When journalist Josh Levin began investigating an infamous welfare cheat, his story spiraled into an expose of one of the most outrageous female criminals in modern history.
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When attacked by Native Americans, this pregnant viking bared her chest, brandished a sword, and took them on by herself. And she won.
Cross-dressing Queen of Thieves who flouted social norms and had plays written about her.
Roundly-despised and unfairly-maligned seductress of the bible who ran afoul of the wrong priests.
Juana Azurduy de Padilla
This revolutionary (and mother of five) should have been the namesake of Bolivia - and that's the opinion of Simon Bolivar, the actual namesake of Bolivia!
After disguising herself as a man to be the physician women needed, she was put on trial - and won.
When famine hit Jeju island, where she'd been exiled since birth, this prostitute-turned-businesswoman spent her fortune to feed everyone.
Picked to be an impotent figurehead, this savvy intellectual quickly learned how to play politics and modernized the nation to ward off invasion.
Indigenous lawmaker who united warring tribes under a unified code of laws that she made herself.
When this princess had her life ruined by an unstoppable warrior, she: became a fervent ascetic for years and got a divine boon; killed herself to reincarnate faster; came back as a man; and killed the man who'd wronged her, in the stunning climax of the world's longest epic poem.
Stephanie St. Clair
This audacious black gangster fought the Italian mob for control of Harlem and won, taunting them in full-page newspaper ads as she went.