Throughout America\u2019s storied history of crime, a handful of particularly unsettling homicides have not only made but transcended headlines, shaking our nation to its core. Notwithstanding the variety in M.O., what these cases share in commonality is their weight in American crime history\u2014not to mention column inches in news coverage. It stands to reason, fewer stories have become so ingrained in our nation\u2019s collective conscience. These aren\u2019t the work of textbook serial killers, either. As the following crimes testify: Anyone from the most ordinary, suburban background to public figures alike are not immune to making headlines for all the worst reasons. Here are 10\u00a0of those crimes that\u00a0left a forever mark on so many: 1. Bernie Madoff's Arrest and Conviction\u00a0(2008-2009) CNBC.com Investment giant turned fraudster Bernie Madoff, 79, is serving a 150-year life sentence for ripping off thousands \u2014 in what\u2019s now known as the biggest case of investment fraud in U.S. history. His sons turned him\u00a0into\u00a0federal authorities in late 2008, exposing the\u00a0multibillion-dollar\u00a0Ponzi scheme. From celebrities to everyday people, he defrauded his clients of nearly $20 billion dollars in principle investments. Trustees have been working to pay back billions to his victims. As for the Madoff family, Bernie reportedly has had health problems while in prison. His two sons have died since his arrest \u2014 one from suicide, the other from cancer. 2. Elizabeth Smart's Kidnapping\u00a0(2002-2003) Pinterest When news broke of Elizabeth Smart\u2019s kidnapping, it sounded like a scene from a suspense movie \u2014 a 14-year-old girl taken from her bedroom in the middle of the night. But it was all too real for the Smart family, as they desperately searched for the girl near Salt Lake City. For nine months, Smart was held captive by Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee, until someone called with a possible sighting of her. Smart was located just miles from her home. Despite the torture she suffered, she has gone on to be an accomplished author and child activist. 3. Laci Peterson's Disappearance and Murder\u00a0(2002) cnn.com Four months after the pregnant 26-year-old Laci Peterson went missing on Christmas Eve 2002, her body and the fetus of her unborn child washed ashore on a section of the San Francisco Bay shoreline. In the weeks following Peterson's disappearance, suspicions began to mount against her husband, Scott. He was exposed for having an affair with a massage therapist, though he said Laci knew and was \u201cOK with it.\u201d\u00a0Scott was charged with murdering Laci and her unborn son days after their bodies were found. Despite his lawyers\u2019 theory that a satanic cult had kidnapped and murdered Laci, Scott was convicted and is now on death row. 4. Murder of Gianni Versace (1997)\u00a0 BT.com Italian fashion designer and founder of the Versace empire, Gianni Versace was murdered outside the entrance of his Miami Beach mansion in 1997. The gunman, Andrew Cunanan, had been on a cross-country killing spree. The world-renowned designer was his last victim. Cunanan, 27, killed himself eight days after killing Versace. Some have speculated that Cunanan murdered Versace, 50, to gain worldwide attention. Among those who attended Versace's memorial service to pay their respects was Britain's Princess Diana \u2014 a mere month before her own tragic death. 5. JonBen\u00e9t Ramsey\u2019s Killing (1996)\u00a0 CNN.com A child-beauty-pageant queen murdered after she went to bed on Christmas night \u2014 the case of JonBen\u00e9t Ramsey has never been resolved. Initially, the Ramseys thought someone kidnapped their 6-year-old daughter as she slept. Her mother, a Patsy, said she found a ransom note demanding $118,000 for JonBen\u00e9t's return on the morning of Dec. 26, 1996. But later that day her father, John, discovered her body in the basement of their Boulder, Colo., home. She had been\u00a0strangled and suffered a blow that had fractured her skull.\u00a0For more than 10 years, her parents were under suspicion for the death and for child abuse, although analysis of DNA found at the scene was eventually determined to be an unknown male. In 2008, the district attorney apologized and cleared the Ramsey family. The apology came too late for Patsy, who died in 2006 from ovarian cancer at age 49. To this day no one has been charged with JonBen\u00e9t's murder.\u00a0John Mark Karr was\u00a0arrested 10 years later in Thailand, but it turned out that he had falsely confessed. 