Dr Marcel Petiot, The Anti-Schindler
It's January 1942, Nazi occupied France. There is a small time con man named Dr. Marcel Petiot, who moved to Paris and set up a medical practice, claiming to have been an intern at a mental hospital. That was pretty close to the truth. He had been a patient there.
Thanks to his well-rounded experience of having seen a mental health facility from both sides of a straight jacket, Petiot spent his time selling addictive narcotics and conducting the occasional illegal abortion. When World War 2 and the Holocaust came along, Petiot saw his opportunity to make some extra cash on the side.
The Nazis were on the hunt for Jews to send off to concentration camps. Petiot put out word that he'd help fugitive Jews escape from the country, for a fee of 25,000 Francs per person. We know what you're thinking. Sure, the guy charged an arm and a leg. But in the end, he was doing good, right? He was lining his pockets, but saving lives at the same time!
Where did he get all those suitcases?
You might want to stop reading now, so you can keep believing that.
When customers came to Petiot, he told them that in order to enter Argentina (their alleged destination) they had to be inoculated. He would stick them with a needle and...
On March 6, 1944, the police arrived at Petiot's burning three story house. Once inside, they found a large heap of quicklime mixed with human remains. There was a pit dug in the stable, full of quicklime and corpses in various stages of decomposition. They found basement sinks large enough for draining corpses and a soundproof octagonal chamber with wall-mounted shackles and a peephole in its door. On the staircase leading to the basement, police found a sack containing a headless corpse, missing its organs.
Petiot was later arrested and during the trial, maintained that the whole thing was a big, wacky misunderstanding. They didn't buy it, and Petiot was beheaded.
How Much Did He Make?
Petiot not only would collect on his huge fee, but would take all of the victim's possessions (they were fugitives, so would come to him with all of their life savings on them). Authorities say Petiot's haul ran up to--holy s**t--200 million Francs.
The lesson? Crime doesn't pay, but apparently unfathomably dark, monstrous evil pays quite well.
If you're ready for something totally different from that, to restore your faith in mankind, check out Third Reich to Fortune 500: Five Popular Brands the Nazis Gave Us.