The 20th Century’s Most Infamous Female Criminals And Killers

Published December 15, 2012
Updated September 18, 2019

Though their male counterparts tend to reap more cinematic portrayals, the stories of these infamous female criminals and killers are just as monstrous.

Infamous Female Criminals: Bonnie Parker

One half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo, Bonnie Parker was a member of the Barrow Gang that shot its way through numerous thefts before its demise in 1934. According to some historians, there is actually no proof that Bonnie ever shot a person during the Bonnie and Clyde crime spree, but rather it was her good looks that drove the unsavory duo into national notoriety.

Nevertheless, Bonnie met her end when a posse of Texas and Louisiana police officers ambushed their automobile and shot them. When her former husband learned of her death while in prison he said, “I’m glad [she] went out like [she] did. It’s much better than being caught.”

Women Criminals Bonnie Parker

Source: Wikimedia

Patty Hearst

Female Criminals Patty Hearst

Source: Wikimedia

At the time of her kidnapping, Patty Hearst was a wealthy heiress and actress who was targeted by the radical left movement known as the Symbionese Liberation Army. After she was kidnapped, Hearst was later shown to have renounced her parents and to have joined the SLA in order to support their cause and rob banks with them.

Despite the defense’s courtroom claims that she was brainwashed, Hearst was later imprisoned for her role in the SLA robberies. Eventually, though, Hearst was released; President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence and President Clinton wiped her record wiped clean via a Presidential pardon.

Patty Hearst

Source: Wikimedia

Patty Hearst Photograph

Source: FBI

All That's Interesting
A New York-based publisher established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science to share stories that illuminate our world.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.