5 Real World Criminals Who Were Certified Supervillains
We would never glamorize criminals. We don't want any of our young fans to grow up to rob or steal, at least not from us.
You know who we will glamorize? Supercriminals. Those flamboyant, creative types who just go above and beyond. Sure, what they did was despicable. But we can all learn from their desire to go beyond the call of duty. Way beyond.
Some people in the world you just don't fuck with. Unfortunately you can't always tell who those people are until it's too late and such was the case with Marvin Heemeyer. He lived in a little town in Colorado with a population of about 500. He was a welder and owned a muffler repair shop and, presumably for a while, he was a totally non-sinister individual who never even considered doing anything crazy like building a massive, nearly indestructible machine of terror.
For a while.
Then, Heemeyer wound up in a dispute over his land with a cement manufacturing plant. He leased his business to someone else and sold his property while the new owners gave him six months to vacate. It was during that six months that Heemeyer built a death machine, a Komatsu D335A bulldozer outfitted with armor plating over the cabin and engine.
The armor in some places was over a foot thick and had concrete between sheets of steel, making it pretty much unstoppable. The tank was also outfitted with onboard cameras and monitors in the cabin so Heemeyer could see where he was going. The inside was made nearly airtight to resist a potential gas attack and had air conditioning, food, water and life support. Once he got in Heemeyer had no plans to actually leave the bulldozer.
Outside, the bulldozer had .50 caliber semi-automatic rifle mounted on the back, and three other semi-automatics mounted elsewhere. Basically, this was a machine designed to make everyone in his town of 500 take one massive, synchronized fear shit the moment it rolled out of his workshop.
Heemeyer took his machine of insanity out for a spin on June 2, 2004 by crashing it through the wall of his workshop. He then plowed through the concrete plant, the town hall, the local newspaper, a judge's house, a hardware store owned by a guy who had pissed him off, and seven other buildings, causing about $7 million in damages.
The bulldozer, which came to be known as the Killdozer since that really is the only appropriate name for it, was hit with over 200 rounds of ammunition and three small explosions that barely left a scratch on it.
Eventually the Killdozer got stuck in a basement and the engine failed. A single shot was heard in the cabin. While Heemeyer took the easy way out, and it still took authorities twelve hours to cut their way into the machine. Surprisingly, Heemeyer had not rigged the dozer to then self-destruct and destroy the entire town.
It's clear that Joseph Konopka was looking for work in the exciting growth industry of super-villainy when he quit his job as a computer systems administrator and gave himself the nickname Dr. Chaos.
Konopka, who had been making about $50,000 at his job, wanted to enact some manner of a Dr. Doom-scale destruction spree, presumably out of boredom or just to prove he could.
Recruiting a team of others online who then became known as The Realm of Chaos, which we have to admit sounds pretty awesome, Dr. Chaos used his Lex Luthoresque intellect and knowledge of computers to cause 28 power failures, disrupt radio and television broadcasts, shut down air traffic control, attack an ISP's computer system and counterfeit software.
The group was also responsible for setting a number of fires and, at the time of his arrest in 2002, Dr. Chaos had been stockpiling cyanide in underground tunnels.
In total, it's estimated Konopka and his group caused as much as $3 million in damages, as well as setting the bar high for any future cyber villains, if for no other reason than that the really cool nickname is already taken.
Vladimir Kozak, whose media-born nickname "Hypno-Robber" was ripped right out of a really shitty issue of Spider-Man from the early 70s, managed to steal somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000 from banks in Moldova. If you are unfamiliar with Moldova, it's because its only claim to fame is being the poorest country in Europe and a good chunk of its citizens make about $2 per day.
Despite the country being the geographical equivalent of a wino, Kozak used his eerie and potentially bullshit powers to pull off at least six robberies by establishing eye contact with bank tellers, talking all suave-like and hypnotizing them Dr. Mindbender style, possibly with the use of a magic hypno coin or glasses he purchased from a comic book.
