Phoolan Devi, 37, 2001 News
India's “bandit queen,” was assassinated by masked gunmen in July. As a teen, she and her lover, Vikram Mallah, led a gang of murderous desperadoes. Eventually some gang members turned on them, killing him and handing her over to a group of upper-caste landowners who, by Devi's account, raped her repeatedly. She spent 11 years in jail for the 1980 revenge-style murders of 22 of her attackers, emerging as a hero of the lower castes. She served in Parliament from 1996 until her death.