Have you ever wondered what it would be like to grow up with a person who grew up to be super evil? We already might have the experience of looking back on our childhood classmates and realizing that they are doing awesome things with their lives…or not so awesome things. It is so interesting to look back at the people you knew earlier in life and then to see what they are up to right now. Well, today we are going to go through that a little bit, except with famous figures from global history. And the results might be a bit jarring. These are 15 Haunting Childhood Photos of the Most Evil People in History.
Here we have some of the most hated and notorious figures from human history, spanning decades and locations all over the world. We have leaders of Cambodia and Japan, political leaders in Iraq and Germany, and even others who are known for committing crimes throughout the United States. We are going to look back at some of the most infamous creepy people and see what they looked like as children. That in and of itself is pretty darn disturbing. It is so strange to think that the most evil people in history grew up as children not too different from you or I. And yet somewhere along the line, their minds were infiltrated with hatred and the results were often fatal and dramatic. So let’s take a look and see how you feel about seeing these seemingly innocent pictures of children.
15. Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceausescu passed away in 1989, but the shadow of his memory has extended far into the new millennium. Even today, the people of Romania still remember the horrors that he committed and the evil iron fist he ruled with. This youthful photo of him is haunting and evokes the feeling that this little boy would grow up to be a hateful and hated dictator. Ceausescu served as the general secretary of the Romanian Communist Party, and this is where he got a taste for communism and how he could use it to his extreme advantage. Ceausescu was an obedient youth in the communist movement, which enabled him to move up through the ranks and establish a position of power amongst the public and his peers. Once he assumed control of Romania’s politics, he adopted a much more repressive regime. He stuck close to the methods and behaviors of Josef Stalin, bringing oppression to his country.
14. Joseph Stalin
For about thirty years, Joseph Stalin served as the leader of the Soviet Union. To this day, he is remembered as a brutal dictator, and his methods of politics have been adopted by other repressive leaders all around the world (this pattern of behaviors is known as Stalinism.) Stalin basically held power and control over the Soviet Union from around 1925 until he passed away in 1953. In effect, his position as the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union made him a nationwide dictator. Stalin adopted a policy of creating a socialist state within the Soviet Union, and he had close ties to political leaders such as Mao Zedong in China and Kim Il-sung in North Korea. His relations to such repressive dictators is another sign that he ruled his people in a brutal manner, and his period of rule is remembered as being strongly oppressive and harmful to those in the Soviet Union.
13. Dale Hausner
Between 2005 and 2006, Dale Hausner worked alongside his team of fellow serial killers to become the ‘Serial Shooters’ in Phoenix, Arizona. They wreaked havoc on the residents of this southwestern town, shooting 25 people (8 of those shootings were fatal.) Dale Hausner was eventually nabbed by the police authorities, but not before an investigation was done in which his apartment was recorded. In the police recordings, one could hear Hausner actually bragging about his status as a wanted man, saying that he was among the best serial killers in history. How sick is that? Hausner’s means of attack was driving past victims and shooting them at point blank range. He also shot and killed several animals during his killing streak. This childhood photo shows an adolescent Hausner sitting on a homely armchair with a black muscle tee and a vapid expression. It is quite eerie to look at it now. Hausner ended up dying from an antidepressant overdose while behind bars.
12. James Holmes
Most people still actively remember the Aurora Movie Theater Shooter, who was also known as James Holmes. The perpetrator was in his early 20s at the time and walked into a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, opening fire and killing 24 people (he shot at 120 people in total.) 70 others were injured at the movie theater, and there were vigils and memorials places all around the city, as well as mass media coverage for weeks after the event. Holmes not only attacked this movie theater and the innocent people in it, but he had premeditated on this incident ahead of time. His own apartment was set up with bombs and other firearms that were poised to go off should police authorities break in. Fortunately, a bomb squad was able to defuse the bombs. Holmes had a slew of suicide attempts after being arrested, and this childhood photo looks nothing like a kid who would shoot up a movie theater.
