This is an alphabetical list of all articles on this site about real-life criminals: murderers, rapists, thieves, smugglers, gangsters, bandits, pirates, terrorists, etc. In some cases, the historical villain's reputation may even have had an upgrade (or downgrade, if not an outright whitewashing), but nevertheless we list them all here.
TV Tropes also wants to make clear that it in no way do we wish to glorify these people's crimes. Their presence on this site usually have to do with their dominant appearances in popular culture and/or legendary reputation. Most of the articles about the criminals listed below are here to separate myth from reality, and to indicate in which media they have become a staple of popular culture.
NOTE: This page is only meant to list notable real-life criminals with articles on this wiki in the Useful Notes namespace (so absolutely excluding any Creators, Musicians, or Wrestlers, regardless of whatever laws they have broken), who are all most remembered in the public consciousness for the high-profile crimes they have committed.
Notable real-life criminals (with articles on this wiki) include:
- Elizabeth Báthory: 17th century Hungarian noblewoman and Serial Killer, who murdered young women and supposedly bathed in their blood. One of the inspirations for Dracula.
- Billy the Kid: 19th century American outlaw of The Wild West.
- Osama bin Laden: Saudi terrorist warlord, founding leader of the Sunni Islamic jihadist organization Al-Qaeda.
- Blackbeard: Infamous 18th century English pirate.
- Anne Bonny: 18th century Irish female pirate.
- John Wilkes Booth: Actor turned assassin who, in 1865, killed sitting U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.
- Ted Bundy: An infamous rapist and sadistic Serial Killer.
- Al Capone: Early 20th century American mobster, boss of the Chicago Outfit.
- Charlotte Corday: 18th century French woman who assassinated Jacobin leader Jean-Paul Marat.
- Guy Fawkes: 17th century English Catholic rebel who tried (and failed) to blow up the English Parliament and assassinate King James I. The British still celebrate the day that the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was uncovered as Bonfire Night. He also inspired V in V for Vendetta.
- Mata Hari: Dutch courtesan who was executed by France for spying for Germany during World War I. She is the most iconic Femme Fatale Spy of all time.
- Willi Herold: Young German soldier who impersonated a Luftwaffe Captain with the help of a uniform he found and ordered an infamous massacre in the Aschendorfermoor prison camp in April 1945.
- Saddam Hussein: The former President of Iraq, who led a brutal dictatorship with massacres that killed thousands of people in his own country. After his overthrow, the new US-backed government convicted him of crimes against humanity, and had him executed by hanging.
- Jack the Ripper: 19th century British Serial Killer, who murdered and mutilated several prostitutes in London. He was never caught, and his true identity is still unknown.
- Jesse James: 19th century American outlaw of The Wild West.
- Jim Jones: 20th century American cult leader who ordered his own followers to drink a cyanide cocktail, thus killing off about 800 people in a mass murder-suicide in their community of Jonestown, Guyana.
- Ned Kelly: 19th century Australian outlaw.
- Lampião: Early 20th century Brazilian outlaw.
- Charles Manson: Infamous American cult leader who drove his followers to murdering people, including the actress Sharon Tate.
- Gilles de Rais: 15th century French knight, lord, and ally of Joan of Arc. Suspected and convicted of numerous crimes including occultism, pedophilia, and serial murder, for which he was hanged in 1440.