6. O.J. Simpson\u2019s Arrest and Trial (1994-1995)\u00a0 ABC News One of the most-watched trials ever on television was that of former NFL player O.J. Simpson. For nine months, viewers listened to testimony trying to connect him to the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, 34, and her friend, Ron Goldman, 26. The two victims were stabbed to death outside of Brown Simpson\u2019s condo in 1994 \u2014 while the Simpsons' young children slept in their bedrooms. Police immediately began questioning Simpson, eventually asking him to surrender. Instead, he got into his white Ford Bronco and led police on a two-hour televised chase. The \u201ctrial of the century\u201d was notable for its many twists and turns \u2014 from flare-ups between the judge and a prosecutor to infighting among Simpson\u2019s many attorneys \u2014 but the most dramatic moment came when O.J. Simpson struggled to put on a glove found at the crime scene. His attorney Johnnie Cochran told the jury, \u201cIf it doesn\u2019t fit, you must acquit.\u201d On Oct. 3, 1995, 150 million Americans tuned in to learn the jury\u2019s decision: \u201cWe the jury \u2026 find the defendant, Orenthal James Simpson, not guilty of the crime of murder.\u201d Thirteen years later, Simpson ended up in prison for a different crime \u2014 a robbery case in Las Vegas. He was locked up for nine years until a judge granted him parole in 2017. 7. The Menendez Brothers (1989)\u00a0 CNBC.com Did they kill their wealthy parents for their money, or were Lyle and Erik Menendez\u00a0drove\u00a0to murder because of a lifetime of abuse? Both theories played out in courtrooms twice, because the jury in their first trial was deadlocked. The brothers \u2014 now in their late 40s, but 21 and 18 at the time of the murders \u2014 killed their parents with shotguns in their Beverly Hills mansion. Jose was shot point-blank in the back of the head, and Kitty shot 15 times. At first, the brothers were not arrested, as they told police it was likely a Mafia hit or a bad business deal. But in the weeks that followed, suspicions mounted as the brothers began spending money from their parents' $14 million\u00a0estate. Seven months after the murders, both brothers were arrested \u2014 and eventually\u00a0convicted in 1995. Despite being sentenced to life in prison, both brothers got married while incarcerated and remain in contact. 8. Jeffrey Dahmer's Path of Terror (1978-1991) Pinterest Serial killer Jeffry Dahmer victimized 17 men and boys over the course of 13 years, beginning in 1978. He tortured and dismembered his victims, often keeping their body parts \u2014 and sometimes eating them \u2014 in his Milwaukee home. Dahmer was finally caught after a man he had handcuffed in his apartment managed to escape. The investigation revealed that Dahmer, a chocolate factory worker, had been luring men he met at bars to his home, where he would drug and murder them. He was sentenced to 15 life terms for the killings. But after just about two years in prison, the 34-year-old was beaten to death during a work detail in 1994. 9. Ted Bundy's Rampage (1974-1978) supernaught.com Serial killer, kidnapper, rapist and prison escapee Ted Bundy victimized women for several years in the mid-\u00a0to late 1970s. Prior to his execution in 1989, he admitted to at least 30 murders, but investigators believe there were many more. The killings started in the Northwest a couple of years after Bundy graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in psychology. The victims often resembled his college sweetheart, a breakup that tore him apart. The mass murderer went to prison in\u00a01976 but escaped twice \u2014 killing several more women along the way. He was finally caught on Feb. 15, 1978. 10. Charles Manson Murders (1969) GETTY IMAGES In August 1969, the Manson Family cult killings in Los Angeles stunned the nation. The most notorious\u00a0was\u00a0the brutal murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others at her Benedict Canyon home. The cult\u2019s leader, Charles Manson, was sentenced to several life terms and died in 2017 at 83. Several of his followers are still serving life sentences in prison for those five murders, as well as four additional killings. One of the reasons Manson gave for the killings referred to the\u00a0Beatles\u2019 song \u201cHelter Skelter,\u201d which he wrongfully interpreted as a call for a violent race war. Credits:\u00a0aarp.org Share this story on Facebook with your friends.