When asked to think about gangsters, most people think about men wearing suits, driving nice cars, maybe even smoking a cigar. Women just don’t seem like they can handle the violence and crime associated with being a gangster. But don’t be fooled: some of the most powerful crime lords in the world are actually women. In this top 10 list, you’ll find the names and profiles of some of the most successful, and most dangerous, female gangsters in the world. These modern day women will even have men shaking in fear. Although almost all of these gangsters have been caught, and sentenced to prison time, we still think these women are pretty awesome.
10 Claudia Ochoa Felix
Not only is she a fierce gangster, she is also pretty darn sexy. She is actually known as the “Kim Kardashian of organized crime”, because of her instagram account, full of photos of her pouting and flaunting her curvy body. Apparently, Felix became the head of the Mexican gang Los Antrax in 2014, and was responsible for hundreds of murders. US intelligence has reported that the gang is the world’s most powerful trafficking organization. Felix’s boyfriend, Jose Rodrigues Arechiga “El Chino” Gamboa, was the gang’s previous leader. She took over when he got arrested. She has access to a huge amount of funds, and a custom made Ak-47.
9 Sandra Avila Beltran
Born in 1960, Sandra Avila Beltran became the leader of a Mexican drug cartel. Known as “The Queen of the Pacific”, Beltran married twice, each time to ex-police turned drug traffickers. Both her husbands were killed by hitmen. It wasn’t until 2002, when Beltran’s son was kidnapped, and the kidnappers were paid a $5 million ransom, that police became suspicious of Beltran’s activities. In 2007, Beltran was finally charged with being involved in organized crime and drug trafficking. Although many of the charges were dropped, she was still convicted for possession of illegal weapons and money laundering.
8 Judy Moran
Judy Moran is the leader of the Moran family, a group of criminals based in Melbourne, Australia. The Moran family were infamous drug traffickers, feared by both the public and the underground criminal network, and were most notable for their connection to the Melbourne gangland killings. After losing both her husband and son to gang murders, Judy remarried Lewis Moran, and had a son, Jason Moran. Jason Moran was shot and killed in 2003. Judy’s brother-in-law, Des Moran, was shot and killed in 2009. Judy Moran was accused and convicted of Des Moran’s murder. She was sentenced to 26 years in prison.
7 Maria Leon
Maria Leon was one heck of a gangster: not only was she the head of a gang that was responsible for drug smuggling, human trafficking and murders, but she was also the mother of 13 children. Working out of Los Angeles, she had the backing of the Mexican Mafia. U.S. police reported that she had turned entire L.A. neighborhoods into hell. In 2008, one of Leon’s sons died in a police shoot-out. During this time, Leon was hiding in Mexico. Leon attempted to sneak across the U.S. border to attend her son’s funeral. Leon and some of her gang members were arrested during the border crossing. Leon was sentenced to eight years in prison.
6 Thelma Wright
It was actually Thelma Wright’s husband, Jackie Wright, who started out as the big gangster. Jackie Wright was one of the biggest drug lords in Philadelphia. After his murder in 1986, when Jackie Wright was found rolled up in a rug with a shot to the head, Thelma took over the family business, transporting drugs between Los Angeles and Philadelphia. According to Thelma Wright’s memoir, she did this to support their son. Wright claimed that she would make around $400,000 a month. In 1991, she left a night club and was involved in a gang shooting. It was then that she stopped her involvement in crime. She has since become a writer and inspirational speaking, saying that she would never be a part of the crime world again.
5 Rosetta Cutolo
Rosetta Cutolo was born in 1937, and is the sister of the crime lord Raffaele Cutolo. Raffaele Cutolo was the former head of the Nuova Camorra Organizzata (NCO). Spending much of his life behind bars, Raffaele entrusted his sister, Rosetta, to become the new boss of the NCO. She ran the gang from the Castello Mediceo, a huge, 16th century palace with 365 rooms. In the 1980’s, she ordered a police station to be blown up. She went on the run, and in 1993, she finally gave herself up, claiming that she was tired of being a fugitive. She claimed that she was innocent at her trial, and was only sentenced to 5 years in prison.
Source link: Haycraft, The Italian Labyrinth, p. 200
4 Jemeker Thompson
Jemeker “Queen Pin” Thompson came from a life of poverty. This is what initially made her turn to a life of crime. With husband Anthony Mosley, Thompson created a huge crack cocaine business. Throughout the 1980’s, they were the biggest drug traffickers in Los Angeles. After Mosley was shot and killed, Thompson was devastaaded, but decided to continue her drug trafficking business. She found a new partner, who was eventually arrested and ratted Thompson out. Thompson went on the run for five years, but returned to Los Angeles for her son’s sixth grade graduation. She was arrested, and was sent to a maximum security prison for 15 years.
3 Maria Licciardi
Born in 1951, Maria Licciardi was the former head of the Licciardi gang, based just outside of Naples. Often called the “Godmother”, her gang controlled drug trafficking and extortion throughout Naples. After her husband and two brothers were arrested, Licciardi became the first female leader of the gang. She introduced sex work to their illegal activities, buying young Albanian girls, doping them, and forcing them into sex work. If they were no longer required for their service, the girls were murdered. After a disagreement with a heroin shipment in 1999 that was so powerful it killed 11 users, Licciardi was eventually arrested in 2001. She is still in prison, but is thought to still control her gang. .
2 Anna Gristina
Anna Gristina tops off at number two on our list for being the leader of a high-class sex trade ring. In 2012, Gristina, known as the “Soccer Mom Madam”, was sentenced to six months in prison, and five years of probation. Claiming to have a dating service, Gristina later admitted that she was an illegal madam. Over the span of about five years, Gristina earned over $10 million, from her wealthy clients aloe. Some of her employees included Playboy and Penthouse models. Working mostly out of New York City, Gristina was reputed to having the most elegant and high-class prostitutes in the business. It’s pretty rare to have a female pimp, which is why Anna Gristina tops off at number 2 on our list.
1 Raffaella D’Alterio
Known as the “Big Kitten”, Raffaella D’Alteria became the head of a crime organization after her husband, Nicola Pianese, was murdered. Head of the Camorra mob, D’Alteria was familiar with violence. She suffered numerous gunshot wounds throughout her life. Over the past 30 years, the Camorra mob is thought to be behind over 4,000 killings. In 2012, D’Alteria was arrested, accused of money laundering, extortion, robbery, possession of illegal weapons and drug dealing. When she was arrested, the police also seized $10 million worth of vehicles. The Camorra mob is thought to make over $200 billion a year.
*Bonus Knowledge nugget:
Some of the “Soccer Mom Madam”, Anna Gristina’s, high-class prostitutes were paid upwards of $1,000 an hour. Gristina’s partner, Jaynie Mae Baker, was a prostitute turned madam. In 2009, Baker reportedly travelled to Ibiza with one of Gristina’s clients. The week-long trip cost the client $20,000. Baker, who was one of Gristina’s prized hookers, kept 60 percent of the fee. Baker later made a deal with the DA’s office in order to provide the evidence that would put Gristina in jail. Despite being promoted to Gristina’s partner, and becoming a pimp herself, Baker has gotten off, jail free. Gristina, on the other hand, never gave any information to the court about Baker.
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