When we think of criminals, we often imagine burglars, robbers, and murderers. But some criminals’ crimes are so strange and bizarre that they defy belief. From a man who pretended to be a doctor to a woman who sold her farts, here are the top 5 strangest criminals in history.
- Charles J. “Chase” Merritt: The Business Partner Turned Killer Chase Merritt was a business partner of Joseph McStay, a man who ran a successful water fountain company. But suspicion fell on Merritt when McStay and his family disappeared in 2010. It turned out that Merritt had bludgeoned the family to death with a sledgehammer, burying them in the desert. He was eventually caught and sentenced to death.
- Victor Lustig: The Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower (Twice) Victor Lustig was a con artist who convinced people that he was a government official or a wealthy businessman. In 1925, he went to Paris and sold the Eiffel Tower to scrap metal dealers. He repeated the scam a year later but was caught and sent to prison.
- Linda Riss: The Woman Who Hired a Hitman to Kill Her Boyfriend Linda Riss was a 21-year-old woman who was in love with Burt Pugach, a 32-year-old lawyer. When Pugach married someone else, Riss hired a hitman to throw acid in his face. Pugach survived the attack, and Riss and the hitman were arrested. Incredibly, Riss and Pugach later got married after he was released from prison.
- John R. Brinkley: The Fake Doctor Who Performed Goat Gland Transplants John R. Brinkley was a charlatan who claimed to be a doctor and performed bizarre medical procedures. One of his most infamous treatments involved transplanting goat testicles into men to cure impotence. Despite being exposed as a fraud, Brinkley continued to practice medicine until he was arrested and charged with fraud.
- Stephanie Starks: The Woman Who Sold Her Farts Stephanie Starks is a YouTuber who made headlines when she revealed that she was making thousands of dollars by selling her farts in jars. She claimed that she was consuming a specific diet that made her farts smell like different foods, and that people were willing to pay a premium for them. However, her business venture took a turn when she ended up in the hospital due to excessive farting.
These five criminals may be strange and bizarre, but their crimes had real consequences. From murder to fraud to selling farts, their actions show that human beings are capable of almost anything.