10 Times When Karma Backfired

Proof that what goes around doesn't always come around.

One of the things that keep many of us sane is the silly notion that people ultimately get what they deserve. While cosmic justice is a nifty thought, history proves that what goes around doesn't always come around. Below are ten cases which illustrate the fallacy of the theory of karma, or, if you prefer, "The Top 10 Moments When the Karma Police Were Caught Taking a Donut Break".

10. Ty Cobb

During his heyday, this Hall-of-Fame outfielder was just as famous for his bigotry and violent temper as his baseball prowess. Cobb, who often slid into base with his spikes in the air in a blatant attempt to injure his opponent, once described himself as "a sadistic, slashing, swashbuckling despot who waged war in the guise of sport".

Others, however, had less kind things to say about the man nicknamed "The Georgia Peach". Universally hated by, well, everyone, Cobb once bitch-slapped a black groundskeeper during spring training after the groundskeeper attempted to shake Cobb's hand. When the groundskeeper's wife tried to intervene, Cobb turned around and choked her until teammates managed to pry his hands off her neck. One year later, in 1908, Cobb was arrested and found guilty of battery after attacking a black laborer in Detroit.

But Cobb's shining moment came in 1912, when he climbed into the stands and attacked a heckler named Claude Lueker. Even though Lueker didn't have any hands (he lost them in an industrial accident), that small detail didn't stop Cobb from beating the man to within an inch of his life. When someone screamed for Cobb to stop, pointing out that the man had no hands, Cobb famously retorted, “I don’t care if he has no feet!”

Cobb mellowed slightly with age, but he was determined to remain a first class asshole to the very end. Just days before he died, he told his close friend (actor and comedian Joe. E. Brown) that he had no regrets. "I've been lucky. I have no right to be regretful of what I did," said Cobb. He then checked into the hospital for the last time, bringing with him a paper bag with over $1 million in negotiable bonds and a Colt .45 pistol.
Even though Cobb was a royal prick, karma never caught up with the six-time American League stolen base champion. At the time of his death, Cobb's estate was reported to be worth $11.780 million (equivalent to $93 million today).

9. Don King

At 83, the world's most famous boxing promoter still manages to dodge karma the same way a champion middleweight dodges jabs. While King's long-suspected ties to the Mafia have yet to be proven, King's other run ins with the law have been well-documented. Take the two murders he committed, for instance. King was charged with the murder of Hillary Brown. Even though she was shot in the back, King was able to get off on a self-defense plea. And then there was the time he stomped a man named Sam Garrett to death (Garrett allegedly owed King some money). Though convicted, King spent less than 4 years behind bars. Yet karma has decided to bestow a vast fortune upon this Brillo-headed idiot; King's net worth is estimated to be somewhere around $150 million.

8. Timothy Poole

After sexually assaulting a nine-year-old boy in 1999, a Florida judge sentenced Poole to 13 months in prison. In 2003, after Poole failed to attend court-ordered sex offender counseling sessions, he was once again thrown in jail. After being released in 2006, Poole landed a job driving a cab. In December of 2014 he decided to stop at a 7-Eleven, where he purchased a scratch-off lottery ticket and won $3 million.

7. Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong was the Chinese dictator responsible for some of the most appalling famines and genocides in world history. During his tenure, Chairman Mao sent tens of millions to labor camps, resulting in the execution of 5 million Chinese. Famines, created by his economic policies, claimed the lives of an estimated 30 to 45 million people. Chairman Mao was such a frightening figure that it has been reported that 700,000 suicides were committed simply out of fear during his reign of terror.

One would imagine that the greatest abuser of human rights in the history of mankind would be a tempting target for karma, but that was hardly the case. In spite of his deplorable personal hygiene (it has been reported that Mao never once brushed his teeth, and only bathed once in twenty-five years) and in spite of the fact that he was a heavy smoker and drinker, Chairman Mao managed to live until the age of 82.

6. Vince Neil

Most of us know that the Motley Crue singer loves fast cars and fast women, but few of us are aware that Vince Neil has been evading the karma police ever since 1984, when he killed Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley, the drummer of glam rock band Hanoi Rocks. Neil, drunk as a skunk, drove himself and three friends to the liquor store to get more booze when Neil lost control of his vehicle. Dingley was killed instantly, while the other two passengers suffered brain damage. Neil escaped with minor injuries and a 15-day stint in jail.

Since that time, fate has been quite kind to the Motley Crue singer. In addition to boning dozens of hotties and dating Playboy Playmate Heidi Mark, Neil opened a tattoo parlor on the Vegas Strip, he headed a winemaking venture called Vince Vineyards, he launched his own brand of tequila, and opened Dr. Feelgood's Bar and Grill in West Palm Beach. In addition, Neil owns a Vegas strip club as well as an Arena Football League franchise. So, the next time someone tries to warn you of the dangers of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, tell them to go to hell.

