From Union Soldier to Criminal Mastermind: The Tale of Adam Worth

Adam Worth, an American who served in the Union Army during the US Civil War, later embarked on a criminal career in Europe. Garnering the moniker “the Napoleon of Crime,” he became the basis for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary character, Professor James Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes’ archenemy. Notably, Worth organized and led a network of criminals, specializing in theft and forgery. His most infamous heist involved the theft of Thomas Gainsborough’s painting, “The Duchess of Devonshire,” which he held for 25 years before returning it anonymously. Despite his criminal activities, Worth was known for adhering to a strict moral code, avoiding violence whenever possible.