Even brutal dictators need time to unwind. While tyrannical psychopaths have oppressed, starved, exploited, tortured, and killed millions they've also taken time to watch cartoons, play beach volleyball and even pen steamy erotica.
While normally a hobby helps humanize someone, these hobbies of the brutal dictators on this list only make them more alien and bizarre. Here's what some of the cruelest people in history got up to when they were off the clock.
Former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein was a cold-hearted leader who ruled with an iron fist. The true extent of his atrocities is unknown, as murders carried out at his behest are innumerable, but there is evidence of over 250 mass graves from his reign. In other words, prior to his hanging in 2003, Saddam was not a very chill guy.
He was, however, very horny.
Saddam had a penchant for writing romance novels. Writing under the heavily-encrypted pen name of "S. Hussein," Saddam published a book called Zabibah and the King, which was a ham-fisted and very erotic autobiographical novel set in ancient Iraq. The discovery of this sappy, sexually-charged tome was also pretty random: CIA officials stumbled across it by chance in an Arabic book store in London in 2001.
Architect of the 9/11 attacks, the worst instance of terrorism ever on American soil, Osama bin Laden knew how to let his hair down and blow off some steam after a long day at Al-Qaeda HQ.
But when the 5 o'clock whistle blew, bin Laden didn't dash to the nearest happy hour for wings and tall boys - he hit the sand for an intense match of beach volleyball.
The 6'4" bin Laden was a force on the court, according to his associate Mohammed Atef. Atef, the former chief of Al-Qaeda, also enjoyed the game, but the two never played on the same team, citing the fact that they were so good it was an unfair advantage over other players.
Depending on one's political leanings, Joseph Stalin's legacy is a bit subjective. During his reign (1929-1953), the Soviet Union went from a poor, peasant society to an industrial and military superpower, but this also caused the worst man-made famine in history and millions of his people died.
Regardless, this legendary figure of collectivism loved nudes. Males nudes, specifically.
Stalin did not, however, draw the nudes himself. He collected sketches of muscular male specimens from various Russian artists and, bizarrely, he merely annotated them. Stalin would draw on the subject's genitals or torsos and write out short messages below them. His scrawls ranged from the humorous ("You need to work, not wank. Time for re-education") to the maudlin, sometimes addressed to his fallen comrades: "Radek, you ginger bastard, if you hadn't pissed into the wind, if you hadn't been so bad, you'd still be alive."
Legendary golfer and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il was something of a human rights violation virtuoso. The ham-shaped leader oversaw plenty of atrocities in his time at the helm in Pyongyang, including ethnic cleansing and mass starvation.
But he also adored basketball. His favorite player, naturally, was Michael Jordan, who appeared in the Warner Brothers film Space Jam, which featured several cartoons he also obsessed over like a very normal person. Kim Jong-il was in fact such a fan of His Royal Airness that he had VHS recordings of every one of Jordan's games. The Great Leader, sadly, never got to meet his hero, but his son sort of came close with Dennis Rodman's famed trip to North Korea.
Perhaps the most evil person to ever walk the Earth - a man who attempted the extermination of the Jewish people and as a result claimed over 6 million lives - Adolf Hitler is with exactly zero redeeming qualities. If anything, his biggest hobby (beyond his extremely mediocre art), just makes him even more grotesque. That's right, he was one of those adults that's really into Disney.
In 2008, a Norwegian museum director named William Hakvaag found hand-colored cartoons of the characters Bashful and Doc from the 1937 Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The drawings - which were of course pedestrian at best - were signed "A.H." and are thought with near certainty to have been done by Hitler, who also owned a copy of the film and "thought it was one of the best movies ever made." Of course he did.
In 1971, Idi Amin overthrew the Ugandan government and installed himself as leader. During his eight-year reign, he would massacre over 400,000 civilians, often by forcing them to bludgeon one another to death with sledgehammers at the hands of his death squads. In 1979, Amin fled to Saudi Arabia, where he lived the rest of his days in exile - never facing any consequences for his crimes against humanity - before passing away in 2003.
But there was another side to Idi Amin. More than a tyrant, more than a mad man, Idi Amin was a guy who just loved slapstick comedy. He was apparently an avid fan of children's cartoons, most specifically Tom and Jerry - you know, the one where the larger, menacing figure seeks to destroy the smaller, ostensibly defenseless one?