Famous Crimes

Famous Crimes

  • William F. Buckley
  • Anton Cermak
  • Rose Cheramie
  • Herman Cohen
  • Rudolf Hess
  • Lisa Howard
  • Bill Hunter
  • Steve Kangas
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Robert Kennedy
  • Dorothy Kilgallen
  • Jim Koethe
  • Caroline Luard
  • Martin Luther King
  • John Kinser
  • J. D. Tippit
  • Carlo Tresca
  • Nancy Carole Tyler
  • Mary Sherman
  • William C. Sullivan
  • Eladio del Valle
  • Roland Masferrer
  • William McKinley
  • Mary Pinchot Meyer
  • John Nisbet
  • Frank Nugan
  • Harold Orr
  • Lee Harvey Oswald
  • John Paisley
  • William Pitzer
  • Carlos Prio
  • Barry Seal
  • Grant Stockdale
  • Frank Steunenberg
  • Mary Jo Kopechne
  • George Krutilek
  • Alfred Liddle
  • Frank Little
  • Caroline Luard
  • Henry Marshall
  • Samuel Arnold
  • Warren Billings
  • Orlando Bosch
  • Richard Cain
  • Henriette Caillaux
  • James Connolly
  • John Dickman
  • Samuel Fielden
  • Charles Harrelson
  • Robert Emmett Johnson
  • Elizabeth Jones
  • Charles Luard
  • Tom Mooney
  • David Sanchez Morales
  • Samuel Mudd
  • Ricardo Morales Navarrete
  • Oscar Neebe
  • Guillermo Novo
  • Michael O'Laughlin
  • Luis Posada
  • Tony Sforza
  • Michael Schwab
  • Edman Spangler
  • Michael V. Townley
  • Rafael Villaverde
  • Malcolm (Mac) Wallace
  • Carl Weiss
  • Anne Askew
  • Robert Aske
  • George Atzerodt
  • Anthony Babington
  • Thomas Bates
  • Anne Boleyn
  • Karl Brandt
  • John Brunt
  • Thomas Cranmer
  • Thomas Cromwell
  • Leon Czolgosz
  • William Davidson
  • Robert Devereux
  • John Dickman
  • Everard Digby
  • Harry Dobkin
  • John Dudley
  • George Engel
  • Guy Fawkes
  • Adolph Fischer
  • Hans Frank
  • Wilhelm Frick
  • Walther Funk
  • Irma Grese
  • Lady Jane Grey
  • Thomas Harrison
  • David Herold
  • Joe Hill
  • Tom Horn
  • Catherine Howard
  • Karl Hulten
  • James Ings
  • Alfred Jodl
  • Ernst Kaltenbrunner
  • Wilhelm Keitel
  • Robert Kett
  • Josef Kramer
  • William Laud
  • Louis Lingg
  • Albert Parsons
  • Henry Plumber
  • Lewis Powell
  • Walter Raleigh
  • Joachim Ribbentrop
  • Alfred Rosenberg
  • Ethel Rosenberg
  • Julius Rosenberg
  • Nicola Sacco
  • Fritz Saukel
  • Thomas Seymour
  • Arthur Seyss-Inquart
  • August Spies
  • Edward Stafford
  • Julius Streicher
  • Mary Stuart
  • Mary Surratt
  • Arthur Thistlewood
  • Richard Tidd
  • William Tyndale
  • Robert Wintour
  • Thomas Wintour
  • Thomas Wyatt
  • Bartolomeo Vanzetti
  • Guiseppe Zangara
  • Albert Anastasia
  • Bobby Baker
  • Louis Lepke Buchalter
  • Al Capone
  • Frank Costello
  • John Dillinger
  • Billie Sol Estes
  • James Files
  • Sam Giancana
  • Vito Genovese
  • Jimmy Hoffa
  • Chauncey Holt
  • Meyer Lansky
  • Peter Licavoli
  • Lucky Luciano
  • Salvatore Maranzano
  • Carlos Marcello
  • Joe Masseria
  • Baby Face Nelson
  • Charlie Nicoletti
  • Abe Reles
  • Johnny Roselli
  • Lucien Sarti
  • Dutch Schultz
  • Bugsy Siegel
  • Santos Trafficante
  • Malcolm Wallace
  • Dave Yarras

