10 Most Notorious and Infamous Crimes of the 90s

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10 Most Notorious and Infamous Crimes of the 90s

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Cassondra Feltus
These notorious crimes shocked the world. For this list, we'll be looking at the most publicized and high profile crimes from 1990 to 1999. Our countdown includes The Murder of JonBenét Ramsey, Murders of Tupac & Biggie Smalls, World Trade Center Bombing, and more!
Transcript

10 Most Notorious and Infamous Crimes of the 90s


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the 10 Most Notorious Crimes of the 90s.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most publicized and high profile crimes from 1990 to 1999.

What infamous crimes do you most remember from the 90s? Tell us in the comments.

#10: The Murder of JonBenét Ramsey

On December 26, 1996, six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey went missing from her home in Boulder, Colorado. Her parents, John and Patsy, allegedly found a ransom note demanding a suspiciously specific amount of money. Just hours after she was reported missing, John found his daughter’s lifeless body in the basement. Her death was ruled a homicide. Documentaries and TV programs still revisit the case, analyzing the evidence, going over statements, and uncovering secrets surrounding the family members. The mystery of the little girl’s death will always captivate the nation. Despite many ongoing theories and suspects, her horrific murder remains unsolved to this day.

#9: Centennial Olympic Park Bombing

In 1996, Atlanta, Georgia hosted the Summer Olympics. Security guard Richard Jewell discovered what appeared to be a pipe bomb under a bench in the park. He immediately called the police and helped lead people to safety before the blast. The bombing resulted in one death and 100 injuries. Jewell was labeled a hero, but then quickly became the FBI’s main suspect. For almost three months, the FBI investigation and the media attention ruined his life. His name was eventually cleared, but the real bomber, Eric Rudolph, wasn’t caught until 2013. Jewell was the subject of a Clint Eastwood film, as well as season two of Discovery Channel’s anthology series “Manhunt.”

#8: Murders of Tupac & Biggie Smalls

In the late 90s, two of hip-hop’s most influential artists were killed within six months of each other. On September 7, 1996, Tupac Shakur was gunned down, dying six days later; then on March 9, 1997, Biggie Smalls (aka Notorious B.I.G.), a suspect in Tupac’s murder, was shot and killed. The two started off as friends, but quickly became enemies in the East Coast - West Coast war. Suspects range from former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight, to corrupt officers in the LAPD. New theories still arise today from lifelong fans hoping to solve the murders of two young rappers at the height of their careers.

#7: World Trade Center Bombing

Eight years before the September 11 attacks, the World Trade Center was hit with a bomb. On the afternoon of February 26, 1993, a rental van containing a bomb went off, killing six people and injuring over a thousand. The van was located in the underground parking garage. Shockingly, one of the men who planted the bomb actually went to the rental agency to get his security deposit back. Not-so-shockingly, he was brought in by the FBI. Mohammed Salameh and his three accomplices were arrested and later convicted. The granite memorial fountain built to honor the victims was destroyed in 2001, but the names of the victims are included in the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial.

#6: The Murder of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was just 23-years-old when she was killed by her fan club president and friend Yolanda Saldívar on March 31, 1995. Yolanda was caught embezzling the singer’s money, and Selena confronted her at a motel to collect tax papers. Rather than face the consequences of her crimes, Yolanda fatally shot her supposedly best friend. Given Selena’s bright and bubbly presence that touched so many, her sudden death is still a shocking reality. It’s impossible to listen to “Dreaming of You” and not cry thinking of the heartbreaking ending of the 1997 film.Love for the iconic singer was revitalized with Netflix’s “Selena: The Series.”

#5: The Crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer

He’s sometimes called the Milwaukee Cannibal, or the Milwaukee Monster. But everyone knows the name Dahmer. From 1978 to 1991, he killed 17 young men, doing unspeakable things to their remains...we’ll spare you the gruesome details. The killer was finally caught on July 22, 1991, after an intended victim escaped and flagged down police. A lot of media attention has focused on his upbringing, attempting to explain why anyone would commit such horrific crimes. What makes him enduringly fascinating is just how normal he looks. Ryan Murphy’s upcoming Netflix original series starring Evan Peters will be based on Dahmer’s life, but told through the eyes of his victims.

#4: Waco Siege

Beginning February 28, 1993, the FBI led a siege against David Koresh, leader of the Branch Davidians, and his cult followers. Suspecting that the group was stockpiling illegal weapons, ATF agents had arrived at Mount Carmel Center outside Waco, Texas, to serve a warrant. Instead, a deadly gunfight ensued, resulting in the deaths of four agents and six Branch Davidians. The siege continued for 51 days, finally ending April 19th, when the FBI flooded the building with tear gas attempting to force everyone out. A fire, allegedly started by one of the cult members, consumed the building, and by the end, 76 Branch Davidians, including 25 children, and two pregnant women, were dead.

#3: Oklahoma City Bombing

Two years to the day after the Waco siege, a bomb went off under the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The bombing killed at least 168 people, including 19 children, wounding over 680 others. The nine-story building contained offices of 14 federal agencies. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, two soldiers turned anti-government extremists, targeted this location because it housed the DEA and ATF, two of the three agencies they sought to attack. McVeigh was sentenced to death for this act of domestic terrorism, one of the worst in U.S. history.

#2: Columbine High School Massacre

When you say Columbine, everyone knows what you’re referring to. Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado became front page news on April 20, 1999, after two heavily armed students killed 12 students, one teacher, themselves, and wounded over 20 others. This wasn’t the first school shooting in the US; there had been a string of others around the country. But at the time, it was the deadliest school shooting in US history. This infamous attack forever changed how security and safety protocols are handled in schools. Victims of the shooting suffer lasting trauma, some continuing to speak about their experience in hopes of preventing more tragedies.

#1: Murders of Nicole Brown Simpson & Ronald Goldman

On June 13, 1994, the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were found in front of her Brentwood home, having been stabbed to death the night before. Nicole’s ex-husband, former football star OJ Simpson, became the number one suspect. The trial, dubbed “the trial of the century,” began seven months after the murders on January 24, 1995, and would last 134 days, with the shocking verdict being announced on October 3rd. In the media, it’s often forgotten that it isn’t all about Simpson. The families of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman lost their loved ones. The infamous Bronco chase, trying on the gloves, the theatrics in and out of court — all distracts from the reality of the case: two people were brutally killed.
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