Paranoid, genius, visionary; lots of words can offset evil, but actions speak louder. These individuals not only tortured and murdered countless innocent people, they passed away without ever facing the hammer of justice. In fact, it’s fair to say these historical villains who got away with it make our blood boil.
Ivan the Terrible
Russia’s first official Tsar, Ivan IV built a wall to prevent his people from escaping to Poland. His army captured, tortured, and killed hundreds of people daily for several years. Even his own family couldn’t escape Ivan’s wrath. He viciously beat his pregnant daughter-in-law for dressing immodestly, killing her unborn child. When his enraged son spoke against him, Ivan struck him in the skull with his staff, killing him. Ivan died from a stroke during a chess match.
Following the Japanese invasion of China, Lieutenant General and microbiologist Shiro Ishii built a human experimentation complex that spanned over 150 facilities. He acquired thousands of test subjects from local Chinese villages, and thus began the atrocities. People were bound to posts placed at varying proximities to test the power of grenade blasts. Captives were injected with all types of diseases and foreign substances from bubonic plague to horse urine. The list goes on. After Emperor Hirohito surrendered to American forces, Ishii ordered the remaining prisoners to be shot. And then he burned down the entire unit. Ishii was then granted immunity by American authorities – all in exchange for data from his experiments. Ishii served no jail time and passed away in his late 60s from throat cancer.
The founder of the People’s Republic of China did anything but improve the lives of his people. His misguided economics created a terrible famine that claimed the lives of 30 million Chinese in a span of only three years. Anyone who dared speak ill of Mao, even in jest, was arrested and likely killed. Officers would also imprison or execute entire families if one member was caught displaying anti-Communist sentiment. An estimated 100 million people died from Mao’s policies. Countless others fell to Japanese forces while Mao was occupied with civil war against Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists. Mao died from heart complications due to heavy smoking at the age of 82.
The World War II era brought some of history’s worst villains, and we cap off this list not with Hitler – who was driven to suicide – but with the Angel of Death. Josef Mengele ‘rescued’ children from the gas chambers of Auschwitz and gave them a new home – in his laboratory of horrors. Like Shiro Ishii, he performed vivisections, injections, and amputations. After the Nazi forces surrendered, Mengele fled to Argentina. He lived out his days socialising with friends, never to face justice for his crimes.
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