson.
Sundance Kid was the nickname of Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, an outlaw and member of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch in the American Old West. He first met Cassidy around 1896 and became part of his gang. As a Wild Bunch member, Sundance Kid participated in several train and bank robberies. He is believed to have been killed in 1908.
Alvin Karpis was a criminal best remembered for leading the infamous Barker-Karpis gang in the 1930s. Renowned for his sinister smile, Karpis, who was nicknamed Creepy, was captured by the FBI in 1936. He was then sentenced to life imprisonment and was released on parole in 1969. He spent his later years writing memoirs like The Alvin Karpis Story.
Frank James was an American Confederate soldier turned outlaw. He was a good student and once aspired to be a teacher. He served in the American Civil War and was later pushed into the world of crime. He became a part of the James-Younger Gang and participated in many robberies. He eventually quit crime to work other jobs.
Zerelda Mimms was the wife of bank and train robber Jesse James. She was the daughter of a pastor. Her mother, Mary Elizabeth, and Jesse James' father, Robert S. James, were siblings, making Zerelda and Jesse first cousins. Zerelda married Jesse in 1874. The couple had four children, two of whom died in infancy.
Willie Sutton was a bank robber with a criminal career spanning four decades. He entered the world of crime at a young age and spent more than half of his adult life in prison. He managed to escape from prison thrice. He was a master of disguise and was also known as “Willie the Actor.” He never killed anyone.
Barbara Graham was a convicted criminal who was executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin Prison in 1955. She became the third woman in California to be executed by gas. Born to an unwed teenage sex worker, she had a troubled childhood. As a young woman, she became involved with hardened criminals and took to a life of crime.
Randall Woodfield is a serial killer and rapist linked to a total of 18 murders and is suspected of having killed up to 44 victims. He was dubbed the I-5 Killer or the I-5 Bandit by the media. He began committing sexual assaults and robberies in 1975 and started murdering people in 1980. He was finally arrested in March 1981.
Black Bart was the nickname of Charles E. Boles, an outlaw who was one of the most notorious stagecoach robbers to operate in Northern California during the 1870s and early 1880s. He was considered a “gentleman bandit” with a love for sophistication. His final robbery took place in 1883, following which he was arrested. He was released in 1888.
Jacques Mesrine was a French criminal who carried out numerous burglaries, bank robberies, and kidnappings in the US, France, and Canada. He also killed many people and escaped repeatedly from prison, which earned him notoriety. Nicknamed The Man of a Thousand Faces, Jacques Mesrine was an expert in hiding his true identity. His life inspired a two-part film titled Mesrine.
Bill Doolin was an outlaw and bandit who founded the Wild Bunch, also known as the Doolin-Dalton Gang. This group of criminals committed a series of bank robberies and train robberies in Arkansas, Kansas, Indiana, and Oklahoma during the 1890s. His gang was extremely powerful. He was relentlessly pursued by lawmen and was shot to death in 1896.
Rod Ferrell is an American cult leader and murderer. A member of the Vampire Clan, Ferrell claimed to be a vampire. It was later ascertained that he had become obsessed with a game called Vampire: The Masquerade. In 1998, Rod Ferrell became the youngest American on Death Row after pleading guilty to the double murder of a couple from Florida.
Bruce Reynolds was a British criminal who was the mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery in 1963. Although he was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 1969, Reynolds was released in 1978 post which he published three books and became a popular public figure, performing alongside Alabama 3. His life and career have inspired several films and TV series.
William Brodie was a Scottish cabinet-maker, Edinburgh city councilor, and deacon of a trades guild. Brodie was also a housebreaker, a secret which he maintained almost all his life. He used the stolen money to fund his gambling habit and to maintain the household of his two mistresses. He was captured in 1788 and was sentenced to death by hanging.
Elzy Lay was an American outlaw who was part of the infamous Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch. A close associate of the founder of the gang Butch Cassidy, Lay played an important role in leading the gang which operated out of a remote pass called Hole-in-the-Wall in Johnson County, Wyoming. Lay's arrest in 1899 led to the collapse of the gang.
Claude Duval was a French highwayman who is often associated with a popular legend, according to which, he abhorred violence. He is also depicted as someone who was courteous to his victims and famous among women, making him an ideal choice for artists and writers. Claude Duval's life has inspired novels, dramas, and operas.
Israel Keyes was a serial killer, rapist, and burglar, who had killed at least three people. He previously owned a construction business and had served the U.S. army. Israel was fond of Ted Bundy and committed suicide while awaiting trail in the case related to the murder of Samantha Koenig.
A convicted criminal and author, Mark Brandon Read began his criminal career by robbing drug dealers at a very early age, eventually graduating to kidnapping and torturing of other criminals for money, as well as armed robbery. Being incarcerated for long periods, he later turned to writing, publishing fifteen books between 1991 and 2011
Known as the man who stole the Mona Lisa, La Giaconda was an amateur artist and a worker at the Louvre. Though he hid the painting in his apartment in Paris and then took it to Florence, he failed to sell it, and was eventually caught by the police after 2 years.
Caryl Chessman was a convicted criminal who was sentenced to death for a series of crimes he committed, including robbery, kidnapping, and rape. He had a difficult childhood and resorted to crimes as a young man. He joined a gang and committed a series of crimes with them before being arrested. He was executed in 1960.
Elmer McCurdy was a bank and train robber. Born to an unwed teenage mother, he struggled a lot in his early life and took to a life of crime. He was a heavy drinker and often sabotaged his gang’s robberies. He was killed in a shootout after robbing a Katy Train in Oklahoma in October 1911.
Sam Bass was a 19th-century train robber and outlaw. Having lost his parents as a child, he lived with an uncle for a few years before leaving home. He started doing odd jobs but was dissatisfied with the pay. So, he took to a life of crime and participated in numerous train robberies. He was killed by the lawmen.
Reginald Kray was an English gangster who was one of the leading perpetrators of organized crime in the East End of London along with his twin brother Ronald Kray. Along with their gang, which came to be known as The Firm, the identical twin brothers were involved in armed robbery, murder, arson, and protection rackets from the late-1950s to 1967.
Albert Spaggiari was a French criminal best remembered for organizing an infamous break-in into the Société Générale bank in July 1976 in France. Spaggiari remained free after evading arrest during his case hearings. Albert Spaggiari remains a popular figure and has been referenced in many films, such as The Great Riviera Bank Robbery and Les égouts du paradis.