Can You Match These Famous Criminals to Their Crimes?

By: Kennita Leon
Image: Youtube via heliospm

About This Quiz

Criminals come in all shapes and sizes, and while their rationales for committing their crimes aren't always clear, at least to us, something in their mind justifies the deed as a means to some kind of end. So whether they choose to become involved in organized crime, mass murder, fraud, cannibalism or good ol' theft, these men (and women) have done enough bad to go down as some of the worst and most notorious criminals in the world. 

Today, we're going to give you a picture of each criminal and even tell you their names. Your job is to go digging around in that wonderful brain of yours and tell us what they're most known for. Now the reason we're saying "most known for" is because these guys usually have a long list of evil deeds in their repertoire. Those who commit multiple murders usually torture their victims, kidnap them and sometimes even eat them. And while they are all wrong, you need to choose the one they're remembered for. 

So, if you think you've got what it takes to correctly match the crime to the name and the face, take our quiz! Would your local police department be proud of you, or would they shake their heads in shame? Let's find out! 

Born William Henry McCarty, Jr., Billy the Kid had many other aliases, including William H. Bonny. After the death of his parents while a teenager, Billy became a petty thief. He eventually became a gunfighter for a gang and legend has it that he killed 21 people. On further investigation over the years, this number is probably far lower. Billy was eventually killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett. He was just 21 when he died.

It was under the leadership of Lucky Luciano that the Mafia as we know it today started to take shape. Luciano helped turn small, petty crimes into a larger, organized enterprise capable of bringing in some serious cash. He also helped set up five crime families in New York, with himself at the head. This brought him to the attention of the authorities and, in 1936, Luciano was arrested and slapped with 62 charges against his name. He was sentenced to between 30 and 50 years in prison and deported in 1946. The following year he tried to set up a base of operations in Cuba, but he didn't have the same influence as earlier. He returned to his homeland and died in Naples in 1962.

Born in Indiana in 1903, John Dillinger entered a life of crime early, first through petty theft. At the age of 21, Dillinger robbed a grocery store but was apprehended by authorities. He spent time in jail for his crime and, upon his release, he moved to Chicago. Dillinger set up a crime syndicate that operated in numerous states over the next couple of years. He became a national celebrity, with brands such as Ford and Hudson using his fame to drive sales. Dillinger underwent facial reconstruction surgery to try to hide his identity and even burnt off his fingerprints. He was eventually killed in an ambush in 1934 with the FBI, after they received information from Dillinger's friend, Ana Sage.

One of the most famous assassins in history, Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with killing President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963. Although he maintained his innocence, Oswald had military training, was an above-average marksman and had leanings towards socialism. Between 1959 and 1962, Oswald lived in Moscow where he took a Soviet wife. Oswald was killed two days after Kennedy's assassination by nightclub owner, Jack Ruby.

Pol Pot was the infamous leader of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, it is thought that over 2 million people died during their grip on power, between 1975 and 1979. They were displaced from power thanks to an invasion by Vietnam, and fought a guerrilla war thereafter. Pot, also known as Saloth Sar, was never brought to justice for his crimes against humanity. He died in 1998.

Possibly the most famous drug kingpin in the world, Pablo Escobar started out in the drug trade in the 1970s in Columbia. He was the mastermind behind the Medellin cartel, a collaboration of Columbian drug lords. Soon, over 80% of cocaine going to the United States was at Escobar's command. He turned to a life of crime from an early age, first as a street thief before moving up the ranks. In the '70s, he saw potential in the cocaine market and effectively took it over, killing when he needed to. In his prime, over 15 tons of cocaine were moved into the U.S. each day for profits of $420 million a week. His fortune quickly escalated to at least $30 billion. Eventually, Escobar was jailed, but he escaped and was shot dead in 1993.

Jeffrey Dahmer was one of the United States’ most notorious criminals. In a 13-year span, from 1978 to when he was captured in 1991, Dahmer murdered 17 male victims. Not only that, but he often dismembered his victims or performed sexual acts on them. In some cases, he even kept body parts of his victims and cannibalized them. There was a 9-year gap between his first and his second victim. In this time, Dahmer was arrested twice for indecent exposure and had numerous other close calls with the police before he was finally caught in 1991 after an intended victim, Tracey Edwards, had escaped from his clutches. He was convicted and was sent to jail to serve 16 life terms but was killed in prison in 1994 by a fellow inmate.