11. Dr. Josef Mengele
This creepy black and white childhood photo shows Dr. Josef Mengele as a young boy. He would later grow up to be deeply involved in the Holocaust and alongside Adolf Hitler’s evil schemes. Mengele worked at the Auschwitz concentration camp, where he performed medical experiments on victims and chose which ones would be sent to the gas chambers. Mengele was part of the Nazi movement since 1938, and in 1949 he moved to South America, where he frequented the countries of Paraguay and Argentina. Mengele ended up dying by drowning off the coast of Brazil in 1979, at the age of 67. In 1978, a novel based off of the events of Dr. Josef Mengele’s life was published called The Boys From Brazil. The book was made into a film and centered on a plot in which Mengele’s character helps to create clones of Adolf Hitler in Brazil. Thanks, but no thanks.
10. Jim Jones
Jim Jones led a deadly cult in America in the 1970s called the Peoples Temple. This cult was responsible for mass murders and suicides, and Jim Jones is still known today as one of the most evil Americans in history. Born in Indiana, Jones started up the Peoples Temple in the 1950s, but it really gained traction when he moved it to the West Coast in California in the 1960s. Jones amassed hundreds of followers; nearly a thousand, and he killed about three hundred children at Jonestown alone. A number of documentaries were created based on Jim Jones’ life and events, as well as songs by bands and artists throughout the years. Jones was initially inspired by Father Divine, leader of the International Peace Mission movement. The childhood photo on our list shows a typical looking young boy who seems to just be happy as a lark. Creepy as heck!
9. Osama Bin Laden
This infamous terrorist leader was born in Saudi Arabia in the late 1950s. He had 51 siblings and was the son of a Yemeni man who immigrated to Saudi Arabia and started up the most successful construction company in the country. Therefore, Osama Bin Laden grew up very privileged and with affluent beginnings. As a young man, Bin Laden joined the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, and he was a very devout Muslim. The religion of Islam dictated every facet of his life, including his life decisions and everyday events. In his 20s, he began closely following the ideas and teachings of a radical Muslim, Abdullah Azzam, who called all followers of Islam to participate in holy war. This teaching shaped the bin Laden we remember today. He began hating Western ideals and American life, and he rose through the ranks of Al-Qaida. He became a notorious figure in the militant group and he moved to countries throughout the Middle East and Africa to go into hiding. He began Public Enemy #1 and was captured and then killed on May 1, 2011.
8. Eric Harris
The Columbine High School shooting was the first school shooting in modern history. It became the most remembered school shooting and it was a duo of teenagers who were responsible for all of that death and destruction. Eric Harris was one of those students, and he killed 13 people while injuring over 20 others before turning the gun on himself. This was on April 20, 1999, shortly after Harris had moved from Kansas to Colorado with his family. Little by little, Harris had trouble fitting in with his new peers and he had a really hard time adapting to a new environment. The results, as we know, were deadly. The incident also sparked debates about school safety and gun control, as well as mental illness and bullying. This childhood photo shows Harris hanging out with a baseball hat on. The other one shows him as a mellow pre-teen. He looks sweet and kind and is dressed in typical clothing. He looks just like a rule-abiding student.
7. Dylan Klebold
Along with Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold was the second part of the deadly duo at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Dylan would never have been suspected of turning to violent means. He came from a well-do-to family and his own mother was a professional who worked with people with disabilities. Dylan had a comfortable lifestyle or at least one that seemed comfortable, but there were some serious issues roiling within him. He may have been shy, but he was intelligent and even worked an after-school job. This childhood photo shows Klebold as an adolescent, and while he looks reserved and quiet, he does not seem like the type to shoot down a school. He appears to be gentle and shy. If there were any red flags, it was that Klebold was more of a “geek” who wasn’t interested in sports, which led to a deep-rooted hatred for his school and his peers.
Hirohito passed away in 1989 and left a legacy of immense power. He was known in Japan as Emperor Showa, although outsiders know him by Hirohito which is the less formal name of the leader. After his father, Yoshihito passed away, Hirohito assumed the leadership position and this was while Japan was already enjoying its status as an up and coming global nation. Hirohito’s succession to power is known as the period of Enlightenment in Japan. Even so, the country was facing financial crises, and Hirohito narrowly missed an attack against his life early on in his reign. Hirohito continued to rule as Japan entered World War II, and he greatly feared the United States’ attempts to defect Japanese civilians. Hirohito therefore encouraged the Japanese people to kill themselves rather than give in to American forces. Hirohito was also accused of participating and encouraging war crimes throughout World War II, accusations which are supported by multiple researchers and historians.
