The Top 15 Most Notorious Criminals in America

By jstruge - September 13, 2018
Credits: The Guard Dog

Crime and violence are a part of every society and the United States is no exception. It is a fact that the residents of the United States feel more safe and secure today. But there are still some elements that have badly affected the reputation of this country. In order to make things easier for you, we have prepared a list of the top 15 most notorious criminals in America. These are 15 people who have turned the once peaceful and idyllic US of A into the gun-toting, terror-attacked country that it is today. Thanks, guys.

The Zodiac Killer

Credits: the vintage news

Nobody could ever figure out who the Zodiac Killer was.

He was the person who spread terror in California in the 60s and 70s. He killed many couples in parked cars. He also stabbed a few people who were basking in a park in broad daylight. He was a hidden character and the law enforcement departments could not find him even after a lot of effort. He was known to send different messages to media that are yet to be deciphered. Creepy, weird, and mysterious, oh my.

Charles Manson


Charles Manson was also a very famous public figure in the history of the United States.

But unfortunately, he became one of the most notorious criminals in America due to some rather illegal activities. Manson and his family killed Sharon Tate and some of her friends in the struggle of sparking a race war. There are some people who believe that the unresponsiveness to Charles Manson’s music was the major factor that forced him to take such steps. He’s a sensitive soul, I guess. Pity.

John Gotti

Credits: wikipedia

John Gotti earned the title of “Dapper Don” based on his flamboyant personality and flashy suits. In the 80s and 90s, he was known as the mob lord in New York City as he was running the murderous Gambino crime family.

He was, essentially, the quintessential movie idea of a Mafia boss. Gotti was sent to prison without the possibility of parole. He spent the rest of his life in prison and eventually died there as well. However he is now considered one of the most notorious criminals in America.

Jesse James


It is said that Jesse James used to steal money from the rich to give to the poor. So basically, Robin Hood without the bow and arrow.

But the evidence shows that he was one of the most notorious criminals in America and he only stole money for his own gang. He robbed banks, trains, and stagecoaches with his gang. Moreover, he participated in atrocities against civilian abolitionists and Union soldiers. Despite their brutality, the James Gang earned a lot of sympathy among the public. He was killed by a member of his own gang.

John Dillinger

Credits: FBI

John Dillinger was one of the most notorious criminals in America.

He robbed many banks in the 20th century. He did not only rob banks but he also killed many people with his machine gun. He is the famous criminal who escaped prison with a fake wooden gun. Yep, read that again: a FAKE WOODEN GUN, folks. What a creative guy. He was also known for his unique looks and style. However, he was killed by security forces while walking out of a movie theatre.

Ted Bundy

Credits: newyorker

Ted Bundy was a rising star of the Washington State Republican Party in the 1970s. However, he became a famous serial killer in U.S history by killing a huge number of people.

He killed many people in Washington and then he moved to Florida where he killed two women and 12-year-old Kimberly Diane Leach. Once in prison, he claimed that he had killed more than 50 people. I mean, if you’re going to be good at something, take up woodcarving or train collecting or something, amiright? He died in the electric chair on Jan 24, 1989.

Tim McVeigh

Credits: uk.businessinsider

Timothy McVeigh was a domestic terrorist who was involved in the Oklahoma City bombing.

He is undoubtedly one of the most notorious criminals in America. You remember him, don’t you? On April 19, 1995, he detonated a truck bomb in a federal building of Oklahoma City. Around 168 people were killed as a result of this attack. The Oklahoma City bombing was one of the largest terrorist attacks that took place on American Soil. McVeigh was sentenced to death and died in 2001.

Jeffrey Dahmer

Credits: The Guard Dog

The heinous acts of this brutal character made Jeffrey Dahmer one of the most notorious criminals in America.

He was the person who stored severed heads in the fridge in his Milwaukee apartment. And the cops also found a torso in his freezer. There’s even a theory circulating that Dahmer was trying to create sex zombies. Whoa, mister. That is MESSED UP. Whatever he was doing, his apartment was absolutely worse than a nightmare and nobody would ever wish to visit such a place.

Harold Nicholson

Credits: wikipedia

Harold Nicholson was a former CIA agent who was accused of passing classified information to Russia.

In 1994, the agency found that he was working for Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service. The security officials investigated the entire situation and found that he was not only passing confidential information to Russia but he was also committing money laundering. He was involved in several other criminal activities. Well, he definitely wasn’t lazy! He is now serving time in prison and will be released in 2024.

Adam Lanza

Credits: business insider

On Dec 14, 2012, Adam Lanza brought terror to Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. And the strange part is that he was only 20 years old at that time. However, he entered the school with a handgun and a semi-automatic rifle and fired 154 shots within five minutes. He killed six educators and 20 first-graders.

And the shocking part is that he committed suicide after this inhumane act. The authorities found during the investigation that he had already killed his mother in their Newtown home before the school shooting.

Thomas Silverstein

Credits: murderpedia

Thomas Silverstein is considered one of the most dangerous prisoners in the American prison system right now. In 1980, he was serving time for armed robberies in Leavenworth, Kansas when he killed a prison guard and two fellow inmates.

At that time, authorities decided to shift him to the ADX – a supermax prison in Colorado. He has been in solitary confinement since 1983. November 2, 2095 is his earliest theoretical date of release. Silverstein was obviously not happy with that decision and he claimed it was torture. I mean, can’t a guy just constantly cause chaos and kill people in his own prison in PEACE? Sheesh. We can only hope that he won’t harm anyone else in prison.

Michael Swango

Credits: wikipedia

Michael Swango was accused of poisoning people in 1984. Investigators found that the former physician was involved in more than 60 fatal poisonings of colleagues and patients.

However, he only admitted to causing four deaths. He used to prescribe an overdose of a drug to the patients and sometimes, he wrote unnecessary prescriptions of dangerous drugs. He also used to offer poisonous foods and beverages to his coworkers. How sweet of him. He is now serving a life sentence at ADX.


Credits: wikipedia

John Wayne Gacy is not only considered to be one of the most notorious criminals in the history of the United States but he is also known as one of the most prolific serial killers ever.

This brutal person murdered 33 young boys by stuffing them into the crawl space of his home. He used to perform as a clown at various fundraising events. And he kidnapped the kids during these events. Wha?!? In 1994, he was put to death by lethal injection. Bet you’ll never throw a circus-themed kid party again!

Ted Kaczynski

Credits: wikipedia

Ted Kaczynski is also known as the Unabomber. He was an anarchist, a mathematician, and a serial murderer. He was engaged in a nationwide bombing campaign from 1978 to 1995.

The campaign was launched against people involved with modern technology. He planted numerous homemade bombs that killed three people. And more than 23 people were injured due to these bomb attacks. His early targets were airlines and universities, therefore, he was known as Unabomber (kinda catchy, right?). He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Ramzi Yousef

Credits: investigativeprojectonterrorism

Ramzi Yousef is arguably the most brutal character in the history of the United States because he is the mastermind behind the 1993 attack on New York City’s World Trade Center. He was sort of a pre-911 practice.

Yousef planted a truck bomb below the North Tower on February 26, 1993. He had a plan of destroying the North and South Tower with one shot but the plan failed. However, thousands of people were injured as a result of this attack and 6 were killed. Yousef is now serving a life sentence in ADX. Serves him right.