Menu Close Menu

The Criminal Celebrity: Infamous or Famous?

Posted by Steve Karimi | Nov 09, 2018 | 0 Comments

Recently, celebrity Alec Baldwin was arrested for allegedly punching someone in the jaw for taking his parking space. Baldwin, of course, claims innocence. Celebrity and crime can often seem to go hand-in-hand, any wrongdoing ultimately amplified because the person is in the spotlight and under a magnifying glass. That being said, the opposite can sometimes be true--crime can be the reason for celebrity. The article, “Crime and Celebrity,” published in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology, discusses the intersections of crime and celebrity as it pertains to media culture. The writer takes a look at different types of celebrity notoriety, the most interesting of the categories being Infamous Criminals and Celebrity Criminal. The study's overall question being, can crime make you famous?

Infamous Crimes

Infamous crimes tend to be crimes that are more brutal and salacious and tend to capture the limelight across media culture. Examples of infamous crimes include the following.

  • The 1888 Jack the Ripper murders in the East End of London.
  • The 1947 Black Dahlia murder in Los Angeles.
  • The 1982 Tylenol poisonings in the Chicago area.

In Washington, infamous crime examples contain the likes of,

  • D.B. Cooper – Hijacked a plane in Seattle after extorting an airline. All of his demands were met by the FBI and while in route to Mexico City Cooper jumped out the plane with a parachute never to be seen again.
  • Ted Bundy - Bundy stretches across state lines and criminal genres. Not only were the Bundy murders infamous—he is known to have murdered more than 30 women, but law enforcement speculate it may have been as many as 100—media culture made Bundy a celebrity criminal because he was a clean cut, good looking law student whose was caught during a routine traffic stop. It did not help that his trial dragged on for years.

Celebrity Criminal

Celebrity criminals, as opposed to infamous criminals, become famous because of the crimes they commit. Ted Bundy makes the list in both categories, but other illustrative examples include:

  • Organized crime boss Al Capone was never charged for his violent crimes (including his involvement in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre), but he was convicted of tax evasion in 1931.
  • Serial killer Ted Bundy was executed in Florida in 1989 for the murder of 36 women.
  • Exonerated of a rape charge in 2003 and convicted of murder in 2007, Steven Avery is best known as the subject of Netflix's 2015 miniseries Making a Murderer.

A very well-known criminal celebrity from Washington is Mary Kay Letourneau, who at the time of her arrest was a 34-year old school teacher having intercourse with her 12-year old student. Whether you are have been arrested for child endangermentfinancial fraud, or for any other felony charge you will most definitely need strong legal representation.

Call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi

Criminal defense lawyer Steve Karimi can represent people in Washington court in a wide range of charges. Mr. Karimi has a proven track record in court and has been named a top-rated criminal defense attorney in the Seattle area. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a crime, contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today to schedule a free consultation.

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

If you were arrested or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Seattle or surrounding areas of Washington State, the Law Offices of Steve Karimi can help. Call 206-660-6200 24 hours a day for a free consultation.

Seattle Defense Lawyer

Named a "rising star" in criminal defense by Washington Law and Politics magazine, Mr. Karimi is a former prosecutor for King County who uses his insight into prosecution strategies to protect his clients' rights in criminal court.