The Most Famous Criminal of All Time: Ranking the Infamous

Choose the criminal you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 10, 2024 08:07
Step right up and join the ranks of millions who've cast their votes in our most thrilling and controversial ranking yet! With StrawPoll, you get to delve into the dark and twisted world of crime as we try to uncover who holds the dubious title of the most famous criminal of all time. From sinister masterminds to cold-blooded killers, this is your chance to have a say in the ultimate showdown of notoriety and infamy. Brace yourself, as every vote unravels the tales of these notorious figures, sending shivers down your spine. Don't see your favorite arch-villain on our list? Fear not, as you can suggest a missing option, and watch as the battle for the top spot unfolds. So, are you ready to unleash your inner detective and embark on this chilling journey with StrawPoll? Cast your vote now and uncover the world's most famous criminal!

Who Is the Most Famous Criminal of All Time?

  1. 1
    Adolf Hitler
    Kentot785 · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Adolf Hitler - responsible for the deaths of millions during World War II and the Holocaust.
    Adolf Hitler in other rankings
  2. 2
    Osama bin Laden is founder of al-Qaeda and mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.
    Osama bin Laden in other rankings
  3. 3
    Ted Bundy
    Unknown photographer · Public domain

    Ted Bundy

    Ted Bundy
    Ted Bundy - notorious American serial killer who confessed to 30 murders.
    Ted Bundy was an American serial killer who terrorized the country during the 1970s. He was known for his charm and good looks, which he used to gain the trust of his victims before committing heinous acts of violence. Bundy's crimes were characterized by abduction, rape, and murder of young women. His case captured national attention due to the scale and brutality of his crimes, as well as his ability to evade capture for an extended period of time.
    • Number of Victims: Confirmed 30+, suspected over 100
    • Method of Killing: Strangulation, bludgeoning, and blunt force trauma
    • Victim Profile: Young women, usually college students
    • Crime Spree Timeline: 1974-1978
    • Modus Operandi: Attraction and deception to gain trust before abducting victims, often impersonating authority figures
    Ted Bundy in other rankings
  4. 4
    Pablo Escobar
    Colombian National Police · Public domain
    Colombian drug lord and leader of the Medellín Cartel.
    Pablo Escobar in other rankings
  5. 5
    Charles Manson
    California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation · Public domain
    Charles Manson is leader of a cult that committed multiple murders in the late 1960s.
    Charles Manson in other rankings
  6. 6
    Al Capone - infamous American gangster who rose to power during the Prohibition era.
    Al Capone in other rankings
  7. 7
    John Wayne Gacy
    Des Plaines Police Department · Public domain

    John Wayne Gacy

    John Wayne Gacy
    American serial killer known as the "Killer Clown" who murdered at least 33 young men and boys.
    John Wayne Gacy was an American serial killer who was active between 1972 and 1978. He sexually assaulted, tortured, and murdered at least 33 young boys and young men in Chicago, Illinois. Gacy was able to lure his victims to his home under the pretext of offering them employment or money. He would then capture and restrain them before subjecting them to prolonged periods of sexual abuse and eventually strangling them to death. Gacy's case gained significant media attention due to the high number of victims and the gruesome nature of his crimes. He was convicted in 1980 and sentenced to death. Gacy was executed by lethal injection in 1994.
    • Conviction: 1980
    • Sentence: Death
    • Target Victims: Young boys and young men
    • Notoriety: High media attention
    • Active Years: 1972 - 1978
    John Wayne Gacy in other rankings
  8. 8
    Jeffrey Dahmer
    Revere Senior High School · Public domain

    Jeffrey Dahmer

    Jeffrey Dahmer
    American serial killer and cannibal who murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys.
    Jeffrey Dahmer, also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal or the Milwaukee Monster, was an American serial killer and sex offender. He primarily targeted young men and boys, whom he would lure to his apartment with the promise of money or alcohol before sexually assaulting, killing, and dismembering them. Dahmer operated between 1978 and 1991, during which he committed 17 known murders. His infamous crimes included acts of necrophilia, cannibalism, and preservation of body parts as trophies.
    • Nationality: American
    • Alias: Milwaukee Cannibal, Milwaukee Monster
    • Operating Period: 1978-1991
    • Number of Known Victims: 17
    • Preferred Targets: Young men and boys
    Jeffrey Dahmer in other rankings
  9. 9
    Saddam Hussein
    Iraqi News Agency · Public domain
    Saddam Hussein - former President of Iraq who was responsible for numerous human rights violations and the deaths of thousands of people.
    Saddam Hussein in other rankings
  10. 10
    Jack the Ripper - unidentified serial killer who terrorized the streets of London in the late 1800s.
    Jack the Ripper is one of the most notorious and mysterious unsolved cases in criminal history. It refers to a series of gruesome murders that occurred in the Whitechapel district of London from August to November 1888. The killer, known as Jack the Ripper, targeted female prostitutes and brutally mutilated their bodies, leaving the police and public in a state of fear and perplexity.
    • Modus Operandi: Jack the Ripper targeted vulnerable female street prostitutes.
    • Number of Victims: Generally accepted as 5, but possibly more.
    • Murder Locations: All murders occurred in the Whitechapel district of London.
    • Method of Killing: Throat slashing followed by abdominal mutilation.
    • Motive: The true motive behind the killings has never been conclusively determined.
    Jack the Ripper in other rankings

Missing your favorite criminal?


Ranking factors for famous criminal

  1. Infamy
    how well-known the criminal is among the general public 2. Number of victims: the quantity of victims impacted by the criminal's actions 3. Notoriety: the level of shock, cruelty or depravity associated with the crimes committed by the criminal 4. Historical significance: the impact the criminal had on society or on the history of crime and punishment 5. Cultural impact: the extent to which the criminal has entered into popular culture, through books, movies, or other forms of media.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous criminal of all time. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Criminal is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 175 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Criminal once every 24 hours. The rank of each Criminal is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous criminal of all time

Crime has been a part of human history since the beginning of time. Over the centuries, there have been countless cases of criminal activity that have captivated the public's attention. From notorious villains like Jack the Ripper to infamous serial killers like Ted Bundy, the world has seen its fair share of criminals. However, when it comes to the title of the most famous criminal of all time, there are a few names that immediately come to mind. Whether it's their heinous crimes or their larger-than-life personalities, these individuals have become iconic figures in the world of crime. In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the most famous criminals in history and explore what makes them stand out from the rest.

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