The names Charles Manson, Joseph Stalin, and Jim Jones are infamous throughout the world for the unthinkable actions of the people tied to them. While society sees them as monsters, some pictures see them in a different light, an almost innocent light.
Although smiles, laughter, childhood portraits, and even family photos don't take away what these people did, it is interesting to see them doing something other than destroy.
Mao Zedong Walking Through Chinese Fields
Mao Zedong was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of Chinese people. During the Great Leap Forward, Mao's economic and social policies led to mass famine and the deaths of about 45 million people. He also purged perceived enemies of the state and tortured those who disagreed with him.
His violent attempts at social engineering included the Cultural Revolution and the Anti-Rightist Campaign. These campaigns destroyed countless cultural artifacts, arrested millions, and caused countless deaths. Forced labor, widespread censorship, and suppression of intellectuals also occurred under his rule.
Saddam Hussein Smiling
Saddam Hussein was the former dictator of Iraq, ruling from 1979 until 2003. He was known for his oppressive tactics, including killing off potential opposition, and was finally removed from power by the United States-led invasion.
Hussein was later tried for his heinous actions and executed for crimes against humanity.
Adolf Hitler Before Starting A World War
Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party who became the Chancellor of Germany in 1933. He implemented policies that led to the persecution and genocide of millions of innocent people.
Most notably, Hitler initiated World War II in Europe, eventually invading over a dozen countries and leading Germany to a devastating defeat. Hitler's anti-Semitic views, his aggressive foreign policy, and autocratic leadership caused the deaths of millions of people and placed the world on the brink of disaster
Harvey Weinstein Posing With His Brother At Miramax
Once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, film producer Harvey Weinstein was widely accused of assault and harassment by over ninety women.
Weinstein was sentenced to twenty-three years in jail for his assault crimes. His conviction and jail sentence serves as a warning to all predators who abuse their power and influence to victimize vulnerable people.
Jim Jones And His Family
Jim Jones was an American cult leader who founded and led the People's Temple, notorious for the mass murder-suicide, "drinking the Kool-aid," of its followers at Jonestown in 1978.
He preached a blend of traditional Protestant Christianity and communist and socialist views, and many people believed he was a prophet. During the years the People's Temple was operating, he and his followers committed human rights abuses and homicides.
Joseph Stalin Hugging A Child
Joseph Stalin was a Soviet dictator who transformed the Soviet Union into a modern superpower through industrialization, extreme centralization of power, and oppressive tactics.
He forced collectivization, created major famines, and oversaw the mass deportation of certain social classes. Of course, here, he doesn't look so evil, hugging a child with a slight smile on his face.
Dr. Josef Mengele Smiling For The Camera
Josef Mengele was a notorious German SS Officer during WWII, best known for his unethical human experiments and inhumane treatment of prisoners at Auschwitz.
Mengele was known as the "Angel of Death" for his lack of mercy and was deemed responsible for the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of people during the Holocaust. He was known to have conducted cruel and often deadly experiments on the inmates, taking twins for genetic research, surgical experiments, and overall mistreatment of minority groups.
Fidel Castro Speaking To Earnest Hemingway
Fidel Castro's oppressive regime imprisoned opposition, restricted freedom of speech, carried out executions and human rights violations and denied basic freedoms to the Cuban people.
He was known for his reformist policies, but he implemented them with a totalitarian and oppressive fist. In his effort to protect the Cuban Revolution, he set up a strict, one-party state and censored the media while recruiting informants to monitor his citizens' actions.
Emperor Hirohito As An Infant
Emperor Hirohito allowed war criminals to begin activities that led to a second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. He forced mass relocation of Japanese citizens, worked to block reforms, issued a military directive asserting the need to take control of Asia and spread propaganda and nationalist rhetoric.
On top of that, Hirohito helped finance and supply weapons for the conquests of Manchuria and other eastern territories, ordered the killing of civilians, and ordered the use of biological and chemical warfare. In short, Hirohito committed some of the most egregious human rights violations of the 20th century.
Benito Mussolini Skiing With His Son
Benito Mussolini's fascist ideology shaped the Italian political landscape, leading to the repression of the opposition, anti-democratic laws, and mass violence.
