10 Most Vicious Acts of Revenge in History
VOICE OVER: Peter DeGiglio
WRITTEN BY: Don Ekama
These revenge stories will send a chill down your spine. For this list, we'll be examining cases in which a thirst for revenge was quenched in the most brutal way imaginable. Our countdown includes Joaquin Murrieta, Julius Caesar, Operation "Wrath of God", and more!
10 of the Most Vicious Acts of Revenge in All of History
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re looking at 10 of the Most Vicious Acts of Revenge in All of History.
For this list, we’ll be examining cases in which a thirst for revenge was quenched in the most brutal way imaginable.
What’s the most sordid tale of retaliation you’ve ever heard? Let us know in the comments.
The widely known story of Joaquin Murrieta is a mix of history, myth, and legend. While it is generally accepted that he existed during the 19th century, most of the established details of his life seem to have come from a fictional biography written by John Rollin Ridge. Legend has it that Murrieta and his brother were attacked after being wrongly accused of stealing a horse. This resulted in his brother’s death. Fueled by a quest for vengeance, Murrieta reportedly recruited a gang and hunted down the killers, one by one. These crimes drew significant attention and led to a bounty being placed on Murrieta’s head. He is said to have been killed in a gunfight with the California Rangers in 1853.
Soon after becoming the sheriff of McNairy County in Tennessee, Buford Pusser waged war on crime syndicates in the area. This certainly didn’t make him many friends in the criminal underworld. Pusser was the target of several attempted assassinations and managed to escape all of them alive. Unfortunately, his wife wasn’t so lucky. In the early hours of August 12th, 1967, Pusser’s car was ambushed by gunmen who killed his wife, Pauline, and left him severely injured. Pusser vowed to avenge Pauline’s death, linking the attack to Kirksey Nix, a former Dixie Mafia boss, and also naming other accomplices. While Pusser never got to exact his revenge on Nix, the other named accomplices were all reportedly killed under mysterious circumstances.
Pierre Picaud: The Real-Life Count of Monte Cristo
After his engagement to a rich woman in 1807, Pierre Picaud, a shoemaker from Nîmes, France was wrongfully accused of treason by his envious friends, Loupian, Solari, and Chaubart. Upon his release from prison, Picaud spent a decade devising his revenge plot. Seemingly without much effort, he ended the lives of Solari and Chaubart, but for Loupian, who eventually married Picaud’s fiancée, things took a twisted turn. Picaud went after Loupian’s children, arresting his daughter’s husband, which led to her dying of shock, and having his son sent to jail. He also gutted Loupian’s finances by having his restaurant burned down, before eventually killing him. This elaborate plot only came to light after Picaud confessed to the police.
Years before he became a member of the First Triumvirate of Rome, a then 25-year-old Julius Caesar was traveling across the Aegean Sea when he was abducted by Cilician pirates. His ransom was set at 20 talents of silver, but Caesar himself asked them to raise their offer to 50. During this period, Caesar maintained his nobility and refused to behave like a captive. He reportedly promised his abductors that after his release, he’d return and crucify them all. And he did just that. Upon regaining his freedom, Caesar assembled a fleet of ships, with which he pursued and captured the pirates. The future Roman dictator kept to his word and crucified every last one of them.
The Women of Kasturba Nagar, India
Kasturba Nagar is an Indian slum that was terrorized by a notorious criminal known as Akku Yadav. Yadav assaulted dozens of women, killed at least three people, and was known to invade people’s homes and extort from them. On August 13th, 2004, Yadav was scheduled to appear in court for a bail hearing. But after word got around that he was likely to be released, hundreds of women swarmed the courthouse with knives and chili powder. Right there in the building, he was lynched by the women, many of whom had been his victims. They stabbed him multiple times and poured chili powder in his face, leaving the man that had tormented them in a pool of his own blood.
As the wife of a Soviet army officer, Mariya Oktyabrskaya developed a flair for the military and acquired extensive weapons knowledge. After being evacuated to Siberia during World War II, Oktyabrskaya learned that her husband had been killed on the front lines. In a bid to avenge his death by Nazi soldiers, Oktyabrskaya sold all her belongings and purchased a T-34 tank, which she requested to drive herself. Following a five-month training program, Oktyabrskaya joined the war and participated in multiple assaults against German forces, wreaking severe havoc. Unfortunately, in January 1944, she was struck by a shell fragment and went into a coma for two months. She died in March and was posthumously conferred the title ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’.
Diana, the Hunter
In August of 2013, two bus drivers in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez were killed by a blonde woman who had boarded their buses. A few days after the murders, local news outlets received emails from an unknown woman who called herself “Diana, the hunter of bus drivers.” In the letters, Diana owned up to the killings, which she claimed to have carried out as revenge for the many ladies who suffered assault at the hands of bus drivers in the area. In the years prior, dozens of women in Ciudad Juárez had disappeared after last being seen on buses, but hardly anyone paid for those crimes. The identity of Diana, the Hunter, however, has since remained unknown.
The Dachau Revenge
The Dachau concentration camp, located in the state of Bavaria in southern Germany, was the first of its kind opened under the Nazi regime. Although it was initially intended to hold political prisoners, it eventually became a place of confinement and torture for citizens of other countries occupied by Germany. On April 29th, 1945, Dachau was liberated by American soldiers, who were horrified by the conditions in which they found its prisoners. Driven by rage, the soldiers reportedly lined up dozens of SS officers and guards who oversaw the horrors that took place in Dachau. They then allegedly executed them, in retaliation for these crimes. The controversial ordeal has been seen by some historians as a possible war crime.
Operation "Wrath of God"
The 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich were largely overshadowed by the massacre of 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team by a Palestinian militant group called Black September. In response, then-Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir sanctioned a secret operation known as “Wrath of God” to avenge the deaths. The campaign, which was carried out by Mossad agents, was targeted at those directly and indirectly involved in the Munich massacre. Over the next few months, Mossad agents executed covert assassination plots, taking the lives of more than a dozen people they believed were linked to the Olympics incident. In 1973, following the murder of an innocent man in Norway after being misidentified as one of the targets, the operation was suspended.
The Hiroshima & Nagasaki Bombings
Before the 7th of December 1941, the United States remained neutral during WWII. That all changed after the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii was unexpectedly attacked by Japan, leading to the deaths of more than 2,000 Americans. Fast forward nearly four years later, on the 6th and 9th of August 1945, the U.S. respectively dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two Japanese cities. Soon after, Japan surrendered to the Allied forces. The devastating attacks killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, and left long-lasting effects in the communities. In an address to the nation after the bombings, then-President Harry Truman referred to them as reciprocation for the attack on Pearl Harbor.