Criminals in History

    First elements of the First Fleet carrying 736 convicts from England to Australia arrives at Botany Bay to set up a penal colony The British First Fleet arrives at Australian territory of Norfolk Island to found a convict settlement

Execution

1793-01-21 Louis XVI of France is executed by guillotine in Paris, following his conviction for "high treason" by the newly created French Parliament (Convention nationale), during the French Revolution

    First newspaper published in Australia the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser by government printer and ex-convict George Howe [1] The Battle of Vinegar Hill, colony of New South Wales (Australia), when Irish convicts (some of whom had been involved in Ireland's Battle of Vinegar Hill in 1798) led the colony's only significant convict uprising. French Civil Code of Criminal law accepted by Netherlands Mamelukes in Cairo's Citadel First free press (without government approval) founded in Australia - the Hobart Town Gazette by ex-convict Andrew Bent [1] The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished Last convict ship the Hougoumont arrives in Fremantle, ending 80 years of penal transportation to Australia [1] A murder conviction effectively forces the violent Irish anti-owner coal miners, the "Molly Maguires", to disband British Criminal Law Amendment Act raises age of consent from 13 to 16, protects against child prostitution

Event of Interest

Event of Interest

1926-12-20 Pope Pius XI convicts fascist pursuit in Italy

Event of Interest

Event of Interest

1933-01-06 Clyde Barrow kills Tarrant County Deputy Sheriff Malcolm Davis after walking into a trap set for another criminal

    Leonarde Keeler first uses his polygraph machine on criminals later convicted of assault on its findings in Portage, Wisconsin

Event of Interest

1936-04-01 Charles "Lucky" Luciano" is arrested in Arkansas on a criminal warrant from New York

Event of Interest

1946-09-05 Amon Göth, former head of Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp, found guilty of imprisonment, torture, and extermination of individuals and groups of people, the first conviction of homicide at a war crimes court

    Court martial convicts Henry de Man to 20 years, in Brussels The Hague Court of Justice convicts Nazi SS officer in the Netherlands Hans Rauter of Crimes against Humanity (executed 24 March 1949) Special Council of Annulment convicts F Weinreb for collaboration UN Security council convicts Dutch aggression in Indonesia All white federal jury convicts 7 in murder of 3 civil rights workers in Meridan Mississippi London criminal Jack McVitie is murdered by the Kray twins, leading to their eventual imprisonment and downfall. Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi assigned to the Tate and LaBianca murders, will eventually convict Charles Mason for orchestrating the killings

Event of Interest

1971-06-28 US Supreme Court (8-0) overturns draft evasion conviction of Muhammad Ali

    1,000 convicts riot & seize Attica, NY prison In the Republic of Ireland, the Special Criminal Court is re-instituted to deal with crimes arising out of the Northern Ireland conflict as part of the measures trial by jury is suspended

Event of Interest

1975-10-07 US decides John Lennon won't be deported due to UK pot conviction

Event of Interest

1976-04-01 "Helter Skelter", detailing Charles Manson's cult "family", their capture, trial, conviction and aftermath, premieres on CBS

    Washington jury convicts 12 Hanafi Muslims on hostage charges Military jury in North Carolina convicts Robert Garwood of collaborating with the enemy during the Vietnam War NBC's premiere of TV film "Will: G. Gordon Liddy", based on the Watergate conspirator, participant and convict The "Snowplow Game": when a snowstorm holds a New England vs Miami game scoreless, Mark Henderson, a convict on work release, on Patriots coach Ron Meyer order, clears the path for John Smith's attempt, which wins the game for the Patriots, 3-0 Supreme Court weakens 70-year-old "exclusionary rule"-evidence seized with defective court warrants can now be used in criminal trials Bowie Kuhn announces pitcher Vida Blue is suspended for the rest of 1984 due to cocaine conviction SF Federal jury convicts navy radioman Jerry Whitworth of espionage Police officer who mistakenly shot and paralysed an innocent woman in Brixton, UK, is cleared of all criminal charges Exxon Corp and Exxon Shipping are indicted on 5 criminal counts (Valdez) Italian actress Laura Antonelli found guilty of cocaine possession (conviction overturned 2006) US Supreme Court rules states could not force mentally unstable criminal defendants to take anti-psychotic drugs Army refused to overturn 127 year old conviction against Dr Mudd Israel recognizes PLO as no longer criminal

