There’s no way to quantify how bad a criminal is other than to look at his behavior before he was caught and brought to justice. You can’t claim to look into a person’s heart, other than through the prism of his actions, which makes a list like this one less subjective, and more of an objective exercise based on available evidence. And though it’s clear that men like Hitler and Stalin were all-time criminals, this list has no world leaders, and instead concentrates on people who through guile, evil and madness committed acts beyond comprehension without ever becoming heads of state. With that in mind, here are some of history’s worst criminals and all around horrible human beings.

 

Charles Manson

Updated Charles Manson Photo ReleasedSource

It’s hard to reduce Manson to just a criminal, but he and his roving band of psychotics were definitely breaking the law before the infamous murders so vividly recalled in the best seller Helter Skelter. What made Manson so scary is that he has absolutely no remorse for his actions, and he never physically killed or hurt anyone. He was ‘merely’ the puppet that pulled the strings of some certifiably homicidal men and women who altered U.S. criminal history forever. Even today, with his notorious Swastika-carved forehead and dead eyes, Manson is still a figure of immense terror.

 

Osama Bin Laden

Bin-LadenSource

So much has been written about Bin Laden, that even mentioning him on a list like this one seems insufficient. But Bin Laden was the mastermind behind the largest crime perpetrated against U.S. citizens on American soil in history, and for that alone, he belongs on this list. Similar to Manson, Bin Laden did most of his criminal work through proxies, nursing hatred into a kind of frenzy that brooked no disobedience.