He was known for his extreme nationalism, militarism, and expansionist foreign policy initiatives. He was an authoritarian and fascist dictator who suspended civil liberties and dissolved the parliament. He effectively imposed total censorship and sabotaged democracy.
Charles Manson In His Younger Years
Charles Manson was a cult leader in California in the late 1960s. He formed a Manson Family of disciples who followed his orders and committed multiple homicides, including that of actress Sharon Tate.
Manson and his followers believed in an apocalyptic vision where an apocalyptic race war was about to occur, aka Helter Skelter.
Jeffrey Dahmer's Yearbook Photo
Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer who committed many heinous crimes between 1978 to 1991.
Dahmer stored his victims in his Milwaukee apartment and was convicted and sentenced to 16 life terms in prison. Due to his actions and crimes, Cahmer remains an infamous example of the darkest side of human behavior.
Heinrich Himmler With A Little Girl On His Lap
Heinrich Himmler was a high-ranking Nazi leader during World War II and one of the main architects of the Holocaust. He was ultimately responsible for the concentration camps and organized the systematic killing of millions of innocent people.
He was known to be a fanatical follower of Adolf Hitler and one of the most powerful men in the Nazi party. Himmler's legacy is one of cruelty and terror, and his name will always be synonymous with the terrible atrocities of the Holocaust.
Pol Pot's Younger Self
Pol Pot was the leader of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge movement, who led a brutal campaign of genocide against his own people. He tortured and killed an estimated two million people, forced people to marry and relocate, and banned religion and education.
He implemented a strategy of "Year Zero" and the "Killing Fields" to promote a new society by erasing all traditional customs and eliminating anyone who opposed his vision. He eliminated all intellectuals, artists, clergy, and Cambodians who disobeyed his harsh rule.
Ted Bundy In High School
Ted Bundy was a notorious serial killer and kidnapper. He took the lives of young women in several states and is believed to have had more than 30 victims.
The interesting thing about Bundy was he didn't fit the typical "look" of a serial killer. He was handsome for the time period, educated, and charming.
Shirō Ishii Tipping His Hat To The Public
Shirō Ishii was a Japanese doctor and biologist who led the Japanese Army's germ warfare program during World War II. He conducted experiments on human subjects at a research facility in Pingfang.
Ishii's experiments killed thousands and led to the development of biological weapon prototypes, such as the plague and anthrax, as well as research on how to infect enemy populations. He was eventually arrested and charged with war crimes, spending the rest of his life in prison.
Idi Amin Dada Oumee Cheering
Idi Amin Dada Oumee was a Ugandan military dictator who served as the President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. He is widely known for his oppressive and brutal rule, human rights violations, and economic mismanagement.
Idi Amin was responsible for the systematic persecution and murder of hundreds of thousands of Ugandans and refugees, resulting in the exile of the Ugandan Asian community.
John Wayne Gacy Eating A Family Meal
John Wayne Gacy was an American serial killer who assaulted and murdered at least 33 young men and boys. Gacy was often referred to as the "Killer Clown" due to his penchant for dressing as Pogo the Clown when entertaining neighborhood children at parties and fundraising events.
In December 1978, Gacy was arrested in Chicago and later convicted of 12 counts of murder.
David Koresh With His Wife And Son
David Koresh was an American cult leader, musician, and militant leader. He is best known for his controversial teachings and the 1993 Waco siege in which he and 76 of his followers died.
Koresh believed himself to be a prophet and that his interpretation of the Bible was the only way to salvation. He was heavily criticized for his charismatic style of leadership, in which he allegedly used coercion and exploitation.
A Rare Picture Of Jiang Qing As A Young Woman
Jiang Qing was one of the main leaders of the Cultural Revolution in China, and she was responsible for some of the most horrendous actions taken against the Chinese people. She encouraged the persecution of intellectuals and the wealthy, the Red Guards' violent attacks on both cultural artifacts as well as people, and the detention of dissidents in "education camps."
Quing imposed extreme censorship on books, films, music, and her campaigns to control society extended to fashion.
Dr. Harold Shipman Doing The Long Jump As A Child
Dr. Harold Shipman was a British doctor who, between 1975 and 1998, killed an estimated 250–265 of his patients.
