crime Famous Hitmen & Contract Killers  

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In most jobs, you get famous for doing it right, but for contract killers, getting famous is usually a sign that something went very wrong. On this list of famous hitmen, we're going to look over some of the guns for hire who got caught and became infamous in the process.

Famous hitmen are about at common as famous accountants, but if you've heard of a notable hitman, they're almost certainly on this list. These professional assassins may have been good at their jobs, but the only reason they're here is because they slipped up and got caught.  For every one professional who makes headlines, there are who knows how many more operating quietly, anonymously, and efficiently. 

 

Charles Harrelson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Hitmen & Contract Killers
Photo: Freebase
Does that face look slightly familiar? How about the name? This natural born killer is none other than the father of actor Woody Harrelson, himself known for portraying a number of vicious murderers on the silver screen. After failing in his career as an encyclopedia salesman, Harrelson became a professional gambler who supplemented his income by taking the occasional contract. Among the three he's known for, it was the death of U.S. District Court Judge John H. Wood that finally landed him two life sentences. It remains unclear if he actually committed that particular murder, as most of the evidence relied on overheard jailhouse conversations.  see more on Charles Harrelson

Richard Kuklinski is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Hitmen & Contract Killers
Photo: Freebase

Nicknamed "Iceman" for the fact that he methodically froze his victims to hide the time of death, Kuklinski may be America's most prolific contract killer. While only convicted of five murders, he claims to have murdered between 100 and 250 people in his roughly 30-year criminal career. And there's no real reason to disbelieve him, considering he spent most of that as a go-to contract killer for the notorious Gambino crime family. Taken the high-end figure of 250 people, that's roughly one every six weeks, which doesn't sound too unlikely, all things considered.

The Iceman's freezing method was one one way to avoid arrest, but so were his ever-changing murder weapons. Cycling between guns, knives, bats, lumber, tire irons, ice-picks, fire, cyanide and bear fists ("for the exercise"), he kept police from connecting one crime scene to the next. Kuklinski doesn't look like the kind of hitman most of us would imagine, but then again, that's one more reason he was such an effective killer.  see more on Richard Kuklinski

Alexander Solonik - Agent 47


Alexander Solonik is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Hitmen & Contract Killers
Photo: Freebase/Fair use

Also known as Sasha the Macedonian and Superkiller, this Russian contract killer directly inspired parts of at least two other agents of the night. Solonik was a former conscript of the Russian army, and was known for his impressive hand-to-hand combat skills and penchant for violence. Solonik himself specialized in killing Russian mob bosses: he had at least 30 contract kills under his belt, and that was before he set up his own kill-for-hire agency. Solonik's trademark technique of dual-wielding pistols directly inspired Agent 47 of the Hitman video game franchise.  

Solonik escaped prison several times, and was known for brawling with as many as a dozen men at a time behind bars. Indeed, Solonik just loved beating up and killing fellow criminals.

Giuseppe Greco is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Hitmen & Contract Killers
Photo: Freebase/Public domain
Greco was more than a hitman. He was the archetype of all Mafia soldiers in fiction and history. A high-ranking member of the Sicilian mafia and member of the notorious Greco clan, he reveled in dirty work as he led death squads to wipe out his clan's mafia rivals. He's personally responsible for at least 58 murders in and around Ciaculli, Sicily - and those are just the confirmed bodies. Greco was an old-school killer, one who upgraded from Tommy guns to AK-47s. see more on Giuseppe Greco