The phrase "trial of the century" is obviously a misnomer, as dozens of court cases have been given this label since the 1880s. But it's still a useful term to describe trials that capture the public's attention. Many of these cases have similar circumstances. Often, they involve sordid and unusual crimes, rich and famous individuals, or they tap into the dominant political and social anxieties of their times. Occasionally, like the O.J. Simpson trial, they involve all three.
But most of all, these cases become notorious because of their media coverage. Since the rise of mass media, beginning with newspapers and radio and continuing with TV and the internet, crime has always been a compelling subject. Trials of the century sell a lot of newspapers - or more recently, generate a lot of clicks.
Here are some of the most infamous trials of the 20th and 21st centuries.