10 Most Brilliant Criminals In History
Rather than using their powers for good, genius criminal minds spend their time figuring out how to pull off the most perfect crimes in history. Keep in mind, we are not honoring the brilliance of these criminal masterminds. We’re just acknowledging that brilliance can be used for evil as well as good. These are the 10 Most Brilliant Criminals In History.
10 Adam Worth
Known as the “Napoleon of Crime,” Adam was the most notorious safe cracker and bank robber in the northeast during the mid 1800’s. He then sailed to England and masqueraded as a wealthy gentleman in order to evade the law. He was eventually caught in Belgium.
9 Tom Horn
Tom was a man of many talents. His careers spanned everything from army scout to lawman. His most notorious profession though? Outlaw. And even though he wasn’t as well known as Jesse James or Billy the Kid, Tom made a name for himself in the violence department. He was eventually executed by hanging.
8 The Banco Central Heist
Apart from when Saddam Hussein stole $1 billion from the Central Bank of Iraq, this Brazilian heist is the largest on record at $69.8 million. The thieves rented a property near the bank and then over the next few months, they dug a tunnel straight to the vault. They haven’t been caught.
7 French Vacuum Gang
With perhaps one of the most ingenious robbery techniques on our list, the French Vacuum Gang has been stealing hundreds of thousands of euros from local supermarkets. Still uncaught, they drilled holes into the tubes that employees used to send leftover cash to the store’s vault. After drilling the hole they inserted the vacuum, and payday baby!
6 D. B. Cooper
DB Cooper is a name the media used to refer to an unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 727 mid-flight near Seattle in 1971. He made off with $200,000 in ransom money before parachuting to an unknown fate. The man has never been identified.
Note: His media name came from the fact that he had purchased his ticket under the name of “Dan Cooper.”
5 Ted Kaczynski (Unabomber)
Prior to being a terrorist, Ted was actually a mathematical prodigy. He was accepted into Harvard at the age of 16 and earned his PhD in math from the University of Michigan.
4 Leonardo Notarbartolo
Leonardo is believed to be the mastermind behind the Antwerp Diamond Heist in 2003, which was dubbed the “heist of the century.” He was the only thief to be arrested. He served some time in jail but was then released. The diamonds remain unrecovered and there is some speculation that Leonardo even allowed himself to be caught. If that’s true, he’s now a rich man who can’t be put back in jail for a crime he already served time for. Pretty clever…
3 Frank William Abagnale Jr
The inspiration behind the movie “Catch Me If You Can,” Frank is one of the most famous impostors in history. Before his 21st birthday, he had assumed the identity of a pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer. He escaped from police custody twice (once from a taxiing plane) before the government hired him to help them identify forgeries and other crimes. Today, he runs a successful financial fraud company.
2 Charles Manson
If there was ever somebody who most closely embodied the Joker (he just wanted to watch the world burn), Charles Manson would be it. Using his twisted charm, this songwriter from California managed to create the Manson Family, a cult with which he hoped to start a massive race war. At the end of the day, he was arrested for numerous murders but somehow managed to became a pop culture icon while in jail. It sounds like something not even Hollywood could make up.
1 Al Capone
When it comes to public relations, Capone was a master. Up until the St Valentines Day Massacre (where his gang murdered seven members of an opposing gang in broad daylight), he was actually well received by the residents of Chicago. Although his gang name was “Scarface,” the people called him “Robin Hood” and cheered when he appeared at ball games. This perception was apparently because of his donations and support of various local charities.
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