5 Jack Rackham
“Calico Jack” Rackham was a pirate who lived during the Golden Age of Piracy, which spanned from about 1690 to 1730. Rackham got his nickname, Calico, because of the flashy clothes he wore. He was a poster-boy pirate, very much what one thinks of when picturing the men of the era. This was all the more true because he was a highly active pirate for three years, killing, raiding, looting and so on, before he was captured in the year 1720 and summarily hanged, thus getting exactly the fate promised to all captured pirates.
4 Maximilien de Robespierre
On the other hand, we have Maximilien de Robespierre, a giant asshole himself, who was at least indirectly responsible for Miss Antoinette’s death! Robespierre was one of the “intellectual” leaders of the French Revolution, and it was at his behest on behalf of Committee of Public Safety that many poor sots had their heads chopped off during the “Reign of Terror.” His own personal reign was ended by the fall of the guillotine in July of 1794, but not before a failed suicide attempt wherein he shot off part of his own lower jaw.
3 Mari Antoinette
The perception of Marie Antoinette is slowly evolving these days, but for the most part scholarly consensus remains the same: she was a spoiled rich brat who flaunted wealth and station, living in luxury while “her” people starved and suffered. Antoinette was only fifteen when she married King Louis XVI, but contrary to popular misconception, she was no longer a child when she died; she was in fact 37 years old, which is more than old enough to warrant better judgment than having entire villages recreated in miniature just for fun when beyond the palace walls the people were eating chaff and shoe leather. And the people got pissed off, revolted and a bunch of heads rolled, including hers.
30+ stab wounds were hardly harsh enough for the Roman dictator Caligula. But that’s what killed him, a painful assassination conducted by knife-wielding conspirators in the year 41 A.D. Caligula is often considered the worst of the worst of Rome’s rulers, and with good cause: he was a wildly vain narcissist, running up huge debts to satisfy his whims, he was a hedonistic pervert, frequently forcing himself on married women, and he killed (or had people killed) for fun. His claims to divinity ended pretty quickly after the whole violent death thing.
1 Bonnie and Clyde
We start with a twofer! Bonnie and Clyde may seem like the most romantic bank robbers ever, but there’s not actually much room for romance when you’re busing killing people and stealing things. And most of the time the Barrow Gang was robbing little shops, filling stations and private residences, by the way—there was nothing “Robin Hood” about them. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were machine gunned to death in May of 1934 and that’s fine with us.
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