7 Most Notorious Criminals of All Time

It turns out that crime pays. Today, we’re ranking the Top 7 Real-Life Career Criminals.

This list will focus on the most personable, disturbed, and brutal people who have made a living by violating the law.


#7: Amado Carrillo Fuentes 1956 – 1997

Amado Carrillo Fuentes (El Señor de los Cielos) - E11ie Collection | OpenSea

For a while, there was no bringing down this “Lord of the Skies.” Amado Carrillo Fuentes was the leader of Mexico’s Juarez Cartel, a position he obtained by assassinating the group’s previous boss, Rafael Aguilar Guajardo. Fuentes was known as “El Senor de Los Cielos” thanks to the giant fleet of planes he used to transport cocaine worldwide. 


#6: James ‘Whitey’ Bulger 1929 -2018

Photos: Whitey Bulger timeline

You have to be wicked smart to evade the authorities for as long as this Southie. Born in Boston, James Bulger quickly made a name for himself as a young ne’er-do-well known for stealing and getting into fights. 

#5: Jean-Bernard Lasnaud 1942 – ??

Argentine Interpol agents escort French-American Jean Bernard Lasnaud under  arrest, after Lasnaud arrived on extradition from Switzerland as a suspect  in a 1995 arms-smuggling case, during then President Carlos Menem's  administration, at

Sometimes the biggest criminals can be hiding in plain sight. Originally born in France, Jean-Bernard Lasnaud was a wanted man in several European countries during the 1980s and 90s due to his arms trafficking, which broke several international trade embargoes. 

#4: Meyer Harris ‘Mickey’ Cohen 1913 – 1976

Mickey Cohen - The Mob Museum

To be a Hollywood star, you don’t have to act in a movie. Just ask Mickey Cohen, one of the most infamous mob bosses Los Angeles has ever seen. A scrappy fella who originally worked as muscle for the mafia during Prohibition, Cohen worked his way up the organization’s ladder until he reached the top. 

#3: John Dillinger 1903 – 1934

John Dillinger's Relatives Plan To Exhume The Gangster's Body : NPR

Yet another bad guy with good publicity, John Dillinger, was a Depression-era bank robber whose penchant for breaking the law was complemented by his love of the spotlight. Dillinger was very fond of playing Robin Hood, stealing from the rich banks, and giving his spoils back to the people. 

#2: Pablo Escobar 1949 – 1993

Kinky secrets found inside Pablo Escobar's private chambers

Formerly the main purveyor of Colombia’s other addictive substance, Pablo Escobar wore many hats during his tenure in the Colombian-based Medellin Cartel, including drug lord and terrorist. 


#1: Al Capone 1899 – 1947

Biography of Al Capone, Prohibition Era Crime Boss

He’s the man who put the “organized” in organized crime. During the Prohibition era, Al Capone seized the opportunity to make boatloads of cash off the at-the-time illegal liquor business.