Shipman was known for his deceptive methods; he would visit his patients after hours in order to administer lethal doses of opioids and transfer assets out of their names and into his. He also forged over 200 death certificates in order to conceal the nature of his crimes.
Muammar Gaddafi Playing Soccer
While in office, Muammar Gaddafi committed numerous atrocities. He denied basic human rights to those living in the country, such as freedom of the press and freedom of expression. He also threatened, tortured, and killed thousands of his own people in retaliation for political dissent.
He even allegedly had connections to terrorist groups outside of Libya, such as the Irish Republican Army, which he supplied with arms. People who opposed him and his rule were often imprisoned and, sometimes, executed without a fair trial.
Vladimir Lenin With His Sister, Olga
Vladimir Lenin is most remembered for his role in the Russian Revolution; however, he also had an incredibly oppressive reign. Under Lenin, millions of people were forced into labor camps, the secret police were used to violently oppress dissidents and racial minorities, and he created a cult of personality that made government interference in citizens' lives absolute.
Religion was heavily restricted, and the economy ran according to his unpopular policies. The famine of 1921 caused by his policies killed at least 5 million people. He was also the first to establish gulags and have political opponents executed.
Warren Jeffs "Innocent" Smile
Warren Jeffs is the infamous leader of a polygamist sect of the Mormon faith known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). He has been convicted of aggravated assault of children and was given a life sentence in a Texas prison.
Jeffs was accused of multiple counts of fraud, violating the FLDS ban on cooperation with law enforcement, and marrying minors to his most loyal followers. Jeffs is seen as a cult leader accused of manipulating and subjugating his followers.
Shoko Asahara Meditating
Shoko Asahara was a Japanese cult leader and the founder of Aum Shinrikyo (Aum Supreme Truth). He was a charismatic figure who preached about the coming apocalypse and was believed to have supernatural powers. Asahara encouraged his followers to commit a series of violent acts, including the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995.
Following his arrest, Asahara was sentenced to death in 2004. He was widely regarded as a criminal and a terrorist who caused the deaths of thousands of people.
Kim Il-sung With His Family, Including Kim Jong-il
Kim Il-sung, who ruled North Korea from its founding in 1948 until his death in 1994, was a particularly brutal leader. He created a personality cult around himself and imposed harsh labor camps as punishment for political and social dissent. He also used ruthless tactics to crush opponents and their families while spreading propaganda and scapegoating enemies.
His son, Kim Jong-il, and grandson, Kim Jong-un, followed in his footsteps.
Augusto Pinochet Kissing The Cheek Of A Child
Augusto Pinochet, one of the most notorious dictators of the 20th century, caused untold suffering and thousands of deaths for the people of Chile. Under his rule, thousands of people were victimized.
Pinochet's government was responsible for the disappearances of over 3,000 people, and thousands more were exiled during his regime. He also imposed oppressive restrictions upon the media, workers' unions, and any organization opposing his rule. Through his oppressive rule, hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee Chile in order to survive.
Randy Steven Kraft Looking Like A Normal Man
Randy Steven Kraft was an American serial killer who was convicted of murdering 16 young men and suspected of killing up to 65 in California between 1972 and 1983.
He was known as the "Scorecard Killer" for the list of victims he kept in his car. Kraft was sentenced to death in 1989, and his execution is pending as of 2021.
Adolf Eichmann Reading In Bed
Adolf Eichmann was a German Nazi SS Officer and one of the major organizers of the Holocaust. He was responsible for the deportation of millions of Jews to Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps.
He was captured by the Israeli Mossad in Argentina in 1960 and was put on trial in Jerusalem in 1961. He was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Rosemary And Fred West: A Husband And Wife In Love
Rosemary and Fred West were an English serial killer couple. The couple met in their teens, and Fred went on to take the lives of 12 young women. Rosemary was an accomplice in some of her husband's crimes, although the extent of her involvement is disputed. The couple was captured in 1994, but Fred did not make it to trial.
Rosemary was convicted of 10 murders in 1995 and is currently serving a life sentence. The couple's killings remain some of the most notorious in British history.