Lauren Cahn put together an outstanding list of the Most Notorious Criminals in every state. Her publication in Readers Digest outlines these individuals, their crimes, and their victims.

For the local connection, Cahn's focus was on Jerome Brudos who was born in South Dakota in 1939. Yes, he was born in South Dakota, but Brudos known as The Lust Killer committed his crimes in Salem, Oregon murdering several women. (Used with permission) (Used with permission)

Brudos died of natural causes in 2006 while serving three consecutive life sentences in Oregon.

A more detailed look at some of South Dakota's notorious criminals reveals several headliners including one of the FBI's Most Wanted List.

John Dillinger
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John Dillinger - In just one year of his rampage spree, The Dillinger Gang was responsible for twelve separate bank robberies, between June 21, 1933, and June 30, 1934.

According to, three days after Dillinger's escape from Crown Point, the second Dillinger Gang robbed a bank in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

March 6, 1934: Dillinger, Homer Van Meter, Eddie Green, Tommy Carroll, and Baby Face Nelson rob the Security National Bank in Sioux Falls escaping with $49,500.

March 7, 1934: The FBI officially announces they are entering the Dillinger case. March 13, 1934, Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Homer Van Meter, Eddie Green, Tommy Carroll, and John Hamilton rob the First National Bank of Mason City, Iowa, escaping with $52,000.

Below is a partial list of those who have committed heinous crimes here in South Dakota. (Used with permission) (Used with permission)

Robert LeRoy Anderson - Anderson was convicted of kidnapping and killing Larisa Dumansky of Sioux Falls in 1994 and Piper Streyle of rural Canistota.

Guards found Anderson hanging from his bedsheet in his cell on March 31, 2003.


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Eric Robert - Convicted of kidnapping in 2005. Serving an 80-year sentence, Robert attempts to escape after beating and killing a prison guard. He was executed by lethal injection on October 15, 2012. (Used with permission) (Used with permission)

Leonard Peltier - A member of the American Indian Movement. In 1977 he was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment for murdering two FBI Agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Peltier is currently serving two consecutive terms of life in a Florida federal penitentiary.

Getty Images/Thinkstock/Canva
Getty Images/Thinkstock/Canva

George Sitts - Murdered two officers north of Spearfish, South Dakota on January 24, 1946. Butte County Sheriff Dave Malcolm and South Dakota Special Agent Tom Matthews. Sitts was the only person to be executed in the electric chair in the state.


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