Event of Interest

1996-06-18 Ted Kaczynski, suspected of being the Unabomber, is indicted on ten criminal counts

    Nanny Louise Woodward murder conviction downgraded to manslaughter The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda finds Jean-Paul Akayesu, the former mayor of a small town in Rwanda, guilty of nine counts of genocide

Murder of Interest

1999-03-08 The Supreme Court of the United States upholds the murder convictions of Timothy McVeigh for the Oklahoma City bombing.

Event of Interest

1999-05-27 The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia indicts Slobodan Milošević and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo

    In the Netherlands a Scottish court convicts a Libyan and acquits another for their part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed into Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. American civil rights movement: a jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church The International Criminal Court is established to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression The International Criminal Court holds its inaugural session in The Hague. A major rebellion occurs in São Paulo as members of criminal organization Primeiro Comando da Capital attack police officers and stations, eventually escalating to several prisons in Brazil leaving around 130 dead International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur becoming the first sitting head of state to be indicted Unknown criminals pour more than 2.5 million litres of diesel oil and other hydrocarbons into the river Lambro, in Northern Italy, causing an environmental disaster.

Event of Interest

2011-12-15 Barry Bonds is sentenced to 30 days of house arrest, two years of probation and 250 hours of community service, for an obstruction of justice conviction stemming from a grand jury appearance in 2003

    Russia and China veto the U.N. Security Council resolution to establish an International Criminal Court for war crimes in Syria

Event of Interest

Event of Interest

2014-07-02 Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is criminally charged with corruption by French prosecutors

    An Italian appeals court overturns a manslaughter conviction against 6 scientists for failing to give adequate warning of a deadly earthquake Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, criticizes UN Security Council for its lack of action over war crimes in the Darfur region of Sudan Mayor of Flint, Michigan declares state of emergency over contaminated water supplies amid calls for a criminal investigation

Election of Interest

2016-05-09 Rodrigo Duterte wins Philippine presidential election, promising war on drug trade and killing of criminals

    Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte boasts he killed susected criminals personally when mayor of Davao City Violent clashes after conviction of spiritual leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh kill 31 in Panchkula, 120 admitted to hospital Thai Ex-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra found guilty of criminal negligence in rice subsidy scheme, sentenced to 5 years in absentia

Victory in Battle

2017-12-09 Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declares victory over the Islamic State in Iraq, ending more than 3 years of convict

Event of Interest

2018-05-24 US President Donald Trump posthumously pardons boxer Jack Johnson for racially orientated criminal conviction - transporting a white woman across state lines [1]

Event of Interest

2018-05-25 Harvey Weinstein turns himself in to New York police to face charges of rape, a criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct

    Hungarian government passes legislation that criminalizes aiding undocumented migrants First public caning and conviction of lesbian couple attempting to have sex, by Sharia High Court in Terengganu state, Malaysia Malaysia files criminal charges against US bank Goldman Sachs for it role in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal

Event of Interest

2019-02-02 American singer R. Kelly arrested after turning himself in on ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, including with three minors

Event of Interest

2019-09-09 John Legend and wife Chrissy Teigen fire back at Donald Trump on social media after he calls them "boring" and "filthymouthed" in tweets over Criminal Justice Reform

    Nine members of a US Mexican Mormon family, including six children, shot and killed in attack by criminal gang in Northern Mexico Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein found guilty of rape and a criminal sexual act in landmark case that ignited #MeToo movement Harvey Weinstein is sentenced to 23 years in prison for a criminal sex act and rape in New York Sudan bans female genital mutation and makes it a criminal offense International Criminal Court convicts Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen of war crimes and crimes against humanity including forced pregnancy in legal first [1] Australia announces a ban on citizens returning from India, stranding 8,000 people, and making it a criminal offence to return, amid India's COVID-19 crisis - first democratic country to do so Ransomware attack on US Colonial pipeline by the DarkSide criminal group stops supply to half of east coast

Event of Interest

2021-06-10 Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of drug lord El Chapo, pleads guilty to helping run his criminal operations and in aiding his 2015 prison escape


The First Famous Crime Scene Photo

Metropolitan Museum of Art Madame Debeinche lies dead in her bedroom, 1903. This is one of the first real crime scene photos ever taken.

