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Famous Criminals and Outlaws in the Justice System

The criminal justice system includes law enforcement, courts, and corrections. The police have the duty to investigate wrong doings and protect the public. In the US, criminal justice is provided in a court where the prosecutor argues the case with the defense attorney in the presence of a judge and jury. The prosecutor is a lawyer who brings up charges against a person, explaining the crime and providing evidence to prove that the accused is guilty of the crime. The criminal history of the US is filled with many notorious and colorful characters, some of whom are well-documented in films like the Untouchables, Public Enemy, and  Catch Me If You Can. Here are some of the famous criminals and outlaws in the Justice System.

  1. Burt Alvord: One of the Gunfighters, he was a railroad constable but he robbed a train in 1899.
  2. Lester Joseph Gillis: A feared member of the Dillinger gang, “Baby Face” Nelson killed three D.O.I. agents and several other people.
  3. Alphonse Capone: Possibly the most famous Italian-American gangster, he was involved in beer trafficking, illicit liquor trade, gambling, prostitution, and running saloons. It is said that more than five hundred murders had be committed by his men.
  4. Wesley Elkins: He was 11 years old when he killed his step mother and father just because he was asked to take care of his step sister.
  5. Micajah and Wiley Harpe: The duo killed 40 men, women, and children in 1799.
  6. Harry Hortman: He was a hack driver who killed his sweetheart when she tried to flee from his rage in 1901.
  7. “Deacon” Jim Miller: After his released from prison due to lack of evidence that he had killed his sister’s husband, he became an assassin.
  8. Luke Short: He killed several Native Americans as a teenager.
  9. Joseph Adonis: He formed a gang to control illicit alcohol trade and he was held for violating New Jersey’s gambling regulations.
  10. Frank William Abagnale Jr.: Formerly an accomplished check forger, imposter, confidence trickster, and escape artist, he’s now an author, consultant, and lecturer.
  11. Albert Anastasia: He was an underworld leader who was involved in narcotic trade, gambling, and prostitution.
  12. Arizona Donnie Clark "Kate" Barker: She was involved in robbing banks and trains in 1920s. As an advisor for the Barker gang, she was involved in many kidnappings and she was killed in a shoot out.
  13. Bonnie & Clyde: The famous pair of criminals were known for their daring robberies, helping criminals escape, and killing during the Great Depression
  14. Joseph Bonanno: He belonged to one of the famous mafia families of New York in the 1930s and 1940s. He had garment factory but his other businesses were drugs and other criminal activities.
  15. Theodore Robert Bundy: Using his charm and appearance to attract women, he sexually assaulted and strangulated many women.
  16. Caryl Chessman: Using a red light to stop victims, he then sexually assaulted and killed them.
  17. Jeffrey Dahmer: He murdered and mutilated up to 17 male victims, mutilating their body parts, and preserving them in various ways.
  18. Albert Henry Desalvo: Known as the Boston Strangler, he raped and strangulated women in the age group of 19 to 85.
  19. John Herbert Dillinger: Head of the Dillinger gang, he robbed banks, gas stations, and grocery stores during the Great Depression.
  20. John Wayne Gacy, Jr.: He was a building contractor and also “Pogo the Clown”. He raped and killed more than 30 teenage boys and young men in the 1970s.
  21. Gary Gilmore: He was accused of robbery and murder but he did not contest his case.
  22. John Gotti: The boss of the powerful Gambino family in New York City, he was involved murders, racketeering, illegal gambling, loan sharking, tax evasion, and other criminal activities.
  23. John Hinckley, Jr.: Hinckley attempted to assassinate President Ronal Reagan in 1981, apparently to impress Jodie Foster.
  24. Joseph M. Valachi: Valachi killed fellow students in reform school and was involved in a number of other organized crimes.
  25. Benjamin Siegel: Siegel was a gambler, murderer, and extortionist. He was also credited as the man who had the vision to transform Las Vegas into a gambling paradise.
  26. James Earl Ray: He killed Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968.
  27. Lee Harvey Oswald: He was accused of killing President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1963.
  28. Charles Manson: Head of the Manson Family, he was convicted of inciting his followers to commit the Tate and LaBianca murders.
  29. Charles Starkweather & Caril Fugate: The pair went on a murder spree killing eleven people across Nebraska and Wyoming, including Fugate’s mother, step father, and her two-year old step sister.
  30. Charles Luciano: He was into prostitution and drug trafficking in 1930s.

Famous American Crimes & Trials

  1. John F. Kennedy Assassination
  2. Bonnie & Clyde
  3. Dillinger Gang
  4. Oklahoma City Bombing
  5. Lindbergh Kidnapping Trial
  6. Lizzie Borden 
  7. Al Capone Trial
  8. O.J. Simpson Trial
  9. John W. Hinckley Trial
  10. Charles Manson Trial
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