, pub-6663105814926378, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 10 Evil People Who Did Great Things 4289

10 Evil People Who Did Great Things


Saddam Hussein’s tenure as President of Irag was a blood stained one. More than 6,000 Iraqi citizens were publicly executed by the dictator, and many more were tortured in a variety of horrific ways, including being dropped into vats of acid or having their limbs burned off. Historians estimate that Saddam killed an average of 125 civilians for every day he was in power.

So yeah, not a nice dude. But, despite his violence towards many of them, Hussein also attempted to make the lives of Iraqis better. But, despite his violence towards many of them, Hussein also attempted to make the lives of Iraqis better. He allowed his people to visit hospital without charge, and introduced free and compulsory schooling for the nation’s children.

He allowed his people to visit hospital without charge, and introduced free and compulsory schooling for the nation’s children. Saddam also worked hard to ensure that his population was literate, launching the “National Campaign for the Eradication of IIIiteracy”. Before the campaign, only 52% of Iraqis could read and write. Today 84% can.

Sources: Independent, Alternet. 


A messiah complex, obsessive and just a little crazy. No, not Cruise – Napoleon Bonaparte! The Nineteenth Century French Emperor was seemingly unstoppable on the battlefield, conquering Italy, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands and more. His attempted invasion of Spain was marked with particular violence. On one occasion, in retaliation for the murder of two French soldiers, Napoleon rounded up a hundred random Spanish civilians and had them shot.

His empire eventually collapsed, but not until over 2 million people had died in the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon may have been ruthless on the battlefield, but he was far from a tyrant when off it. He enforced the “Napoleonic Code” across his empire, entitling his citizens to equal rights, private property and religious freedom. He also removed inherited titles and privileges from the upper class, filling positions by merit rather than birth right. Unfortunately, Napoleon only gets half-points because these new freedoms didn’t apply to women.

Sources: Encyclopedia Brittanica,


As fans of Narcos will know, Pablo Escobar was a Colombian drug lord who rose to prominence in the 1980s.  Known as the “King of Cocaine”, Escobar supplied an estimated 80% of all the cocaine in America, and maintained his near monopoly with extreme violence. Escobar’s favorite hitman, John ‘Popeye’ Velasquez, personally killed over 300 people.

He also offered up a $250,000 bounty for anyone who killed a drug enforcement agent. Needless to say, Escobar had money to burn. By 1990, he was the richest criminal in history, with a net worth of over $30 billion. That’s more than the current GDP of Estonia, Uganda or Nepal. Much of this was blown on absurd vanity projects like his fleet of yachts or his private zoo.

But Escobar didn’t just squander all his cash on personal excess. He earned a reputation as a sort of “Robin Hood”, giving huge sums of money to the poor. In one small town, Moravia, he built over 1000 homes for the locals. In slums across Colombia he funded the construction of schools and football pitches. Despite being gunned down in 1993, Escobar remains a hero to many of the poor of Colombia.

Sources: Newstalk, Fusion, Business Insider. 


In the 1990s Joshua Blahyi made a name for himself as a deadly Liberian warlord. Specifically, the name he made for himself was: General Butt Naked, so called because he and his army of child soldiers would fight… well…butt naked, believing it made them immune from bullets. Blahyi himself estimates that his army killed no less than 20,000 people. Not only that, but as a believer in witchcraft he would frequently dabble in human sacrifice and cannibalism – eating the hearts of murdered children to gain their power.

Since 1996 Blahyi has changed dramatically, becoming a devout Christian, speaking against war, and even putting some clothes on. In 2016 he started working for the charity Journeys Against Violence and has already rehabilitated 50 child soldiers, training them in new skills like farming and construction. And in case you’re wondering: no, he doesn’t go by the name Reverend Butt Naked.

Sources: NewYorker. 


One of the most famous serial killers of all time, Ted Bundy, confessed to 30 different murders when he was finally caught in 1975. He decapitated 12 of his victims and would return to the scenes of his crimes and sleep with his victims’ bodies until they were too decayed. However, for a while Bundy preferred saving lives to taking them. While studying Psychology at the University of Washington, he volunteered for the night shift on Seattle’s Suicide Hotline. There he used his manipulative personality for good, convincing people not to kill themselves. Apparently, Bundy was reasonably skilled at this. According to crime writer Ann Rule, who also volunteered for the hotline, Bundy definitely succeeded in saving multiple lives while working there.

Sources: Vintage News, Washington Post. 


