Crime is a fascinating topic which the whole of humanity is engaged by. Regardless of where you are in the world, discussions, and occurrences of the crime immediately grab people’s attention and give them something to think about. This obsession with rule-breaking and the people behind it has led to a host of scientific studies, television shows, stories, and more, with creatives inspired by gruesome or dark tales.
In this guide we intend to look at some of the most famous criminals humanity has ever seen. These names are well known throughout the globe but for all of the wrong reasons and have individually inspired a host of stories surrounding their lives.
Pablo Escobar was the leader of the Medellín drug cartel, a criminal Columbian organization which smuggled billions of dollars worth of cocaine, much of which made its way to the USA. In its heyday, the cartel and Escobar were making up for $420 million a week, culminating in a supposed net worth of $25 billion. His wealth was so large that he offered to pay off the entirety of Columbia’s debt, amounting to $10 billion, on the condition that he would be exempt from any requests of extradition for his crimes.
With a host of unique achievements including making his way into a Columbian congressional seat, Pablo Escobar was a colorful personality with a unique life. Stories of his escapades have inspired many books, songs, and films, resulting in his name remaining infamous.
Jack the Ripper
Arguably, Jack the Ripper is the most famous criminal ever, despite the fact that nobody really knows who he was. Having been responsible for murders in Whitechapel, London throughout the late 1880s, the ripper was a ruthless killer who mutilated his victims and removed their organs before leaving them to be found.
The Jack the Ripper murders were so brutal that they shocked the entire city, causing panic and rumors to spread. Despite coming close, the police never caught the ripper or if they did, they couldn’t prove him guilty. To this day, nearly a century and a half later, people still analyze evidence hoping to find definitive proof of who Jack the Ripper was – trying to solve one of the biggest unsolved crime mysteries. With countless popular culture references to the man, you will be continuing to hear Jack the Ripper’s name for a long time to come.
Al Capone was an infamous American gangster who dominated Chicago between 1925 and 1931 through organized crime and intimidation. Coming to prominence during the Prohibition-era, Capone was unquestionably ruthless in dispatching his rivals, earning him a gory reputation for having little-to-no mercy.
Capone made most of his money through gambling, bootlegging, and prostitution, using intimidation and violence to take over more of the city over time. This culminated in an estimated wealth of nearly $100 million. He was eventually caught for tax evasion and conspiracy to violate Prohibition laws, serving long stints in prison before being released and dying in his Florida home. This is easily one of the most recognizable criminals in history.
These individuals are not the only famous criminals that humanity has seen but they are some of the most recognizable and important. Each of these individuals has impacted modern culture and media, leaving a lasting impression on what we consider a criminal and how we display that concept when describing it to others.
If you are interested in true crime and the history behind the names that you know, we encourage you to do further research or, if you aren’t a fan of reading consider listening to podcasts. There are many crime-driven podcasts which center on the more gruesome side of being human.