Names that live throughout history for their infamous brutality. These men, along with many others committed vicious acts that fascinate and appall us.
Somehow, these people got away with audacious crimes even though some acts were committed right out in the open. Men like Lucky Luciano built a criminal empire, yet at the same time helped his business partner and friend Meyer Lansky catch Nazi sympathizers for the government.
Whether you admire their tenacity, disgusted at their brutality, or enthralled by their history, one cannot deny that they were indeed Criminal Masterminds of their time.
Criminal Masterminds – Evil Geniuses of the Underworld by Charlotte Greig delves into the lives of infamous criminals that span the globe.
She covers Ruthless Robbers like Willie ‘The Actor’ Sutton, Devious Drug Barons The Arellano-Felix Brothers, Ingenious Escape Artists Papillon, Unflappable Fraudsters Count Victor Lustig, Cold-blooded Killers The Menendez Brothers, Maverick Mobsters John Gotti, Audacious Outlaws Bonnie and Clyde, Covert Spies and Terrorist Masterminds.
These people made their way in life by outsmarting authorities at every turn, and when that didn’t work, simple – pay them off.
Beginning in the late 18th century, Jonathan Wild ran a complex gang of robbers and thieves, ironically returning the goods to the owners for a reward.
Then there are the men that tv shows and movies have been made about them, and one in particular – Pablo Escobar. The Capo of the Medellin Cartel, his enterprise of cocaine and cannabis netted him to become the first of the billionaire drug dealers, when even now treasure hunters are looking for his buried millions… Brutally credited with inventing the Columbian necktie, he would carry out murders by hand.
Jacques Mesrine delighted in coming up with a range of different disguises to thwart police attempts to catch him. An infamous French bank robber and kidnapper, he became even more well-known due to his daring prison escapes.
Then there is Frank Abagnale Jr. His name might sound familiar. An outrageous conman that went so far as to impersonate himself as a Pan Am Pilot, flying all over the world living the high life. Yes, Frank’s life was based on the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio ‘Catch Men if You Can’.
Mark Hofman an intelligent and murderous fraudster that would supposedly hypnotize himself to get into character of the person he was forging.
One of course cannot go past criminal masterminds and not include the Italian mafia and Irish mob gangsters.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid were considered a dying breed of outlaws and migrant cowboys disenfranchised by the world they lived in. Robbing banks, stealing horses and just generally living outside the law. Outlaws in the Wild West, their infamy will live on to inspire a range of spaghetti western movies.
From mastermind spies using their position to gain power, influence and money, to the shocking acts of 9/11 and the sadistic Osama Bin Laden.
History tells us that by using violence, money and intelligence; one could accomplish much. Yet, for most of these people, the law eventually caught up with them. And we now can delve into their audacious tales, and marvel just how they got away with so much, for so long…
As an author these stories can inspire some rather exciting tales. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, life can be stranger than fiction, and can be a great muse for your next thriller, mystery or true story.
Have many of these criminal masterminds have you heard or written about?