Anne Hathaway once said,” Whatever you are made of, be the best of that.” Simply put, no matter what you do, be the best in your field, and you’ll succeed. Now, who’d have thought such a motivational and graceful phrase would be one day used in the context of criminals? And not just your everyday criminals, not those petty swindlers, thieves, or burglars. But rather the people who were known and feared by entire nations for their skills in deception and stealing. People have made their name by all sorts of notorious and dirty work. And yes, by ‘all sorts,’ we mean criminal activities. These household names of gruesome, sly, and wicked criminals go down in the history books. While some may no longer be living, their tales have lived on, from person to person, one generation to another. You’d be surprised to realize how many of those thieves were the inspiration for some of the legendary villains in movies, stories, plays, and books of our generation. If you are anyone who loves watching crime documentaries or thriller movies, this is just the perfect read for you! Here are 40 of the most notorious, deceptive thieves in history.
Adam Worth: The Napoleon of crime
Born in 1844, Adam Worth is considered one of the best thieves that history has witnessed. With his German heritage, Worth was nicknamed ‘The Napoleon of Crime’ for his insane ability to get anything he wanted for keeps. Worth’s sly brain planned and executed the infamous theft of Gainsborough’s celebrated Portrait of Georgiana, which fancied his walls for 25 years.
You sure are familiar with the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes, aren’t you? As clever and inhumanely intelligent as the detective was, so was his arch enemy, James Moriarty. Did you know that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was inspired to pen down Moriarty’s character after he learned about Adam Worth? In short, Adam Worth was the inspiration behind Moriarty!