Since his crime spree began, the fierce power of the Moldovan police department has cracked down and warned all bank tellers to avoid eye contact with Hypno should he make an appearance. They were also advised to call security and not attempt to detain him themselves, because of course he may unleash his hypnosis when threatened.
None of their tips may work if, instead of hypnosis, Kozak's plan involves telling the $2-a-day bank tellers that he'll split the money with them if they just hand it over, and to feed the authorities the bullshit hypnosis story so they won't get nailed as accomplices.
Of course there's no evidence to support that, but the alternative is to believe this man has the kind of mind control powers that would let him take over the world if he felt like it. Or at least have sex with lots and lots of women.
Dr. Francois Duvalier was the former President for Life of Haiti, a title which he gave himself because that's the kind of thing you do when you're a crazy dictator. His father was named Duval Duvalier and was a judge while his mother, Ulyssia Abraham, was insane. The only thing missing was exposure to radiation to help him on his way to perfecting his villainy.
In 1957, he was sort of legitimately elected president. Rather than waste time worrying about things like the economy or environment or whatever the hell non-crazy politicians pretend to care about, Duvalier went about reviving the voodoo religion, modeling himself after Baron Samedi, the Voodoo angel of death.
He wore sunglasses all the time, changed the way he spoke and was referred to as Papa Doc. Propaganda produced at the time feature Jesus standing behind a seated Duvalier saying "I have chosen him." Because if there's one thing Jesus loves, it's that crazy voodoo shit.
Because no voodoo dictator super-villain is complete without a scary secret police force, the Tonton Macoute was formed, stealing their name from the Creole word for Boogeyman and making their living through crime. While Papa Doc went about trying to convince people he was the physical embodiment of Haiti, as well as being a Voodoo spirit and the president, the Tonton Macoute wandered the country side pretending to be voodoo demons and killing people with machetes for no reason other than that's what scary ass voodoo demons would probably do.
In his effort to maintain his position as president for life, it's estimated as many as 30,000 people were murdered and many others were kicked the hell out. Apparently his ultimate, diabolical plan was to rule over a completely empty, shitty island. Unfortunately for him, he died before he could see whatever the hell he was working towards come to fruition.
Somewhat less dorky than the X-men's Iceman and far more godawfully frightening, is Richard Kuklinski, former mob hit man and all around badass crazy son of a bitch. Typically, being a hit man is just regular-style-villainous and not in the realm of super-villainy, but the Iceman really went above and beyond for his craft.
The Iceman claimed to have killed over 200 people in his lifetime, with his first victim coming at age 18. Once he hooked up with the mob and the Gambino crime family, he began killing with a variety of methods from gunshots to stabbings to poisonings. He had a bit of a hard-on for cyanide and would inject it, sprinkle it in food, spray it as an aerosol or just dump it on people.
"What is this about? The murders? It's the murders, isn't it?"
And, because that's not quite crazy enough, he also claims to have fed living people to rats and shot a random person in the head with a crossbow just to see if it worked (after all, imagine his embarrassment if the thing failed during a paid job).
While the Iceman is a cool nickname for anyone who kills people for a living, Kuklinski got his from a period in his life when he tried to be clever about disguising his crimes. Forensic science being a pain in the ass for most murderers, Kuklinski decided to throw it a curveball by using a Mister Softee ice cream truck as a spot to house his victims.
He'd freeze their bodies inside and then toss them out later, one at least two years later, so that the freezing would skew the estimated time of death. The plan fell apart on him when he didn't let one of the victims thaw long enough and the coroner found ice in the body. We suppose this is better than the other way ice cream truck murders could get found out, involving a trail of traumatized children chasing the jingle down the street.
The Iceman was eventually caught and imprisoned, and was set to testify against his mob associates. He died in prison before he got the chance, however, just to be an asshole one last time.
To find out how to properly deal with real world super-villains, check out yesterday's look at 6 Great Martial Arts for Killing a Man With Your Bare Hands. Or for some children who will eventually turn to a hilariously misguided life of super-villainy, watch amazing psychic kids (get exploited on TV) in today's Hate by Numbers.