With Halloween just a few weeks away, many people will already be making a list of all the films they’re going to watch featuring just about every infamous horror villain that’s appeared onscreen. There’s plenty of terrifying characters to choose from, like Michael Myers from the Halloween films, Jason Vorhees from the Friday the 13th series, Hannibal Lector from Silence of The Lambs, and even Pennywise the clown from IT.
After being terrified for the duration of a scary film, it’s easy for us to sit back and relax knowing that the monsters and killers in movies aren’t real. Except in real life, there are genuine monsters and violent individuals all over the world that are being kept locked away in maximum security prisons, built for the sole purpose of keeping these individuals away from even the most dangerous offenders.
We've decided to take a look at 15 of the most notorious and prolific prisoners that are considered so high-risk and dangerous that, in some cases, no human contact is permitted and custom-built maximum security prisons were made just for them.
15 Michael Adebolajo - Murdered A Soldier In An Act Of Terrorism
On May 22, 2013, exactly four years to the day of Manchester terror, Michael Adebolago and his accomplice Michael Adebowale ran down and murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby in a sickening act of violence and terrorism that shocked the British nation.
Ligby was returning to his barracks in Woolwich, England, when he was spotted wearing his "Help 4 Heroes" hoodie and was ran down by Adebolajo and Adebowale– the pair had been circling the barracks hunting for a victim for over an hour. They attacked him with knives and meat cleavers and requested onlookers call the armed police so they could be martyred. Both attackers were shot but survived.
Since being locked up, Michael Adebolago has been branded as one of Britain's most dangerous, violent, and unpredictable prisoners. He spends his days preaching his distorted form of Islam to impressionable young prisoners, whether they are Muslim or not.
14 Ivan Milat - Australia's Worst Serial Killer
Known as the Backpacker Killer, Ivan Milat was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences for murdering seven young backpackers aged between 19 and 22, between 1989 and 1993 in New South Wales, Australia.
Police maintain that it’s very likely that Milat was involved in many more backpacker killings than the seven he was convicted for. Additionally, Milat’s own brother has since come forward stating that Ivan was responsible for the shooting of a taxi driver in 1962.
The popular horror films Wolf Creek and Wolf Creek 2, along with the television series are based loosely on the backpacker murders.
Evan at the age of 72, Milat remains a dangerous prisoner and after an escape attempt, is currently serving his time at Australia’s Supermax jail in Goulburn, where he’s bragged that “it isn’t tough as it’s made out to be.”
13 Dwight York - Notorious Cult Leader And Black Supremacist
Dwight York, who also likes to refer to himself as Dr. Malachi York (as well several other names), is a black supremacist that started his own cult known as the Nuwaubian Nation in New York.
York’s religion has its roots in Black Islam. York also adapted his own ancient alien theories, which claim that all white people are evil genetically-altered soldiers of ancient times, and are monsters who shouldn’t even be considered human.
In 2004, York was sentenced to 135 years in prison for over a hundred child molestation charges relating to his own followers, and violations of the RICO Act. The case against York for the molestation charges is the largest prosecution for such offences against a single person in the United States.
York remains a dangerous individual and he still has a large number of devoted followers that continue to preach his own brand of hatred to anyone that will listen.
12 Bassam Hamzy - Australia's Most Dangerous Prisoner
At the age of 19, Bassam Hamzy was jailed in 1999 for shooting and killing a teenager outside a Sydney nightclub and was jailed for 21 years for murder. However, it was his time in jail that molded him into Australia's most extreme high-risk inmate.
In prison, Hamzy founded the notorious Brothers 4 Life gang after he converted to a radical and extreme form of Islam. Operating from a smuggled mobile phone, Hamzy ran a violent drugs network, even though he was segregated from other prisoners due to his strong influence.
After getting caught, Hamzy was sent to Goulburn's Supermax prison, the same one that holds Ivan Milat. Despite this, his reach is still present as the gang’s leader to this day.
11 Pedro Rodriguez Filho - Brazil's Most Dangerous Inmate
Pedro Rodrigues Filho is a Brazilian serial killer, vigilante, spree killer, and a one-time cannibal who ate his father’s heart, after finding out he was responsible for murdering and dismembering his mother.
It is probably fair to say that Filho didn’t have the best start in life, as he was born with a damaged skull after his mother was physically abused his father while she was still pregnant. So it’s no surprise that he showed early signs of violence. He tried to kill his cousin when he was aged 13, but it was at the age of 14 when he committed his first murder; he killed the vice-mayor of Alfenas, Minas Gerais.
