On the 75th anniversary of the Lindbergh kidnapping, TIME selects the top 25 notorious crimes of the past 100 years.
The Black Dahlia
The Brinks Job
The Great Train Robbery
Son of Sam
John Wayne Gacy
Mary Kay Letourneau
9/11 is conspicuously absent, but apparently "war crimes" fall outside the definition:
The Crime of the Century must strike at the most undefined and thus most vulnerable part of the soul: it must touch the messy unconscious, where all kinds of emotions meld into each other. Pity and envy are involved; desire and revulsion; fear and sometimes schadenfreude. And while each person has his or her own brew of emotions, we all recognize them. So our fascination with the crime becomes a populist mania: an obsession with the wreckage of the rich and famous, comeuppance for hubris, a communal grasping for a moral to a sordid tale. These horrible disruptions of ordinary life must be able to function as a way to order our most frightening thoughts, becoming cautions and lessons for the future.
At least the made-for-TV Scott Peterson case and the Scooter Libby witch hunt didn't make it.