Many from his community were shocked when John Wayne Gacy was arrested for the disappearance of Robert Piest in 1978, Gacy, who owned a construction company, was a respected person in his community. But Gacy had a dark side no one knew about. After a previous conviction for sexual assault in 1968, he went on to kill 33 young men or boys in the next decade, burying them under his house. He was found guilty in 1980 and sentenced to death. Gacy was executed in 1994.

Although he was connected to over 30 murders, Ted Bundy could have been involved in much more. It is widely believed that Bundy started his killing spree around 1974. Bundy would sit in his car, a VW Beetle, pretend to be injured and lure his victims in. He would then rape them and beat them to death. Bundy was arrested for kidnap in 1975 and jailed. While in jail, he was accused of the murder of another victim. After appearing in court, where he defended himself, Bundy escaped but was caught a little over a week later. He then escaped from jail, managing to get all the way to Florida before he was caught again, but not before committing two more murders. He was eventually executed in 1989.

Involved in organized crime in the Boston area in the 1970s, '80s and '90s, Whitey Bulger also acted as a police informant. He was forced to flee the area in 1995 and was eventually captured in 2011. It is alleged Bulger was involved in 19 murders as well as other organized crime dealings, including money laundering, extortion and drugs. After his capture, he was convicted of 11 murders and a host of other charges. He was sentenced to jail to serve two life sentences. Incidentally, Bulger hated his nickname and preferred to be called "Boots."

In 1981, John Hinckley, Jr attempted to assassinate then-President Ronald Reagan. He wounded Reagan, Press Secretary James Brady, a secret service agent and a police officer. It was not his first run-in with the law, as earlier in the 1970s he had stalked actress Jodie Foster. Hinckley was declared insane and lived in an institution until he was released into the care of his mother in 2016.

A notorious criminal from the Old West, Jesse James was part of the James-Younger gang in Missouri. James and his brother Frank left the Confederate Army to become outlaws, robbing banks, stagecoaches and trains. Over a period of more than twenty years, they were responsible for a host of robberies amounting to around $200,000. Their notoriety led to a massive reward for their capture and, in 1882, James' own gang members turned on him. James was shot in the back of the head by henchman Bob Ford and died instantly.

Hitler's private secretary and the head of the Nazi Party Chancellery, Martin Bormann had extensive influence in Germany after the rise of the Third Reich. As the war drew to a close, the Nazis knew that all was lost. Hitler decided to take his own life, while Bormann attempted to escape the Soviet troops encircling Berlin. For years, what actually happened to Bormann remained a mystery. Rumors said he had been killed in Berlin, while other said Bormann had escaped to Argentina. In 1972 two skeletons were dug up in Berlin. After DNA testing in 1998, one was positively identified as Bormann.

The former head of the Gambino crime family, John Gotti came into power by having his then-boss, Paul Castellano, killed, which allowed him to seize power. Under Gotti's control, the family grew in power, raking in over $500 million during his reign. Gotti ruled with an iron hand and is said to have killed at least 40 people himself while ordering the death of anywhere from 600 to 1,100 others. Gotti was eventually sold out by his underboss, Sammy Gravano, and received a life sentence. He died in jail in 2002 from cancer.

Paul Castellano ran the Gambino crime family after the death of Carlo Gambino in 1976. He was known never to give information to the police that could bring down fellow gangsters and even served time in jail because of it. He married into the Gambino crime family in 1937 and rose through the ranks, helping to run money-making operations like the rigging of construction bids, the infiltration of unions and corruption in political circles. Once the head of the family, Castellano took a low profile, but government agents managed to tap his home phone and collect evidence on family activities. He was arrested in 1984 but released after paying $2 million in bail. Castellano died in a hail of bullets in 1985 at the hands of John Gotti's henchman, which allowed Gotti to take over the family.

Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel entered a life of crime at an early age, later becoming an infamous crime boss. He acquired his nickname at school but hated it! Siegel had ties with other leading crime bosses, including Lucky Luciano. He was friends with a number of Hollywood actors and singers, including Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra. Siegel was never booked for a serious crime in his life, despite his known dealings as a gangster. He was involved in the beginnings of Las Vegas but died before he could see it become successful. Siegel was murdered in 1947 and no one has ever been charged with his death.

The leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden was held responsible for a number of attacks on United States installations outside of the country before that fateful day of 9/11, including the bombing of its embassy in Kenya in 1998. But it was the coordinated attacks on New York and Washington, for which al-Qaeda claimed responsibility, that led to the States invading Afghanistan to hunt bin Laden down. After searching for him for years, he was finally tracked to a compound in Islamabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden was killed in the ensuing raid and his body was buried at sea.

After murdering five people, the most famous being fashion designer Gianni Versace, Andrew Cunanan committed suicide in Miami in 1997. The motives for his murder spree were never known. Cunanan had a history of violence, including dislocating his mother's shoulder after she shouted at him when he came out as gay. He also watched and acted in violent adult movies. It was initially thought that he was diagnosed HIV positive, something that then fuelled his murder spree. This was debunked, however, when an autopsy showed him to be HIV negative.

"Scarface." Perhaps one of the most famous criminals in U.S. history. Al Capone came from an immigrant Italian family. After he was expelled from school at the age of 14, Capone fell under the wing of gangster Johnny Torrio. Capone moved up through Torrio's gangs, eventually becoming a member of the Five Points Gang. During a fight in a saloon, Capone was cut on the cheek and earned his nickname. Torrio went to Chicago to expand his racketeering empire and Capone went with. He eventually succeeded Torrio as boss and built up his huge criminal empire, taking out rivals along the way. Capone was eventually arrested for tax evasion and spent seven years in jail. He was paroled in 1939 and died in 1948.

Half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie Parker fell in love with criminal Clyde Barrow in 1930, later even helping him to break out of jail by smuggling in a gun. Soon she entered a life of crime with Barrow when the pair formed a gang and went on a crime spree, mostly involving armed robbery. Parker was captured during a failed robbery attempt in 1932 but released after she said she was kidnapped and before anyone had worked out she was part of the gang. Parker loved writing poetry and penned many pieces while awaiting trial. She eventually died with Barrow in a hail of bullets during a police ambush in 1934.

William "Boss" Tweed entered politics in New York City in the mid-1800s. He quickly rose up the ranks of the Democratic Party, becoming more and more powerful as the leader of Tammany Hall, a political organization linked to the party. Tweed was corrupt to the core. By using people he trusted in key positions, he took control of the city government. As an example, although he wasn't a lawyer, Tweed opened a law office. He then received massive payments from businesses for his "legal services," which for all intents and purposes were extortion kickbacks. He even gained control of the treasury of New York, allowing him access to large amounts of money. He was arrested in 1873 for forgery but was released, only to be arrested again in 1875. Tweed escaped jail and fled to Spain, via Cuba. Eventually, he was recaptured and sent back to a New York jail, where he died from pneumonia in 1878.

The "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez would break into the homes of his victims, torture and rape them. He ended up killing 13 of his 25 known victims. He started his spree in 1984, which lasted until 1985. He was eventually tracked down, thanks to the police identifying his stolen car and finally getting some positive identification on him which was circulated to the public. He was arrested and saved from a mob after a failed carjacking. His trial took four years, but eventually he was convicted of 43 charges and received 19 death sentences. He remained on death row for 23 years before dying of cancer-related complications.

In 2015, Oskar Groening, a former guard at the Auschwitz death camp, was convicted of being an accessory to 300,000 murders of Jewish inmates. Known as the "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz," Groening was tasked with sorting the possessions of victims of the gas chambers, as well as counting the money confiscated from them. Groening talked in detail about his duties, admitting a moral guilt. The 95-year-old was sentenced to four years in prison.

Aileen Wuornos, the subject of the Hollywood movie, "Monster," admitted to killing six men between December 1989 and September 1990. Wuornos worked as a highway prostitute and claimed the men tried to rape her and that she acted in self-defense. Her lover, Tyria Moore, made a deal with the state and managed to get Wuornos to confess to all the murders during a phone call. She was found guilty and was eventually executed in 2002.

