Selfies are a big part of the internet today. A good selfie makes you look good for the world and gets you out there. Everyone wants to look good on their profile and advertise their best features, whether it’s their duckfaces or their washboard abs. Selfies are so common now that most of them blend together. But what about a different element of society? People who aren’t quite so typical? We’re talking about gang bosses, hitmen, and drug dealers. Well, it turns out they like selfies as much as the rest of us.
We often see ruthless gangsters portrayed in movies, whether it’s Mafiosos in Goodfellas or inner-city hood bosses in Training Day, but now with the internet it’s easier than ever to see real criminals up close and personal.
These real-life gangsters took to social media to broadcast their lifestyles. These images provide a terrifying glimpse into the criminal underworld, whether it’s posing for a photo right after taking someone's life or grabbing a quick selfie with a hostage right in the backseat. You’ll find everything here.
Many of these gangsters paid for their crimes, with the cops either finding out about them on the internet or discovering their online profiles while gathering evidence. While bragging on the internet might seem cool, it turns out that using the web to broadcast your criminal activity is not always the smart play.
14 Zack Davies' Revenge
The deranged look in this British white supremacist’s selfie was more than just for show. Hours later he walked into a store with a machete and tried to take an innocent man's life. Zack Davies attacked the man for his ethnicity as revenge for Lee Rigby, an off duty British soldier who was murdered by Islamic extremists in 2013.
All the evidence of the man’s intentions can be found in these two selfies he posted on the internet on the day of his attack. In the background of the first photo is a flag for National Action – a secretive Neo-Nazi hate organization in the UK – and Davies menacingly wields the machete that he would use in his attack. The second photo is superficially more normal, but it might be even creepier, as the Neo-Nazi smiles at the camera with the menacing look of an angry kid who’s gone completely insane.
13 Yakuza Eating Dinner
The Yakuza are the members of various Japanese organized crime syndicates which date back hundreds of years. Though not always illegal, they were historically comprised of lower classes of people and gradually built up strength to become the dangerous gang organizations they are today.
As this picture shows, even gangsters need to eat and drink like the rest of us. It’s not clear why the four men in the back are standing with the backs facing the camera, but the body tattoos displayed in this shot are important to the yakuza, and are not normally shown in public, which indicates that maybe this is some sort of ritual being performed. Perhaps putting their hands on their heads might symbolize something like an execution.
12 Love Hurts
This selfie might not seem that creepy on its own, but it’s much darker once you realize what the man in the shot did to save his own skin. Joshua Vallum, a member of the Latin Kings gang in Mississippi, had been dating a 17-year-old transgender woman named Mercedes Williamson but when he feared their relationship would be discovered and that he would be exposed as gay, Vallum beat Williamson used a hammer to cover up his own sexuality.
Vallum’s gang banned homosexuality and considered it punishable by death, so it might be understandable that Vallum would want to cover his tracks, but that doesn’t excuse his crime. He found himself with a difficult choice, but while taking his girlfriend's life may have saved him from blowback from his fellow gang members, he only exposed himself to the criminal justice system.
Joshua was convicted of a hate crime and sentenced to 49 years in prison. Maybe he should have found another way to out himself.
11 Schizophrenic With Poison
The baller in this selfie is dangerous, indeed. William Christopher Gibbs is a Neo-Nazi from Georgia who has been diagnosed as schizophrenic. While mental illness is a serious issue and we hope that he eventually gets the help he needs, being affiliated with a hate group like the Georgia Church of Creativity where he can identify as a “White Racial Loyalist” is not the way to get his troubled mind on the right track.
In February of this year, around the time this picture was uploaded, Gibbs checked himself into the hospital, concerned that he had ricin on his hands. What was a mentally ill Neo-Nazi doing with a deadly poison? No one knows what he had planned to do with the substance if he hadn’t spilled it on himself, but Gibbs was taken into custody directly from the hospital. Hopefully in prison he can get the mental care that he clearly needs.
This reported sicario of the dangerous Mexican cartel Caballeros Templarios is fond of posting selfies on the internet. He’s “mafia famous”, so to speak. In some images, he’s toting guns or money or drugs. Here, he appears to have a captive in the backseat of his SUV as he takes a selfie while driving down the highway. Questions about this situation abound, and are mostly unanswered. What happened to the captive after this shot was taken? Did he go against the cartel? Is he on his way to an execution? Or is he just an unknown element who needs to be blindfolded in order to protect the gang?
Broly loves to mug his pretty face before the cameras, no matter if he’s on his way to commit nefarious crimes or not. That said, is it really that smart to post a selfie implicating yourself in a potentially violent crime? Given the braggadocio of the rest of his profile, such concerns don’t seem to bother Broly, but if that kid never made it out of that car alive… this selfie could stand up in court.
9 Wobbles The Gangster
While this slightly overweight gangster may look like he struggles to even get off the couch, that didn’t prevent him from orchestrating a large gun-smuggling ring and selling guns to cops.
This selfie is creepy because Wobbles looks like he wouldn’t hesitate to use either of those handguns if anyone made a snarky comment about his weight. Wobbles is also nicknamed “Redrum” – murder spelled backwards – which gives us the sense that he’s not a man to be messed with, especially when it comes to the cookie jar.
Based in New York, Wobbles apparently ran a gang of up to 10 people who smuggled guns in from other parts of the country and apparently conspired to kill at least one member of a rival gang. Supposedly weighing in at over 500 pounds, Wobbles was eventually sentenced to 15 years in prison for his crimes and went to jail riding in his wheelchair. We hope he has fun trying to fit that massive girth onto a prison cot.
8 Real Life "Snoop"
“Snoop” from The Wire is a classic character in TV history. Young, small in stature, and female, she quickly showed that she could be tougher than the biggest, ballsiest mofos on the street. She talked smack with the best of them, and when someone got in her way, she had no problem banging them out.
