9 Of History's Most Evil People
Truth is often stranger—and scarier—than fiction. Some of fiction's great bad guys—Lord Voldemort, the Joker, Hannibal Lector—pale into insignificance when compared to some of history's real life bad guys. Who could ever have dreamt up a political party with the vision and drive for killing innocents on the scale that Adolf Hitler's Nazis did? Who could have written a screenplay with a plot as twisted and bloodstained as the events that played out under the Khmer Rouge?
Sometimes such actions are the result of one person's madness—a spate of murders, or a day of madness. Other times, these great acts of evil are the work of political parties or whole countries, driven by an individual seeking to satisfy some personal political or religious quest. Whatever their motivation, everyone in this playlist of history's most evil people has blood on their hands.
The list begins with the Nazi leader.
Check Out This Month's Most Popular Topic
He was the Chinese communist leader responsible for disastrous policies.
Osama Bin Laden
The founder of al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11.
Attila The Hun
He ruled the terrifying Huns for the last 20 years of his life.
Vlad The Impaler
It does not get creepier than this guy, who was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's "Dracula."
Gary Leon Ridgway, The Green River Killer
He was convicted of 48 murders, but it was later learned the true number is double that.
from Smithsonian Channel
This cult leader of the Peoples Temple organized an infamously huge mass murder-suicide.
The Cambodian head of state was reponsible for the deaths of more than 1 million people as he led the Khmer Rouge for 30 years.
The Soviet Union dictator ruled by using terror.
Key Facts In This Video
Joseph Stalin was born December 18, 1879. (0:15)
Stalin was a ruthless and feared leader in Russia. (2:09)
In 1949, the former Soviet Union had the power to unleash nuclear weapons under Stalin's direction. (2:56)