Before the age of 18, he escaped prison, and tortured and killed ten gang members who were responsible for the death of his girlfriend. After his capture, he continued his vigilantism and claimed the lives of at least 71 inmates. Despite getting a 400-year sentence, he was released after 30 years due to Brazilian law. However, he was rearrested for false imprisonment and inciting a riot, and he remains incarcerated to this day.
10 Charles Bronson - Britain's Most Notorious Prisoner
Charles Bronson (who currently calls himself Charles Salvador) was born Michael Peterson in Luton, England, and is often referred to as Britain’s most violent and notorious prisoner. Film fans will recognize the notorious prisoner from the 2009 biopic Bronson, starring Tom Hardy.
At the age of 22, Bronson was originally arrested in 1974 for armed robbery under his birth name. Whilst in prison, Bronson earned a reputation as a violent prisoner and got into several altercations with prison guards and other prisoners. Between 1975 and 1977, he spent the majority of this time being switched between prisons due to his violent altercations with other prisoners, including an attempt to poison another inmate in the cell next to him.
When Bronson was released for a brief time, he fought as a bare-knuckle fighter, but found himself incarcerated again after committing another robbery. Since being inside, he’s spent the majority of his time in a solitary Hannibal Lector-style cage for attacking and holding guards, his lawyer, other inmates, and even prison governors hostage, extending his sentence to life imprisonment.
9 Barry Mills - Leader Of The Aryan Brotherhood
Barry Mills is one of the leaders of the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang, after rising through ranks from age of 21 in San Quentin Prison. Mills began serving two life terms for nearly decapitating an inmate in a maximum security prison in 1979, but Barry has reportedly killed or has been involved in the killing of at least fourteen people in prison.
The Aryan Brotherhood held so much power, that even the infamous former mafia boss John Gotti paid Mills and his associates for protection in prison. Mills and many other members of the prison gang have been further convicted of organizing a race riot, a drug trafficking network, and racketeering. Mills and three other Aryan Brotherhood leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole in ADX maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado.
8 Anders Brevik – Norway Mass Murderer
Anders Brevik is a Norwegian far-right extremist who murdered 77 people, which included children as a young as 14 years old, in a massacre in July 2011. Brevik left his mother’s apartment dressed as a police officer and set off a homemade bomb inside a van outside Regjeringskvartalet, the center of Norway’s government, and killed 8 people. He then made his way to the island of Utøya to the Worker’s Youth League Summer camp and shot and killed 69 people in a massacre that lasted more than an hour before surrendering himself to the police.
Brevik is currently serving a 21-year prison term, which can be extended every ten years if he is considered a risk to society. To this day, Brevik hasn’t shown any remorse for his actions, and instead, he continues to complain about his current living conditions, stating that he doesn’t have enough video games to play and that his rubber pen was uncomfortable to use. Hopefully, the Norwegian authorities will continue to extend his sentence for the remainder of his life.
7 Ramzi Yousef – 1993 World Trade Center Bomber
Before 9/11, Ramzi Yousef masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Philippine Airlines Flight 434, and was a co-conspirator in the failed Bojinka plot. Yousef is also the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a senior al-Qaeda member suspected of being the man behind the September 11 attacks in 2001.
Educated in Wales and England, Yousef is an intelligent and charismatic man absolutely devoted to his hatred of the West. It was his full intention to kill as many people as possible by bringing down the Two Towers with a bomb planted in a van, assassinate Pope John Paul II, and blow 11 airliners with the intention of killing at least 4000 passengers.
Yousef showed a disregard for his victims during his trial and has never shown any remorse for his actions. He is currently held at the Supermax prison ADX in Florence, Colorado.
6 Nicolas Cocaign – French Prisoner Ate His Cellmate
Dubbed the “Hannibal Lector of France” Nicolas Cocaign tortured, murdered and ate his cellmate Thierry Baudry’s lung while he was still alive. Cocaign killed his victim because the two had a disagreement over a shared toilet in their cell.
Cocaign went berserk and attacked Baudry with scissors and a razor blade, cutting his chest open, ripping out the lung, eating some of it raw before he cooked the rest using a camping stove in his cell.