Gakira Barnes was a real-life version of the character from the show. Nicknamed “Lil Snoop,” she was a short teenage girl affiliated with the Fly Boys Gang on the South Side of Chicago who reportedly carried out her first murder at just 14. In this photo, Barnes reps her guns and lets you know not to mess with her. It wasn’t just for show, either. She was a dangerous element on the streets of Chicago. Over the years, she splashed tons of gun-wielding selfies on social media and apparently was involved in a lot of serious gang violence.
But just like Snoop, Barnes died the way she lived – young and on the street. She was murdered at the age of 17, having reportedly helped kill up to 20 people.
7 Teen Robbery Selfie
Not only is this selfie creepy, it’s also incredibly stupid. The two girls pictured in the photo decided to rob a fast food joint in Sweden in 2013, but figured once they got into their disguises, they’d upload a picture on social media to show just how gangsta they really were. After they carried out the robbery successfully, the police easily tracked them down online.
Rule #1 of getting away with a crime: Don’t post red-handed pictures of yourself on the internet.
Regardless, the picture itself is bone-chilling to look at. While it turns out the two girls were just young and stupid stickup artists, someone wielding a knife with a balaclava over their head does not look like someone to be messed around with. In the end, while donning balaclavas may have worked to hide their faces and make them terrifying to us, they ruined the secret by posting to a website affiliated with their real names – Facebook.
6 These Final Images Of Antonio Perkins
These screenshots captured from a Facebook live stream may seem mundane at first glance, but they become much creepier once you realize these are some of the last images ever captured of this man alive. Antonio Perkins was just at home on his block in his Chicago hood, streaming a casual Facetime video of him mucking around with friends. But that Facetime turned deadly when a rival gang member carried out a hit on the unsuspecting Perkins during the video.
As a suspected gangster, Perkins probably did something to antagonize his rivals, but that doesn’t make these images any less sad. Even gangbangers hang out with their buddies and take their kids to school, and it seems harsh and backhanded to die without a fair fight like this. The dangers of hood life…
5 YouTube Braggart
Sometimes it pays to put yourself out into the world, but sometimes the world comes and gets you back.
This is a still from a rap video where Reial Phillips of the Burger Bar Boys gang brags about ending all of his rivals. So what, right? Who doesn’t diss their rivals in their tracks? But this video was different – bone-chillingly honest and real. These weren’t beautifully crafted verses about getting ahead in the ghetto by any means possible - as Phillips raps into the camera he confesses to several murders he’s committed in pursing the gang life.
This video was more than just creepy, though – it was incriminating. It turns out there’s a difference between laying witness to the hood life for the sake of art and using the mike as a verbal confessional. When the cops found this aspiring rapper’s work on the internet, it provided them with the evidence they needed to charge him with multiple homicides.
4 Bus Shooter
What’s chilling about this selfie is how young Kahton Anderson looks. His childish features beg to be molded for good if he could only be persuaded to give up the gun and lead the straight life. He just looks like another kid trying to play hard by repping a gun – until you realize that this is the gun he actually used. The 14-year-old from Brooklyn ended up shooting off his gun on a crowded city bus and killing an innocent bystander. It turns out that when kids play around with guns, bad things happen. When he committed the crime, he was probably too young to properly understand what death was.
While he was certainly trying to play hard, instead he got hard time. Anderson is now serving 12-to-life for a stupid crime he committed while he was too young to drive. He may never have a chance to enjoy the carnal pleasure of a legal drink or cigarette. Let’s hope prison turns this dangerous child criminal into a more cautious man.
3 "Joker" Selfie
This gangster looks like he means business – and it turns out he does. The Georgia native goes by the name “Joker” – which, judging by his facial expression in this shot, is more of a reference to the pure evil of the Batman character than any kind of funny bone – and was a high-ranking member of Sur 13, a gang in Gwinnett, Georgia. This eerie selfie of Joker posing with guns and money – a classic bling shot – was posted just hours before he took the life of an associate named Kevin Orlando Rivera, in an apartment building in 2015. In this picture, Joker looks calm, collected and lethal – every inch the ruthless assassin he would soon prove himself to be.
Joker was sentenced to life plus another 135 years. We hope the bling was worth it.
2 Post-Shootout Gang Team Photo
These five suspected West Coast Crips posed for a casual selfie following a shootout in which they allegedly took the life of another gangster. These callous gangsters are part of one of the most ruthless and organized criminal organizations in America. Located mostly in California, the gang is known for distributing meth and other drugs, takeover-style robberies and silencing rats.
The creepiest thing about this photo is how casual they all seem, mugging for the camera. Most chilling of all is the way that the man in the bottom centre seems to be puffing on a victory cigar – death for these people is a cause for celebration.
Over thirty Crips were taken down in a sting operation in 2014, though it’s not widely known if the unidentified members in this shot were among the captured, whether they’re already dead or whether they’re still at large.
1 This Angry Facebook Live Gangster
This gangster looks like he means business. This chilling shot is a still captured from a 48-second Facebook Live video where an unidentified Clapham Junction gang member from South London calls out his rivals. In the 2014 video he challenges his rival gang to an “instabeef” and waves his .38 calibre in the direction of the camera. The video references an escalating turf war between the two gangs. While it might seem like just talking smack over the internet, there’s little doubt that this gun-wielding rant could have real world implications.
This image and the accompanying video may be terrifying, but they're also another example of gangsters who exposed themselves to the law by posting their identities on social media. As the internet takes over and everything from pickup lines to all-out gang wars move online, everyone becomes more traceable. It’s not known if the angry gun-wielder has been arrested, but the video was reported to the police.