In the 21st century, the stance on wealth has become deeply divided. Some consider the wealth amassed by the well-to-do to be just rewards for innovative creations and long hours invested in one’s craft.
For others, a bloated nest egg is unethical in itself (with the top 1% being the most obvious offenders), and some are in the middle and form their opinions on a case-by-case basis.
There are ways one can get rich “the right way.” Maybe even get rich enough to enter the ranks of the admired and despised (depending on your stance).
For some, Bill Gates is a good example. Gates, after all, manages to be one of the 1%, while donating huge sums of money to multiple charities. See more on him below:
But not all of us can be ingenious technical innovators. And there are plenty of people who’ve decided over the years that the end goal of amassing wealth was far more important than morals.
The greedy choices some of these people below made were downright evil.
Possibly the most prevalent (and repeatedly ignored) “evil way” of making money is forcing people to pay their last dollars for medicine that they need to survive—or leave them for dead.
Sure, considering the production costs some medicine is worth more than a few dollars. But more often than not, the drugs in question could be sold for a far lower price and still hand their distributors a hefty profit.
The price gouging happens due to one single reason: people who decide the price tags know that people rarely (if ever) have alternatives and will be forced to shell out whatever number they stick on the box.
Look no farther than the case of Martin Shkreli, a pharmaceuticals executive, who obtained the manufacturing license for antiparasitic drug, Daraprim, and hiked the price from $13.50 to $750.00 per pill. He was called before Congress for such a brazen act—and he laughed.
Well, in 2017, Shkreli was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to 7 years in federal prison, so good riddance. Unfortunately, his arrest had nothing to do with the Daraprim price hike. He got caught for securities fraud.
Okay. This one is gruesome.
In the 1980s, Dorothea Puente ran a boarding house for the old, alcoholics, and the disabled in Sacramento. Evidently, she figured out that being a landlady wouldn’t make her as well-off as she’d envisioned, this enterprising woman started poisoning her tenants—all for one single reason: to collect their social security checks.
Since she couldn’t dispose of the bodies all by herself, she got a local homeless man known by the nickname of “Chief” to dig holes for her on the property. Soon, she decided “Chief” knew too much and ended up killing him as well.
Who knows how long Puente’s scheme would continue if it weren’t for Alberto Montoya. Alberto was a developmentally disabled schizophrenic who had a social worker. When he failed to make contact, his social worker reported him missing.
The police who went to inquire after him at his last known whereabouts (as in – Puente’s boarding house), noticed freshly dug soil on the property grounds and uncovered the body of one of the tenants. Thus, in November 1988, Dorothea Puente was finally apprehended.
Luckner Cambronne was the leader of The Tonton Macaute – a brutal force that was helping Haiti’s ruler Francois Duvalier maintain his power.
Cambronne found an crude way to rake in some a lot of cash: he dealt in corpses. To be more specific, he sold the remains of people his militia slaughtered as medical cadavers to Western medical schools like Yale University and others.
The demand for Cambronne’s… ehm… goods, was so high, that he literally couldn’t get enough to sell, so he resorted to:
- stealing bodies from funeral homes;
- started killing people specifically to meet his quotas.
Not only that, but Cambronne soon decided to branch out and started selling blood as well, since Western blood banks were in need and ready to pay. He sold both from Haiti’s supply and found “volunteers to donate” (under the threat of death, obviously).
To make matters even worse, Cambronne didn’t pay any attention to safe blood transfer procedures and it stands to reason that his entrepreneurial antics further contributed to the AIDS epidemic.
His macabre business dealing earned Luckner Cambronne the moniker “Vampire of the Caribbean.”
Maria and Delfina de Jesus Gonzalez
What could be worse than selling dead bodies? Selling live ones.
Human trafficking is a prevalent problem to this day, and if there was ever a contest between who was the worst, well, the Gonzalez Sisters would take the cake.
In 1950s, these sisters ran a brothel in Mexico where all their “employees” were kidnapped. The girls were constantly drugged to keep them meek and complacent.
If a girl wasn’t in “marketable condition” anymore, lost her looks or became too inert to please the clients (which as you can imagine happened quite fast, what’s with the continuous drug use and constant beatings), she was murdered and buried on the property. If a girl got sick, she was also murdered, because kidnapping a new girl cost less than medicine.
When the authorities finally looked into the Gonzalez Sisters’ case in 1964, they uncovered over 90 bodies buried on the property.
Talk about an evil way to get wealthy.
Image by Brebryans