Billy the Kid was a gunfighter of the American Old West whose notoriety grew when he escaped from jail after killing two sheriff's deputies. He remains one of the most notorious personalities of the American Old West, whose life has been often dramatized in popular culture. His story has inspired over 50 films, including Billy the Kid, and The Outlaw.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mary Ann Cotton was an English serial killer who was convicted for the murder of her stepson. Cotton is believed to have killed 11 of her children and three of her husbands for their insurance policies. Mary Ann Cotton was sentenced to death and was executed by hanging.
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.
Mobster Danny Greene was an associate of Cleveland-based gangster John Nardi in the 1970s’ gang war, in which they set off car bombs. Greene served as the president of the International Longshoremen's Association and also had his own gang, named the Celtic Club. He was assassinated in a car-bomb attack.
Karla Faye Tucker was a convicted criminal who killed two people with a pickaxe during a burglary. She committed the crime with a few accomplices in 1983. She was convicted of murder the following year and sentenced to death. She was executed by lethal injection in 1998. She was the first woman to be executed in US since1984.
Moses Sithole is a South African rapist and serial killer who killed at least 38 people between 1994 and 1995. Nicknamed the ABC Killer, as he started murdering women in Atteridgeville before continuing his killing spree in Boksburg and then in Cleveland, Sithole was imprisoned in 1997 and is currently incarcerated in Bloemfontein at the Mangaung Correctional Centre.
Kody Scott was a criminal who was part of the Los Angeles gang the Eight Tray Gangster Crips. He had a difficult childhood marred by abuse and became involved in crimes early on. He was arrested and imprisoned many times. He eventually joined the Republic of New Afrika movement and became a black nationalist. He died homeless in 2021.
Khmer Rouge leader Kang Kek Iew headed the Cambodian government’s internal security branch and was in charge of the Tuol Sleng (S-21) prison camp. Charged with crimes against humanity, he was punished with 30 years of imprisonment, a sentence that was later extended to life imprisonment.
Omar Ismaël Mostefaï was a French terrorist of Algerian descent. He was part of the Brussels Islamic State terror cell, a group of terrorists accused of organizing large-scale terrorist attacks in 2015 in Paris and in 2016 in Brussels.
Ol' Dirty Bastard was an American rapper. He is credited with co-founding a hip hop group named Wu-Tang Clan, which rose to prominence in 1993 after the release of the group's maiden album Enter the Wu-Tang. Remembered for his outrageously profane lyrics, Ol' Dirty Bastard's legal troubles hampered his professional success. He died of a drug overdose at age 35.
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.
Klaus Barbie was a Gestapo and SS official during the Nazi era. Dubbed the Butcher of Lyon, Barbie was known for having tortured prisoners of the Gestapo while stationed in Lyon, France. It is also believed that he played a major role in the execution of Che Guevara. Barbie's life and work inspired the 2007 documentary film My Enemy's Enemy.
Franz von Papen was a German politician, Prussian nobleman, diplomat, and General Staff officer. From 1933 to 1934, he served under Adolf Hitler as the Vice-Chancellor of Germany. After World War II, Franz von Papen was indicted alongside other war criminals in the Nuremberg trials. However, he was later acquitted of all charges.
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
In 1950, 25-year-old Timothy Evans was hanged for the murders of his wife and 14-month-old daughter in their London flat. Shockingly, the main witness, a tenant named John Christie turned out to be the real killer later. The case eventually led to the abolishment of capital punishment in the country.