The Most Famous Grave Robber: Uncovering History's Notorious Tomb Raiders

Choose the grave robber you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 19, 2024 08:10
Unearth the tales of history's most notorious plunderers with StrawPoll's thrilling new ranking: "Who is the most famous grave robber?" Delve into the dark and mysterious world of tomb raiders, as we bring you the spine-tingling stories of legendary looters known for defying the sanctity of eternal rest. From ancient pharaohs' treasure hunters to modern-day relic thieves, this cryptic collection has them all! Cast your vote and help us uncover the ultimate grave robber, or dare to suggest a missing name from the shadows of history. Don't let this once-in-an-afterlife opportunity slip away – join us in digging up the secrets of these enigmatic pillagers and reveal the true face of the world's most infamous grave robbers!

Who Is the Most Famous Grave Robber?

  1. 1
    Burke and Hare
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    These notorious grave robbers from the 19th century are infamous for murdering people and selling their bodies to medical schools for research. They were eventually caught and executed for their crimes.
  2. 2

    Ed Gein

    Edward Theodore Gein
    This American serial killer from the 1950s was also known for his grave robbing activities. He would exhume bodies from local cemeteries and use their skin and body parts to make furniture and clothing.
    Ed Gein was an infamous American serial killer who gained notoriety for his gruesome crimes and twisted behavior. He was born on August 27, 1906, in Plainfield, Wisconsin, and became one of America's most disturbing murderers. Gein's crimes inspired numerous books, movies, and characters in pop culture, making him a macabre legend in the true crime genre.
    • Birthdate: August 27, 1906
    • Birthplace: Plainfield, Wisconsin, United States
    • Occupation: Handyman, farmer
    • Murder Count: 2 confirmed, suspected in more cases
    • Modus Operandi: Grave robbing, murder, and mutilation
    Ed Gein in other rankings
  3. 3
    One half of the infamous Burke and Hare duo, Burke was known for his grave robbing and murder activities in Edinburgh, Scotland.
  4. 4
    This Englishman from the 18th century was a well-known grave robber who sold bodies to medical schools. He was eventually caught and executed for his crimes.
  5. 5
    This German-born radiology technician from the 20th century became obsessed with a patient he treated and eventually stole her body from the cemetery to keep in his home.
  6. 6
    Another member of the Burke and Hare duo, Bishop was also known for his grave robbing and murder activities in Edinburgh, Scotland.
    John Bishop in other rankings
  7. 7
    This 18th century Irishman was known as the "Irish Giant" and when he died, his body was stolen by a group of doctors who wanted to study his anatomy.
  8. 8
    This Englishman was wrongly convicted and executed for the murder of his wife and child, but it was later discovered that his landlord, John Christie, was the real killer and had buried the bodies in his garden.
  9. 9
    The landlord and killer of Timothy Evans' wife and child, Christie was also known for his grave robbing activities.
  10. 10
    This American dentist was involved in a multi-million dollar scheme where he would steal body parts from funeral homes and sell them to medical companies for transplants.

Missing your favorite grave robber?


About this ranking

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


  • 182 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

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

More information on most famous grave robber

Grave robbing has been a notorious and illegal practice for centuries, with countless individuals seeking to profit from the treasures buried with the deceased. One of the most infamous grave robbers of all time is likely Giovanni Belzoni, an Italian explorer who lived during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Belzoni was known for his incredible strength and size, which allowed him to move massive stone monuments and open tombs singlehandedly. He was also a skilled engineer and inventor, creating tools and machines specifically designed for excavating burial sites. Belzoni's exploits took him all over the world, but he is perhaps best known for his work in Egypt, where he uncovered and plundered the tombs of many pharaohs, including Seti I and Ramesses II. Though his actions were illegal and caused significant damage to many ancient sites, Belzoni's discoveries helped to shape our understanding of ancient Egyptian culture and history.

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