Apparently, Cocaign warned authorities that he was a man capable of being dangerous, but he wasn’t taken seriously until he committed this gruesome act of violence. The only witness to the crime was another cellmate that was so traumatized by what he saw that he killed himself two years later. Despite an insanity plea, Cocaign was sentenced to another 30 years in prison with no possibility of parole for at least 20 years.
5 Vladimir The Cannibal - Notorious Prisoner In Russia’s Black Dolphin
Vladimir Nikolayev is the most notorious inmate locked up in one of the world’s toughest and secure prisons, Russia’s Black Dolphin. After his first crime, he revealed in an interview how he got into a drunken argument with one of his neighbors. A fight ensued between the two, and Nikolayev killed his neighbor, dragged his body into his bathroom, and started chopping up the remains.
The interview with National Geographic shows Nikolayev laughing to himself as he described his decision to in his own words “try him.” In addition, explained that he preferred the flesh fried as opposed to boiled, but what was worse he gave some of the meat to his friend whose wife served it to their children; he told them it was kangaroo meat.
Nikolayev also killed and ate his brother-in-law for disturbing his daughters peaceful night’s sleep. The interview can be seen on National Geographic’s Russia’s Toughest Prisons, and it shows the notorious prisoner being kept under permanent watch for 24 hours a day.
4 Robert Maudsley – Killed Several Fellow Inmates
Robert Maudsley is a violent prisoner from the United Kingdom who became a serial killer. He was incarcerated for the murder of a man who showed him images of children he had s*xually abused. In 1977, Maudsley was sentenced to life imprisonment in Broadmoor Hospital for the criminally insane with a recommendation that he should never be released.
Maudsley made his second kill after taking another patient (a convicted child abuser) hostage and torturing him for nine hours until he died. After the murder, Maudsley was transferred to Wakefield prison where he killed another two inmates simply because he wanted to be transferred back to Broadmoor.
After being deemed too dangerous for a normal cell, Maudsley was placed in a two-cell unit with bulletproof glass walls like the one that housed Hannibal Lector in Silence of The Lambs and Manhunter.
3 Michael Swango - Dr. Death
As a licensed physician, Michael Swango was a man who held a position of trust, but instead, he used his position claim the lives of as many as 60 patients and colleague by poisoning them, even though he only confessed to causing four deaths.
Prior to this, he was already noted as being a troubled student that had an unhealthy fascination with death when he attended university. Even then, many of Swango’s patients died or suffered life-threatening emergencies, but there weren't any connections made at the time.
However, after he obtained an internship at Ohio State University, nurses observed his suspicious activity, and he was later expelled. He moved back to Quincy where he was caught poisoning his colleagues and was sentenced to five years imprisonment. Swango moved around finding more work by changing his name and falsifying his legal documents.
Eventually, Swango fled Zimbabwe and Zambia under false names, more patients began to die, and survivors reported mysterious illnesses which didn't go unnoticed by the authorities. He was eventually caught, deported, and sentenced to three life terms in the Supermax ADX prison in Colorado.
2 Maria Licciardi – Godmother Of The Camorra
The Camorra are Italian Mafia-style crime syndicates that began in Naples. Unlike the mafia, the Camorra are separated by several violent clans that operate independently of each other. This is what makes Maria Licciardi so dangerous; not only was she a leader of a clan, she was the undisputed boss of the Camorra in Naples from 1993 until 2001 by bringing together a coalition of at least 20 clans. Under her leadership, the Camorra became more organized, secretive, and powerful than ever before.
Licciardi quickly found herself on Italy’s most wanted list and was eventually caught after 2 years in hiding. However, despite being in prison, Licciardi still runs her syndicate from behind bars and remains in full command of her clan.
1 Thomas Silverston - America's Most Dangerous Prisoner
Another resident of the ADX Supermax prison in Colorado, Thomas Silverstein is a former leader of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, and the longest prisoner held in solitary confinement with the Bureau of Prisons in the United States.
Silverstein was apparently an awkward child who was bullied, but violence was introduced to him by his own mother, who threatened him with a beating if he ever came home crying after being bullied. Silverstein quickly found himself in and out of youth offending institutes and prisons.
It was after Silverstein was sentenced to fifteen years for a robbery that his violence escalated. He joined the Aryan Brotherhood and killed other prisoners from a rival prison gang called the D.C. Blacks, adding another life sentence to his convictions. However, it was after he killed a corrections officer that Silverstein found himself in permanent solitary confinement since 1983, and he remains there to this day.