Top 10 Powerful Female Mobsters Of All Time

Men’s society has always dominated the mobster world. However, many women killed their way to the mob world in the past decades. 

These women proved that the crime world is not based on gender but guts and have been listed along with the most powerful mafia bosses of all time. They ran the most notorious criminal clans and played an important role in many violent and ruthless acts.

Virginia Hills, Griselda Blanco, Ma Barker, and Maria Licciardi are some of the names that have set their reputation at the apex of the criminal world. 

Here is the list of the top 10 most ruthless women mobsters of all time with details. 

10. Judy Moran (1944)

Judy Moran with the reporters
Judy Moran with the reporters

Judy was born on December 18, 1944. She began her criminal careere as the member of the Moran household, a group of notorious criminals from Melbourne, Australia. However, she gained her fame after becoming the head of the same gang after her first husband’s death. 

She married her second husband, Lewis Moran, after the death of her first husband. Unfortunately, he too was shot too in the Brunswick Club, Melbourne, in March 2004.  

Judy and her Moran family were infamous for drug trafficking. Her involvement in the death of Des Moran, Judy’s brother-in-law in 2009, got her into the limelight. After numerous trials, the jury convicted her for the murder of her brother-in-law and sentenced her and her three accomplices for a 26-year-sentence.

Judy Moran is 76 years and is serving a 26-year long sentence in the prison.

9. Bonnie Parker (1910-1934)

Black and White photo of Bonnie Parker
Black and White photo of Bonnie Parker

Bonnie Elizabeth Parker was born in Rowena, Texas, and was a brilliantly outspoken child.

She met Clyde Barrow in 1930 and got involved in criminal activities thereafter. They began with bank robberies leading up to numerous murders of the 19the Century. However, they were mostly infamous for stealing an automobile in Illinois.

Bonnie’s style of gunshot and smoking-cigar made left an impact on people and a show on Netflix named the Highwaymen has been filmed as a tribute to the duo.

However, the duo was shot to death by officers on May 23, 1930, in an ambush near Bienville Parish.

8. Santokben Jadeja (1949-2011)

Santokben Jadeja
Santokben Jadeja

Santokben Jadeja, who once had complete control of illegal operations in Porbandar, was also the first woman to start an underworld operation. 

In December 1986, Kala Keshav shot her husband dead owing to an old rivalry. This event introduced Santokben to the forefront. That is how she plunged into the world of crimes from being a homemaker. 

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Furthermore, she was behind the murder of 14 people, who she thought was responsible for her husband’s murder.

In 2007, she came into the news for killing Navghan Arsi, her brother-in-law. Furthermore, in 2008, she again made it to the news headline when her son Karan Jadeja killed her daughter-in-law

It is not a surprise when influential people join politics. Likewise, she was appointed as MLA from 1990 to 1995 as a candidate of Janata Dal. However, the political world did not favor her in the long run of life. On Thursday, March 31, 2011, she died of cardiac arrest at her own house in Porbandar.

7. Raffaella d’ Alte Rio (1966)

Raffaella d’ Alte Rio with a cop
Raffaella d’ Alte Rio with a cop

Raffaella d’ Alte Rio, also known as “Italy’s most wanted criminal,” married Nicola Pianese, belonging to a criminal family. She was not involved in crimes or criminal activities until the murder of her husband in 2006.

Since the, she began with extortion and counterfeit money trafficking rings. She even survived gunshot wounds targeted by her rival gang. 

In 2012, according to The Daily Mail, Raffaella d’ Alte Rio was held along with 65 other suspects in a series of dawn raids by armed officers who also used helicopters and sniffer dogs in operation.

The Italian police arrested her for kidnapping, possessing illegal weapons, and dealing drugs. 

6. Hellen Gillis (1928-1987)

Hellen Gillis
Hellen Gillis

Hellen Gills was more famous for standing by her husband’s side than her battles. She was married to the greatest robber of all time, Lester M. Gillis, also known as “Baby Face Nelson.” 

Lester had a considerable history with crime and robbery, as he started from the early age of 14. The only crime she committed was supporting his husband throughout.

In 1931, she declared the “Public Enemy” with a “shoot to kill” order in effect. Her story in the criminal world ascended when Lester got involved with John Dillinger in April 1934. 

The alliance was so dangerous that she couldn’t escape from the public eye. Helen’s husband died along with John Dillinger on November 27, 1934, during a shootout with FBI agents. 

Eventually, on November 29, 1934, Helen Gillis was sentenced to serve one year in Women’s Federal Reformatory in Mila, Michigan.

She died in 1987 and is buried in Chicago. Although she died after 50 years of her husband’s death, she is buried next to her. It seems like Helen wanted to be alongside her husband even after death. 

5. Opal “Mack Truck” Long (1918-1980)

Image of Opal 'Mack Truck' Long
Image of Opal ‘Mack Truck’ Long

Bernice Clark was big enough to earn her “Mack Truck” name. She was a part-time shoplifter and a full-time key member of John Dillinger’s “Terror Gang.”

She was involved with the gang because of her husband, Russell Clark. The terror gang was infamous for robbing banks and escaping effortlessly. She was the caretaker of the gang. 

However, things got bitter when her husband Russell Clark was arrested in Tucson, Arizona, on January 25, 1934. She violently attacked the police when they stopped her, but later she went under custody herself. 

