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Most Famous Sociopaths To Ever Walk The Earth

Famous sociopaths? There are some sociopaths that are so inhuman, so bone-chillingly awful, that they become famous sociopaths. Take a look.

Ninety-nine percent of humanity are not sociopaths. One percent is. Of that one percent, there are some that are so inhuman, so bone-chillingly awful, that they become famous sociopaths. Unfortunately that's exactly what they want, and their infamous notoriety pleases them to such a degree that prison doesn't bother them. If anything, prison is just another playground (What Is A Sociopathic Person Like?).

Serial Killers Make Famous Sociopaths

Not every sociopath is a serial killer, but it tends to be the most brutally violent that make the headlines and become the most famous sociopaths.

  • John Gacy lived in Des Plaines, Illinois. He was the epitome of both local and national citizenship, receiving a Man of the Year award from his city's Junior Chamber of Commerce and, separately, taking his picture with Rosalynn Carter, the First Lady at the time. He entertained kids as a clown at their birthday parties. People adored him. What they didn't know because he hid it so skillfully was that he also happened to be a sociopath, one of the most famous sociopaths to ever walk the earth. In the 1970s, he murdered thirty-two young men and buried most of them in the crawl space under his house.
  • Ted Bundy was an attractive, charismatic young man living in Seattle in the 1970s. He lured women to him with his charm. Dozens fell prey and were brutally beaten and murdered by his hands. He was so well-liked that he got away with it for quite some time.
  • Jeffrey MacDonald had power and admiration as an officer in the Green Berets, a medical doctor, and family man. He was a husband, the father of two daughters with another child on the way, and he was a narcissistic sociopath who brutally murdered his pregnant wife and daughters.
  • Jeffrey Dahmer, the Milwaukee Cannibal, raped, murdered, dismembered, and sometimes ate seventeen boys and men in the 70s and 80s.

Famous Sociopaths Who Aren't Serial Killers


Not every sociopath is a serial killer. Some find that different crimes better fit their needs and motivations.

  • Jack Henry Abbott was a respected and highly praised author when the crime of forgery sent him to prison. He actually didn't commit murder until he was in prison where he stabbed someone. Upon escaping from prison, he robbed a bank and was sent back. He contacted famous author Norman Mailer (who was not in prison but was in the world writing novels, plays, films, and the like) and convinced Mailer to help him write a book. Out of prison, he charmed his way into Mailer's literary circle in New York and enjoyed attention for a few weeks. When a waiter wouldn't let him use the employee bathroom in a restaurant, Abbott stabbed him to death and returned to prison. He died by suicide in prison in 2002, but his sociopath charm lives on. He has his own section on BrainyQuotes.com
  • Joey Buttafuoco has never committed murder, but he gained fame nonetheless. His affair with teenage Amy Fisher and Fisher's attempted murder of his then wife, Mary Jo, thrust him into the spotlight. His charismatic behavior captivated the media and gained him national attention, further fueling what Mary Jo termed his sociopathic tendencies. While he isn't a murderer, Mary Jo says Joey Buttafuoco is a sociopath, albeit a famous sociopath.

Famous Female Sociopaths


Male sociopaths outnumber female sociopaths by anywhere from three to one (Fallon, 2013) to seven to one (Hare, 1999). While neither gender has regard for law or feelings of others, males tend to commit more violent crimes and to be the famous sociopath serial killers. Still, female sociopaths are famous criminals, too.

  • Diane Downs was after a man who didn't want children. To get what she wanted (him), she murdered her children.
  • Deidre Hunt played an equal role with Constantine Paspalakis in torturing and murdering a young man. They videotaped the whole thing, presumably for their own pleasure and entertainment.


It may be a good idea to learn the signs of a sociopath to protect yourself. You never know when you might meet one. Some sociopaths are so well-known they can be considered among the most famous sociopaths ever to walk the Earth. Others are famous sociopaths within their own circles. No matter the scale, sociopaths are infamous.


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next: High-functioning Sociopaths and the Damage They Cause
~ all articles on Personality Disorders
~ all Sociopath Articles

Last Updated: 21 July 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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