When it comes to the worst of the worst, we hope and expect that they spend their days hiding in a hole or living in squalor — at least until they are caught. But the truth is that there are many horrible people throughout history who had the wealth to live in luxury throughout their lives. While some of these people may have gotten retribution eventually, until then, they lived like kings.
1. Kim Jong II
Kim Jong II was leader of North Korean from 1994 until 2011. His leadership placed North Korea under one of the most repressive governments in the world. The people of North Korea starved through a famine in the 1990’s while Kim Jong II wasted $300 million a year in personal expenses. He portrayed the people of North Korea as being happy and prosperous in order to push away Western intervention.
2. Pol Pot
Pol Pot was a signature fellow in that he ordered a genocide of his own people. He came to power in Cambodia in 1975, and for four years he caused the deaths of millions. It is believed that 25 percent of the population of Cambodia died due to his executions and policies. Many were forced to work to death or starved to death as part of his forced labor projects.
3. H.H. Holmes
H.H. Holmes was one of the first people to ever be given the title of serial killer. He was the first people to ever be documented as a serial killer. He was not someone that most people would expect since he was a millionaire in the late 1800s. He lived a very lavish lifestyle that hid the fact that he was killing people in the hotel that he owned. He eventually confessed to 27 murders.
4. Leopold II
King Leopold II ruled Belgium from 1865 until 1904. However, it was not his rule over Belgium that places him as inherently evil, but his rule over the Congo. Belgium colonized the Congo and created the Congo Free State. Despite the name, it was basically a way for Leopold to exploit the riches of the Congo through any means necessary. Through the rubber trade anywhere between one million and 15 million people died, and many more were mutilated.
5. Adolf Hitler
Most people are aware that Hitler wrote Mein Kampf before he became ruler of Germany. However, it may come as a surprise that it was a huge success in Germany. It allowed him to have mansions and all the money and luxuries that he could want. The book was eventually made to be required reading in Germany which meant that the money just kept coming in. The money and fame allowed him to take control of Germany.
6. Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien Robespierre led the French Revolution and eventually came to power. He decided that terror was the way to maintain power over the people and focused on public executions. He guillotined thousands of people publicly for little reason at all during a period known as the “Reign of Terror.” He was so prolific in his desire to use the guillotine that people joked he would end up beheading the executioner once all of France was dead.
7. Ivan the Terrible
Ivan the Terrible was Czar of Russia from 1547 to 1584. He was prone to episodic rages that only got worse with age, including killing his own heir. He perpetuated the Massacre of Novgorod because he feared that the wealthy of the city were planning to defect. Thousands were brutally killed. It was a strategy that would be repeated whenever he conquered new territory.