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She didn’t speak a word against Dillinger’s gang even though Dillinger didn’t help her out. After she earned parole in November 1934, she started living in Chicago. 

4. Ma Barker (1873-1935)

Ma barker with her family
Ma barker with her family

Barker was born to a low-income family in Ash Grove, Missouri. She married a hardworking and soft-spoken farmer George Barker. In contrast to her husband, she was very strong-headed and had a bad temper. 

Her journey as a mobster started after she gave birth to Herman, Lloyd, Arthur, and Fred. They together formed the Barker-Karpis Gang in 1931. In the same year, Fred shot a sheriff to death. 

Since then, they started to follow a thoughtless pattern of killing people. They were mainly involved in murderous robberies. 

On March 29, 1932, Fred, Karpis, and three accomplices robbed the Northwestern National Bank and got a clean escape. The Gang got away with more than a quarter of a million dollars. 

That was how The Barker Gang started drawing attention from the public and media. On January 16, 1935, Barker and Fred hid in California. The police surrounded the house and appealed to surrender. 

The shootout began after Fred started machine gun on Police. After hours of the shootout, when Police entered the house, they both were found dead upstairs. 

3. Maria Licciardi (1951)

Maria Licciardi
Maria Licciardi

Camorra family in Italy is very notorious. It is a group of savvy, ruthless criminal clans. Maria Licciardi was born into the Camorra family. 

Fate pretty much had decided what was ahead of her. Her supremacy to the zenith of a Camorra crime group happened as women stepped into leadership roles as the path was let open. 

The reason behind the unchallenging path was that men were being imprisoned or killed in the 1990s, apart from helping her husband in caretaking and packing cocaine. She was gutsy enough to handle the violent side of the criminal world as well. 

After her husband’s death on August 3, 1994, she started to put her hands on every illegal activity possible. She even founded The Secondigliano Alliance, a strategic alliance of Camorra clans in Naples. 

It has been responsible for controlling drug trafficking and extortion since the 1990s. From 1993 to 2001, she was one of the most powerful bosses of the Camorra in Naples. Unfortunately, she was sentenced to jail in 2001.

No wonder she had her reputation and nicknames like “Godmother” and “Princess.” Everything for her was going fine until the Rival Camorra clan shot several of her clan’s members. 

Maria took revenge by murdering 14 people. In charge of murders, Neapolitan police came after her in 1999. Police raided the meeting of thirteen Mafia bosses, but Maria somehow managed to escape cops. 

She went into hiding outside Naples, but unfortunately, officers recognized her in a car in 2001. Since then, she has been serving her sentence in prison. 

2. Griselda Blanco (1943-2012)

Griselda Blanco

We all have heard about the great movie “Godfather.” Likewise, the mobster world also has a “Godmother,” whose name is Griselda Blanco. 

During the 80s, she was one of the world’s most dangerous cocaine traffickers. Well, her nickname doesn’t end here. People even called her “Black Widow” after killing her 3 husbands brutally. 

She was just eleven years old when she escaped with her first murder from an early age. In 1975, New York Police passed the statement to arrest her for drug trafficking. 

Somehow, she flew to Colombia and later smuggled herself back to Miami. Counting the number of murders she directed ranges from 50 to 200. 

Furthermore, she even had a hand in the 1979 Dadeland Mall Massacre for killing two people during the conflict between Colombian cocaine suppliers and Cuban distributors. 

Blanco pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 1998. In the wake of that, she got three concurrent twenty-year sentences. In 2004, due to lax sentencing guidelines from the 1990s. 

On September 3, 2012, the 69-year-old Blanco was standing near a butcher shop in Medellin. At the same instant, an assassin on a motorcycle fired two shots into her head and flew away. 

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The news was not surprising to people as they always saw this coming because of her violent nature. 

1. Virginia Hill (1916-1966)

Image of Virgina Hill
Image of Virginia Hill

Virginia Hill’s life is no less than a movie. She was born into a low-income family but later killed her becoming the greatest mobster. She did money laundering to heroin trafficking. From an early age, she had a belief that her feminine wiles would take her to places. 

She exploited that to the maximum when it came to trapping people. From the 1930s to the late 1940s, her beguiling ways and plucky nerves inspired several other women of the mobster world. 

Later she joined an alliance with Brooklyn mobster Bugsy Siegel. However, her fortune changed after Siegel’s death. After years she married her second husband in 1950 and had a son. 

However, her vast debts didn’t leave her alone in the long run of life. Crossing borders and changing countries didn’t help either. 

The IRS claimed she had dodged $221,000 in taxes. Returning to America was no option for her. The only easy way out she could find was killing herself. 

In 1965, Hill attempted suicide, but her husband saved her to a hospital in time. However, in 1966, she killed herself with a self-administered overdose. 


The criminal world is hazardous, and only a few people have the guts to choose such a world. Even though men have the upper hand in this world, the women were no less than them. 

Traditionally, women were obliged to serve the men inside the home, but these women leaped above any circumstances given and fought back. Despite how strategic these women were, they couldn’t escape the police. 

Some of them are still serving their sentence in prison. While some got killed, and only a few (Santokben, Barker, and Bernice) died naturally. The list misses a few notorious women like Stephanie, Ping, Arlyne, and Billie.

Some criminals like Charles Sobhraj and his wife, Chantal seemed to have been inspired by these women mobsters and have implied their strategies as well.

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