5.  Kim Il-sung

The dictator of North Korea for nearly a quarter of a century, Kim Il-sung was the shitheel who started the Korean War, which claimed the lives of over 3 million people. Despite the war ending in a draw, Kim Il-Sung was able to brainwash 10 million North Koreans into believing that he wasn't just a president-- but a god.
Still regarded as the "Eternal President" two decades after his death, Kim Il-sung's birthday is a national holiday, making him the North Korean version of some type of magnificent George Washington/Jesus Christ/Hugh Hefner hybrid.

Even though Kim Il-sung's favorite hobby was killing his rivals and top military commanders, he still found plenty of time for being a manwhore; it is said he fathered dozens of illegitimate children from numerous affairs with North Korea's hottest chicas.

If you think such rampant philandering and murdering might tempt karma, think again; Kim Il-sung lived to the ripe old age of 82.

4. Josef Mengele

Known as the "Angel of Death", Mengele was a physician in the Auschwitz concentration camp, where he passed his time by pouring chemicals into the eyes of children to see if he could change their eyecolors, sewing people together in an attempt to create conjoined twins, and forcing parents to kill their own offspring. All told, Mengele was responsible for the deaths of 400,000 people.

But, just when it appeared that karma was coming for the Angel of Death, Mengele escaped to South America, where he purchased a successful pharmaceutical company and took frequent ski vacations to Switzerland. He bought himself a lovely farmhouse in Caieiras in 1969. Caieras, a picturesque suburb of Sao Paulo, is also known as the "City of the Pines", due to its pristine surroundings.

Mengele's health began to deteriorate in 1972, but he staved off the Grim Reaper just long enough to spend his twilight years visiting his wealthy friends in the lavish coastal resort of Bertioga, where he died in 1979, just a few weeks shy of his sixty-eighth birthday. Sure, Mengele may not have made it to 70, but it was still a pretty darn good run for a man who liked to hook car batteries to folks' genitals. The way we figure it, 34 years on the white sand beaches of Brazil beats the pants off 100 years anywhere in Germany any way you look at it.

3. William S. Burroughs

The author of 18 novels, postmodern author William S. Burroughs has been hailed as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. However, Billy was just another rich and spoiled struggling poet of the Beat Generation until the day he accidentally killed his wife in a monumental act of alcohol-fueled stupidity. Then and only then did his career take off.

In 1951, a drunken Burroughs killed his wife, Joan Vollmer, in Mexico City while attempting to shoot a shot glass off her head, William Tell style. Burroughs was spared from the not-so-long arm of the law after his wealthy parents bribed Mexican officials to allow him back into the States, where he was found guilty of "culpable homicide" but managed to avoid jail time.

Such an incident may have derailed the careers of other authors, but for Burroughs it was a godsend. Vollmer's death was the inspiration for his first novel, Junkie (1953), which was critically acclaimed. But Burroughs is perhaps best known for his third novel Naked Lunch (1959), a controversial piece of shit that hubristic, presumptuous literary critics haven't stopped blathering about for more than half a century.

Burroughs, America's most beloved beatnik/junkie/wife killer, finally kicked the bucket in 1997 at the age of 83.

2. Meyer Lansky

Perhaps the most successful mobster of all time, Lansky was never found guilty of anything more serious than illegal gambling. During his 50-plus year career as a Jewish mobster, Lansky organized the murders of Mafia bosses Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano, and established a worldwide network of illegal casinos all over the world, from London to New Orleans. Lansky was instrumental in founding the "National Crime Syndicate", which included the likes of Bugsy Seigel, Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and Albert Anastasia. If Al Capone was the Chip Kelly of the mob world, then Meyer Lansky would be its Roger Goodell.

Yet karma avoided Lansky the same way a health nut avoids Krispy Kreme doughnuts. As a young bootlegger, Lansky was nearly rubbed out by rival mobsters numerous times, only to be saved by his good pal Bugsy Seigel. While Capone went to prison in 1931 and Seigel went to prison in 1936, Meyer Lansky avoided the law until 1974, but even then he was acquitted of the charges against him. Lansky spent his twilight years enjoying life in his sprawling Miami Beach mansion until his death at age 80, leaving behind a fortune of some $300 million. And they say crime doesn't pay...

1. Emperor Hirohito

With a reign lasting over six decades, Emperor Hirohito saw his Japan blossom from the world's ninth largest economy in 1926 to the world's second largest economy by 1989. Ever wonder why just about everything in America has a sticker saying "Made in Japan"? Well, you can thank Emperor Hirohito for that.

Yet, somewhere in the middle of his success lies the reason why the Karma Police should've performed a full body cavity search on this creep nearly eight decades ago. It was called the Rape of Nanking, the pre-WWII massacre which saw the slaughter of 300,000 Chinese civilians. Under Hirohito's orders, around 200,000 women and underage girls were sexually assaulted. A total of 10 million Chinese were forced into slavery, and those who resisted were killed in a variety of creative ways: some were beheaded, others were boiled and roasted and then eaten, and still others were buried alive, hanged by their tongues on iron hooks, or used for bayonet practice.

Yep, you'll never be able to look at Hello Kitty the same way ever again.

Nonetheless, Emperor Hirohito managed to outlive every other WWII leader by a wide margin, finally giving up the ghost in 1989 at the age of 83.