One-half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde, Clyde Barrow was born into a poor family. Influenced by his brother, Barrow entered a life of crime after leaving school at 16. Starting with thievery, Barrow quickly moved onto stealing vehicles and then armed robbery. By the time he was 20, he was a wanted fugitive. After meeting Bonnie Parker and falling in love, Barrow was arrested but with Parker's help, he escaped jail only to be arrested again. This time, his mother had arranged for his parole. Reunited with Parker, the pair formed a gang and went on a crime spree which eventually ended in both their deaths in 1934.

Serial killer Michael Ross murdered eight young women in New York and Connecticut, seven of whom he also raped. In 1987 he was convicted and sentenced to death after that. In 2005, he was executed, and this became the first execution in New England in 45 years.

This Italian criminal was a prominent figure in the American mafia during the Prohibition era, where he worked for crime bosses such as Lucky Luciano and Joe Masseria. Genovese was a hitman who was eventually convicted in 1958 and died in 1969.

Anastasia was a member of Murder Inc- a name that was used to refer to the hitmen who executed hits for Lucky Luciano during the Prohibition era. This was comprised of members of organized crime groups such as the Italians and Jewish mob, among others. In 1957, Anastasia was assassinated at a local barbershop.

The "Red Light Bandit" was a name given to Caryl Chessman- the man indicted for several counts of rape, robbery and kidnapping, committed starting in 1948. His case created major controversy over the implementation of the death penalty and he was executed in 1960 for his crimes.

As the head of the Bonanno crime family, Joseph Bonanno had earned his title as one of the most dangerous criminals of the 1930-1960s. Despite his notoriety, he was imprisoned for contempt of court and obstruction of justice rather than crimes directly related to his crime family. Bonnano died in 2002 at 97 years of age.

"Unabomber," as he is commonly known, refers to Ted Kaczynski, who mailed a series of letter bombs to airlines and universities from 1978 to 1996. The former Harvard graduate's antics resulted in the deaths of three people and wounded over twenty more.

James Earl Ray was convicted for the shooting death of civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr, that took place on April 4th, 1968. In 1969, in order to avoid a jury trial, he pleaded guilty and served 29 years in prison until he died in 1998 due to illness.

Cowboy Tom Horn was hung in 1903 for the murder of teenage Willie Nickel, the son of a rancher. Many have doubted whether or not Horn actually killed the fourteen-year-old, as the circumstances surrounding his confession are debatable. He was, however, suspected to be a hired hitman for prominent cattle owners.

Soviet native Andrei Chikatilo was known as the "Red Ripper" or the "Butcher of Rostov" for the gruesome crimes he committed. Chikatilo brutally raped and killed young men and women after luring them into forested areas. He often ate their body parts and, upon capture, it was discovered that he reeked of human flesh he had just consumed.

At 24 years of age, this American serial killer was arrested and held responsible for eight different random but fatal shootings that occurred from 1976-1977 in New York City. The .44 Caliber Killer murdered six people and wounded several more.

Griselda Blanco, also known as the "Queen of Cocaine" was the leading lady of organized crime when she rose to prominence in the 1970s. In 1985, she was convicted and served six years' jail time but was known to use false aliases to evade capture. In 2012, she was gunned down in the city of Medellín, Columbia.

As the cult leader of the People's Temple in Guyana, Jim Jones brainwashed 900 members into committing the act by drinking cyanide poisoning. Later on at that same location, the self-proclaimed socialist was found dead with a possible self-inflicted wound to the head.

On December 14th, 2012, Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and shot six staff members and 20 first graders, before committing suicide. Before this, the twenty-year-old had also shot his mother dead. The shooting has been deemed to be one of the worst mass shootings in the history of the United States.

American gangster Henry Hill became an FBI informant in 1980 after being captured by the authorities and fearing payback from fellow mobsters. However, when Henry didn't entirely leave his past behind, he was kicked out of the Witness Protection Program due to his drug addiction. The 1990 film Goodfellas is based on his life story.

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