Here you will find blind criminals, loosely ranked by fame and notoriety. Over the years, there have been several memorable cases involving, or that nearly involved, blind criminals. Some of these visually impaired criminals were blind at the time of their crimes, others became blind after the fact. Some of the criminals are full-on blind, others legally blind. In one case, the criminal was sentenced to be blinded as a result of his crime.
Who is the most famous blind criminal? Omar Abdel-Rahman tops the list. Known as the Blind Sheikh, he received a life sentence at Butner Federal Correctional Institution's medical center. Gary Foster, a legally blind former executive of Citigroup, reportedly embezzled over $19 million from the company in less than two years.Read on for a compact, compelling list of the most notorious blind criminals.
As of 2016, Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Blind Sheikh, is serving a life sentence at Butner Federal Correctional Institution's medical center. He was arrested for his role in the first World Trade Center bombing, in 1993. Throughout his life, Abdel-Rahman was also involved with terrorist groups in Egypt, and Al Qaeda. The Blind Sheikh lost his eyesight as a child, after contracting diabetes.
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Yvonne Sleightholme of Scarborough, England, was convicted of murdering her ex-fiance's new wife in 1988, at which time she could see just fine. She claimed to have developed blindness as the case went to trial. Sleightholme maintained her innocence for years, claiming she was imprisoned at the farm where the crime took place by three men, who killed the victim and framed. She was temporarily released from prison in 2005.
In 1980, legally blind Rosemary Cox was convicted of murdering her boyfriend after finding out about his relationship with another woman. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but in 1985 was granted clemency by Illinois Gov. James Thompson, who believed she posed no continuing threat to society. In addition to her blindness, Cox had asthma, diabetes, arthritis, and could only walk with the aid of a cane.
From May 2009 until December 2011, Gary Foster, a legally blind former executive at Citigroup, embezzled more than $19 million. His scheme was extremely simple; he wired money from internal Citigroup accounts to his private bank account. Foster created false documents legitimizing the transfers, and listed himself as the contact person in each case.Before his conviction, Foster lived lavishly, buying two condos in New Jersey for $2.5 million. The condos overlook Manhattan, and Foster bought them for the view, despite being legally blind. He was also known to spend as much as $2,000 a night on bottle service at the club. Foster was arrested in 2011 and sentenced to eight years in prison. Not bad, considering the maximum sentence of 30 years attached to his crimes.