Curiosity

10 Crimes of the Century

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by: Bambi Turner
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Law enforcement sketches of D.B. Cooper, suspected of hijacking a Seattle-bound plane on Thanksgiving Eve, 1971. He parachuted 10,000 feet down into the woods with $200,000, and was never found.
AP/FBI

Shocking stories of true crime capture the public's imagination in a way that news seldom can. But what is it that makes certain crimes stick in our minds, and leaves us glued to the headlines for new clues?

For some, it's the sheer brazenness of a daring daylight robbery. For others, it's items missing from an impenetrable vault, or crimes that involve well-known people. While huge cash heists and the theft of priceless artifacts can still intrigue, nothing piques public interest like an unsolved mystery. As long as the loot is still missing or the burglars are still at large, we wait to see how the drama will unfold, or maybe even fantasize that we'll crack the case.

While crime has changed dramatically over the past century, with cyberthieves taking the place of the Tommy-gun toting mobster, these 10 crimes of the century prove that there's always someone willing to break the law to score a massive illegal payday.

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