Unspeakable Times
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Criminals Who Got Away With It - But Were Caught For Something Else

Updated February 11, 2020 20.6k views11 items

Some believe that what goes around, comes around. For these criminals who got away with their crime at first, justice had a way of catching up with them. 

While some criminals are smart and have a method to their madness, most usually slip up one way or another. Whether it's driving without a license plate or driving erratically, they sometimes end up getting caught. Here is a list of criminals who thought they got away with their horrendous crimes - until they got caught for something else.

  • Ted Bundy Was Caught Multiple Times During Traffic Stops

    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Ted Bundy was caught due to traffic violations on three separate occasions. The first time, in 1975, he was stopped for a basic traffic violation. When Bundy disobeyed the police officer's order to stop, the police pursued and arrested him. Once stopped, the officers searched Bundy's car and discovered suspicious items.

    Shortly thereafter, Bundy was linked to the murders of at least 30 women. However, Bundy escaped the authorities two times during his incarceration. Once through a library window in the courthouse where he was representing himself at his own trial, and again when he escaped a prison during Christmastime. He was captured again after each escape due to a traffic violation.

  • Randy Kraft Was Pulled Over For Erratic Driving

    Photo: San Quentin State Prison / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    For years, Randy Kraft prowled the California Highway, picking up and murdering hitchhikers. His killing spree and stalking methods earned him the nicknames the "Freeway Killer" and the "Scorecard Killer." He's believed to be responsible for at least 37 deaths between 1972 and 1983.

    Kraft was pulled over by police in May 1983 because his vehicle was weaving in and out of traffic. When police stopped his vehicle, they noticed a man seemingly asleep in the passenger seat. When they attempted to rouse him, they discovered that he was dead. It was the body of Kraft's latest victim, Terry Gambrel.

    Kraft remains on death row in California's San Quentin State Prison.

  • Having No License Plate Was Killer Joel Rifkin's Downfall

    Video: YouTube

    Joel Rifkin, also known as "Joel the Ripper," murdered at least 17 people between 1989 and 1993. Rifkin targeted sex workers and the drug-addicted. His murder spree came to an end on June 28, 1993, when he was pulled over for not having a license plate on his vehicle.

    A high-speed chase ensued, ending in Rifkin crashing into a utility pole. When police inspected his vehicle, they were drawn to a foul odor in the back of his truck. They uncovered the corpse of his final victim and arrested him. Rifkin was sentenced to over 200 years in jail.

  • Timothy McVeigh Was Arrested After A Traffic Stop

    On April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City was rocked by a truck bomb that detonated in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The explosion killed 168 people and left hundreds more severely injured. The police had no leads as to who left the bomb and scrambled to find the assailant(s).

    The man responsible for the bombing was caught driving a car without a license plate outside of Oklahoma City. When the police pulled Timothy McVeigh over, the officer noticed a bulge beneath McVeigh's jacket and arrested him for unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon. While McVeigh was in jail awaiting his court date, the FBI linked him to the bombing. McVeigh was convicted of the Oklahoma City bombing and sentenced to death; he was killed by lethal injection in 2001.