Genghis Khan was the brutal tribal leader of the Mongolian Empire. He was so ruthless in his conquests that his tribe slaughtered an estimated 40 million people. At the time, that amounted to 10% of the world’s population. When Khan died, the Mongols had amassed the largest empire that had ever existed. Despite this willingness to kill tens of millions of people, Khan was surprisingly relaxed about religious freedom. Though he personally believed in the ancient Asian religion of Tengriism, he was interested in other beliefs and enjoyed discussing them with religious scholars. More importantly, he allowed his millions of subjects to practice any faith they wanted, and even gave religions bodies tax-free status. Khan’s tolerance wasn’t shared in Europe or the Middle East, where the Crusades were still ongoing.

Sources: New York Times. 


Al Capone was an American gangster who achieved nation-wide infamy for illegally bootlegging booze into Chicago during the prohibition of alcohol. Yes, there was a time during which booze was illegal. Dark, dark times. Capone was cunning and never tied to any serious crime himself. However, it’s thought he ordered the deaths of as many as 32 people. Just like Escobar, Capone enjoyed a reputation for generosity. During the Great Depression, he set up one of America’s first “Soup Kitchens”, serving soup, coffee, and donuts to as many as 120,000 unemployed Chicagoans. On Thanksgiving, his kitchen served beef stew to 5,000 men, women, and children. The kitchens were almost certainly a cynical attempt by Capone to clean up his image, but it didn’t matter to the hungry and poor of Chicago, many of whom claimed he was doing more to help the needy than the US government.



Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi rose to power in a bloodless coup, but his regime didn’t remain bloodless for very long. Gaddafi spent the 42 years of his rule crushing dissent and repressing his people. During the Arab Spring, his troops killed over 1,000 of his own citizens in a last ditch attempt to cling onto power. But for any Libyans happy not to challenge Gaddafi’s reign, life could be pretty good.
Gaddafi provided the Libyan people with free healthcare, education and electricity.

He also subsidised housing and transport. Perhaps most impressively, Gaddafi helped put an end to the widespread droughts that his nation faced, building “The Great Man-Made River” Before NATO bombed it in 2011, this was the world’s largest irrigation system and supplied drinking water to 70 percent of Libya’s population. Despite these expenses, Gaddafi ran Libya without collecting any national debt although that probably has less to do with Gaddafi’s leadership and more to do with the fact that Libya sits on top of $60 billion worth of oil.

Sources: BBC, Foreign Policy Journal. 


It won’t surprise you to hear that Hitler was not a great guy. He was a firm believer in eugenics and the racial superiority of the German people, ordering the murder of six million Jews in concentration camps across Europe. What may surprise you, though, is that Hitler was an ardent defender of animal rights.

As soon as the Nazis rose to power, they started enforcing laws to improve the lives of animals. Hitler added the humane treatment of animals to the national school curriculum, established numerous nature reserves, required that all slaughterhouses used anesthetic, and made mistreating pets a crime with a minimum sentence of two years in jail. Germany was also the first nation to ban vivisection, which involves operating on live animals. That’s great, although it doesn’t really make up for the whole World War 2 thing.

Sources: Psychology Today.


You had to be pretty violent for the Ancient Romans to think you went too far. These were the people whose idea of entertainment was having wild animals eat criminals in giant arenas after all. Yet, Caligula stood out – even for a Roman. According to Suetonius, the third Emperor of Rome routinely killed people just for his own amusement.

He once ran out of criminals to have killed in the arena and so ordered an entire section of the crowd to be eaten instead. But it didn’t start out that way. During his first six months, his reign was incredibly popular. He offered tax breaks to his poorest citizens. He provided huge public shows for the public at his own expense. He allowed many unjustly exiled citizens to return, and let people write historical documents, something that had been banned under Tiberius. After falling seriously ill in 37AD, though, Caligula’s attitude changed, and he became the despot people still know about today.

If you found this video interesting then why don’t you check out 10 Disturbing Wartime Urban Legends. There is a link on screen right now. As always, thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time. The legend of the German corpse factories was arguably one of the most infamous anti-German propaganda stories circulated in World War I by the British. In 1917, the British press published stories of German factories called ‘Kadaververwertungsanstalt.’ Here bodies of soldiers were allegedly rendered down for fat-a scarcity in Germany due to the British naval blockade-and then used to manufacture candles and wax for leather boots. After the in 1925, Conservative MP John Charteris revealed that, as head of the British propaganda department… …he had fabricated the story and dispatched it to China with the principal aim of getting the Chinese to join the war against Germany.

Sources: Suetonius, BBC,

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