True Stories
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15 Awful People Who Did Surprisingly Good Things

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Throughout history there have been some truly awful people - Hitler, Ted Bundy, the guy who created The Noid - but that doesn’t mean that those terrible people never did anything good (except for the guy who created The Noid – he’s a true monster). This list looks at bad people who did good things, thinking about whether or not that makes them a better person. For someone like Hitler, it probably doesn’t, but for some of the other criminals on this list there’s a possibility that their one good deed was just the beginning of them turning their lives around.

No matter what your definition of “good deed” is, you’re going to be surprised by the stories that we’ve collected here today. There are tales of lifelong criminals who don’t seem to hold anything in high regard saving the lives of the police officers who arrested them, and war criminals who made sure that everyone received a free education – it’s truly a twisted collection of bad people trying to do good things. If you’re still on the question of whether or not everyone has the capacity to be good inside of them, keep reading to learn about the awful people who surprised everyone with good deeds.

After reading about these good things done by bad people, do you think it absolves them of their crimes? Or are we, human beings, just a tapestry decisions, some good and some bad with none of the choices outweighing the others? Feel free to chime in in the comments.
  • Saddam Hussein Gave Free Education to Iraq

    Saddam Hussein was the worst, right? But even the worst guy knows that that knowledge is power, and while he was leading the Iraqi government Hussein instituted a system of compulsory free education in his country.
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    While he was in the middle of his rape and murder spree, John Wayne Gacy made multiple contributions to his local community and even donated the services of his company, PDM (Painting, Decorating, and Maintenance), to the Democratic party.

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  • The Yakuza Comes to the Aid of Japan After Earthquake

    After a devastating earthquake hit Japan in 2011, The Yakuza (one of the oldest organized crime families) were among the first responders. They sent trucks full of food, water, blankets, and toiletries to Northeast Japan where at least 27,000 people were missing or dead.
  • Inmate Saves Shelter Worker from Dog Attack

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    In 2011, an inmate who was spending time in jail for an assault rap had his sentence cut by three days when he saved an animal shelter worker from a viscous attack by a pit bull. The inmate wasn't injured in the attack, but the pit bull did break the skin of the shelter worker.