5. Jeffrey Dahmer
Any photo of Jeffrey Dahmer is downright disturbing, including this photo of his younger days. Dahmer is known around the country – and the world – as a highly disturbed serial killer who also sexually abused his victims. Between 1978 and 1991, Dahmer was involved in the raping, torturing, dismemberment, and murder of seventeen adolescent and teenage boys. Dahmer was also involved in practices such as cannibalism, necrophilia, and of keeping and preserving the body parts and skeletons of his victims. He was legally sane at the time of his trial, although he suffered from mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, and psychotic disorder. He received life in prison in 1992 but was beaten to death by one of his inmates in 1994. The life and horrific events of Dahmer’s life have been chronicled in books, movies, and other media entertainment. Documentaries have also recounted the mental illness and mindset that Dahmer battled.
4. Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy was known for kidnapping, raping, and killing his victims. He also participated in acts of necrophilia and burglary, and most of his crimes occurred in the 1970s and included young girls and women. His killings and crimes spanned at least seven different states in America and Bundy pled guilty to 30 counts of homicide. Bundy was an attractive man, and he used his gentle demeanor and friendly attitude to lure his victims to their ends. The acts of his killings and crimes were extremely disturbing, and we would rather not list them here. Bundy’s first court trial was in Utah in 1975, in which he was imprisoned for aggravated kidnapping and criminal assault. As he began to be linked to more burglaries and murders, it became clear that Bundy was one of the most lethal and disturbed criminals in the United States. In 1989, Bundy died by the electric chair at a prison in Florida.
3. Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein is one of the most well-known criminals and terrorists of the 21 century. He was also the fifth President of Iraq and was a member of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, a revolutionary political group. Hussein used his political power and influence to control and manage forces among the different government entities. This also helped him to climb the ranks and obtain even more control and power. Under Hussein’s influence Iraq was able to grow exponentially, particularly in the oil industry. Most of the governmental positions in the country were held by Sunni Arabs, a group that was actually a minority in Iraq. Hussein held his own against United States and Western forces, which led to many Iraqis admiring his authority, but on the other hand, Hussein tended to rule with an iron fist, causing many to call him a dictator. At the very least, we are sure you remember how his life ended!
2. Pol Pot
From 1963 to 1997, Pol Pot led the Khmer Rouge revolutionary group through Cambodia. In 1963 he became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, and he held that position until 1981. His following forces captured Phnom Penh in 1975, making Pol Pot the most powerful leader in Cambodia at the time. He also served as the Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea, in which he held a dictatorship and complete control over the government and peoples. He forced many residents to move to the countryside and do forced labor on collective farms. He also refused to let up on the forced labor, unfair working conditions, and public executions. He also exposed the Cambodians to lacking medical resources and food. This led to a quarter of the country’s population dwindling throughout the Pol Pot years. In just four years, between one and three million Cambodians were said to perish due to malnourishment, exhaustion, or lack of medical care.
1. Adolf Hitler
Perhaps the most hated man in world history, Adolf Hitler was in search of a perfect world in which only those of the Aryan race (mainly, white) were able to live freely. Hitler wanted to banish the dirty races and classes from the world, and he started with gypsies, homosexuals, and Jews. He first made all Jewish people wear the Star of David as a public marker, and then they all had to live in ghettos or less-tailored neighborhoods. Eventually, Hitler created concentration camps, where he would “exterminate” the Jews and the other people he didn’t want alive anymore. The Holocaust was one of the most disturbing and fatal incidences in human history and was the focal point of World War II. Some people forget that Hitler was not German, although most of his hateful crimes and acts were performed in Germany. Hitler was actually Austrian. He wrote Mein Kampf, also known as My Struggle, a book that has been read by countless individuals all over the world. Hitler died on April 30, 1945, in Berlin, Germany by suicide.