6. Griselda Blanco Was 11 When She Held Her First Hostage For Ransom
Before there was Pablo Escobar, there was Griselda “The Cocaine Godmother” Blanco. In 1954, when she was just 11-years-old, she kidnapped a local boy from the rich neighbourhood close to the slums where she grew up. She held him for a $1000 ransom, but when his parents refused to pay she shot him in the head. Blanco then went on to become a colombian drug lord, leader of the Medellín Cartel and future pioneer of the Miami-based cocaine drug trade during the 1970s and early 1980s.
Blanco was heavily involved in the gangland violence which later became known as the Miami Drug War. Her distribution of cocaine throughout the United States brought in $80 million each month, and it was her violent style of doing business that eventually lead rival competitors to fight fire with fire, and she fled to California to escape several assassination attempts.
On February 20, 1985, she was arrested, held without bail, and sentenced to more than a decade in jail. She continued to operate her business from inside jail, and in 2004 she was released from prison and deported back to Colombia. Blanco laid low for awhile and had not been sighted since 2007. Then in 2012, on the evening of September 3, 2012, she was found dead after being shot in the head by a drive-by shooter on a motorcycle in Medellín, Colombia.