Top 10 DEADLIEST Hitmen Ever
From the days of the wild west through today, there has been a selection of people with a particular unspoken skill-set that have branded their name in history, leaving behind a trail of death that only money could buy. They may not have been the most hinged individuals, but these ten contract killers were the best at what they did.
Not all top hitmen have worked for the mafia. Teddy Medina was a calculated machine, working meticulously prior to a hit to ensure that everything would go as he needed it to. Under the National People’s Army, Medina was a methodical killer and associate of the Sparrows, a Filipino gang known for carrying out contract killings. His weapon of choice was a .45 caliber 1911 pistol loaded with a solitary round in the chamber with the safety always off. The single bullet was all he ever needed as the quickshot had such an eye and impressive reflex that he allegedly always fired off a fatal shot. Though around 100 kills were associated with Medina, it is likely that the count exceeds that quite a bit. After his sting as a Sparrow, Medina was allegedly drafted to perform work for the CIA in the 80’s and even sent off to kill some of his comrades from his days in the National People’s Army.
Murder, Inc. contract killer, Harry Strauss, wasn’t picky as to how he got the job done. In fact, his method was quite unique in that he never carried a weapon on him, should he ever be picked up on suspicion. To accomplish his murders, Strauss scouted the area ahead of time, noting any useful tools in the area. A kill list of over 100 – and possibly as high as 500 – was accomplished via live burial, strangulation, shooting, and stabbing with an ice pick. Strauss’ reign ended when fellow hitman, Abe “Kid Twist” Rese, flipped sides to become an informant. Over the course of his career in the 1930s, Strauss was arrested 18 times but never convicted – that is until Rese fingered him for the murder of Irving “Puggy” Feinstein. The famed hitman attempted to feign insanity during his trial, but he was convicted and sent to the chair on June 12th, 1941.
Anyone associated with the mafia, especially the Sicilian Mafia, is bound to have a lengthy rap sheet. In the case of former hitman Giuseppe Greco, former Greco Mafia clan member, the list tops off at an alleged 80 to 300 murders, all committed for the sake of the mafia. During the Second Mafia War of the 1980’s, Greco is known to have carried out several dozen hits to help turn the tides of the war. His closeness to Filippo Marchese, boss of Corso de Mille in Palermo, often had him participate in the torture and murder of Marchese’s rivals. Under the orders of then-boss Salvatore Riina, Greco turned on Marchese when his usefulness during the War had diminished. Prior to being convicted for the known 58 murders, Greco was slain in his home by fellow Mafiosi members Vincenzo Puccio and Giuseppe Lucchese, who were acting under orders of Riina, who had feared Greco was showing a threatening ambition and independence.
Jose Manuel Martinez
Though charged with only 9 murders, Mexican cartel enforcer, Jose Manuel Martinez, was proud to declare that he was actually involved in up to 40 murders. Initially, the nine murders were thought to be the acts of a serial killer in California’s Central Valley over the course of 30 years, but upon being picked up, Martinez alleged that he was working under the cartel’s sole discretion when he committed the crimes. Along with the 9 he’s being charged with, authorities have their eyes on Martinez in connection with two killings in Florida. The fairly fresh claims that he was working with the cartel have yet to be verified, though district attorney in Lawrence County, Alabama, Errek Jett, states the details he provided back up Martinez’s claim.
Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll
During the 1920’s, Vincent Coll made a decision that would change his life forever. As New York mobster Dutch Schultz rose to power, Vincent and his brother, Peter, joined the budding empire as enforcers. Known for his ruthlessness, Vincent quickly took to the job, eventually earning him the position of one of Schultz’s assassins. When Schultz declined Coll’s request for equal partnership, Coll formed his own gang and started picking off his rival’s men, racking up a kill count of 20. Amidst his war with Schultz, Coll was believed to be involved in the death of a child during an attempted kidnap of Joseph Rao, a bootlegger that worked for Dutch. The notoriety put a hefty target on Coll’s head and, in 1932, the $50,000 bounty placed by Dutch Schultz and Owney Madden was cashed in on. While making a call to Madden, Coll was gunned down by unknown assailants.
In 2011, it was revealed that Bronx hitman, Joseph Meldish, would be facing life in prison after the same people he had intimidated, courageously stood up to him on the stand. Meldish was a member of the Purple Gang and was likely the gang’s most feared member, but was also known for carrying out hits for the Luchese and Genovese crime families. Meldish’s trial was accompanied by skittishness from both witnesses and jurors, with two potential jurors fearfully excusing themselves. Despite the unease that washed over the courtroom, prosecution was able to get Meldish behind bars for life – a drastic change over the 3 years he spent after a manslaughter conviction landed him behind bars at the age of 18.
Today, he is nothing more than another name in Miami’s judicial system, but during the 70’s and 80’s Jorge “Rivi”Ayala was a feared name. His hands were coated in the blood of at least 35 individuals, all associated with Miami’s Cocaine Cowboys era. Jorge had once acted as the hitman for drug lord Griselda Blanco, and though Blanco receives most of the fame for her part in the explosion of cocaine during that era, Ayala’s skilled hands were the reason Blanco was able to push forward so strongly. In prison, Ayala is a bit less loyal to the “Godmother,” having testified against her in exchange for parole after 25 years. Despite Ayala’s alleged “hand-shake” offer with prosecutors in 1993, his parole has yet to be approved.
In the world of contract killers, you have to earn the nickname “Superkiller”, and Russian hitman Alexander Viktorovich Solonik most certainly did with his hitlist of over 30 individuals. Solonik’s early life included a term in the Soviet Army before joining the militsiya, or civilian police force. His time with the militsiya was short lived when, 6-months into his service, he was expelled for extreme violence against suspects. A rape charge in 1987 sent him to prison, where he was marked for death by fellow inmates for having worked with the police. Solonik spent two years in prison defending himself before escaping and joining the local criminal organization in Kurgan. His success as a hitman ended when he was arrested again in 1995, but after 8-months he escaped and vanished, disappearing completely until he was found strangled to death in 1997.
Chicago and New York were known for their mob presence, and among one of Chicago’s most notorious members of organized crime was Harry Aleman. Aleman was known as “The Hook” throughout his high school boxing career, but his adult life took a far more sinister path in the ‘60s when his life of crime began. By the 1970’s, Aleman was working as an enforcer, extorting a “street tax” for Chicago’s crime syndicate, the Outfit. Over a period of 5 years, Aleman was responsible for 13 murders, including corrupt Chicago police officer and Outfit made man, Richard Cain, several informants, and Teamsters official William Logan. Logan’s murder lead to a corrupt trial when judge Frank Wilson was bribed to acquit Aleman. When the corrupt was uncovered, Aleman underwent a second trial, during which he was sentenced to 300 years. In May of 2010, Aleman succumbed to lung cancer.
Christopher Dale Flannery
He was dubbed Mr. Rent-a-Kill, Australia’s famed hitman that made more enemies than friends during his lifetime. His criminal history began at an early age, and by the age of 17 carried a rap that included housebreaking, assault against police, and rape. Flannery eventually took up bouncing at a nightclub in St. Kilda after release from an armed robbery, but quickly turned to contract killing for something a little more his speed. His first hit was barrister Roger Wilson. Flannery successfully pulled off around a dozen murders before vanishing completely on May 9th, 1985. Popular theory, as theorized by New South Wales State Coroner Greg Glass and former sergeant Rogerson, is that Flannery was offed by an individual he trusted, likely because Mr. Rent-a-Kill was a loose canon.