Forensic photography, or the practice of taking photos at the scene of a crime, has been around for over a century.

One of the first famous crime scene photos was taken on May 5, 1903, in the home of a Parisian woman named Madame Debeinche who had been murdered. As investigators descended upon the apartment, one of them picked up a camera and photographed the scene.

The photographer focused on a few key details, like a tilted painting on the wall, disheveled bed linens, and overturned chairs. Even more importantly, he captured the body of Madame Debeinche sprawled on the floor by the side of her bed, her limbs bent at unnatural angles, the tips of her extremities darkening, showing hours had passed since she'd been killed.

At the time, the camera was still a relatively novel invention used mostly for posed portraits. It was certainly not used to capture something as horrifying as dead bodies — particularly bludgeoned ones.

And yet, it was rapidly discovered that these photos, as unsettling as they were, were incredibly useful when it came to investigating a crime. Investigators did their best to take notes and detail the scene, but certain aspects went unnoticed or were eventually forgotten. Photography fixed these shortcomings.

After the scene was cleaned up, any visual evidence was cleaned up with it. But with photos, the scene could be revisited time and time again, allowing new sets of eyes to pick out new details.


12 Crimes That Changed Houston History Forever

Bizarre murders, political bribery, revenge plots, corporate bankruptcies: This city has borne witness to a host of over-the-top criminal misdeeds, whose stories Houstonians have been telling and retelling for years.

Maybe it&rsquos not so surprising, when you stop and think about it, that Houston, the oil town that has long drawn the ambitious and the clever&mdashthe ones willing to do whatever it takes to strike the right deals and make their fortunes&mdashhas proven to be fertile ground, too, for those with less honorable intentions. Bizarre murders, political bribery, revenge plots, corporate bankruptcies that have sent ripples through the entire financial world&mdashBayou City has seen it all.

In this issue, we take a look at 12 of the most notorious crimes that have come out of this particular stretch of the Texas Gulf Coast, the stories that changed our city&rsquos history forever, that people have been telling and retelling for years: of the forged will that almost allowed a butler and a lawyer to steal a fortune, of the doctor&rsquos wife who died so suddenly, of the stiletto that became a murder weapon.

Crime is terribly revealing, as Agatha Christie once noted, and not of only the criminal. It can also strip away the poses and pretensions of even the best of cities, and give us a glimpse, for better or worse, of some of the darker things that a town is made of&hellip


Indy's 10 Most Notorious Crimes of All Time

1. 16-Year-Old Sylvia Likens Tortured, Killed by Caregiver
In 1965, Gertrude Baniszewski was hired to look after sisters Sylvia and Jenny Likens, ages 16 and 15. Baniszewski and her daughter Paula (right), along with some neighborhood kids, took a pathological dislike to Sylvia, harassing and locking her in the basement of their eastside home, where they tortured her until she died on October 26, 1965. The condition of the girl’s frail body—“I’m a prostitute” was etched into her stomach—and horrific courtroom testimony might have won the Baniszewskis a trip to death row. Instead, they got “life.” Gertrude left prison in 1985. Paula wound up in Iowa with a new name, working as a teacher’s aide.

2. Angry Landowner Holds Mortgage Broker Hostage

Small-time businessman Tony Kiritsis convinced himself that Richard O. Hall, an executive at Indianapolis-based Meridian Mortgage Company, had cheated him in a land deal. So on February 8, 1977, he burst into Meridian’s downtown offices, wired a shotgun to Hall’s neck, and staged a 63-hour hostage standoff, much of it broadcast on live TV. He gave up after being told that he’d get an apology, immunity from prosecution, and a large sum of money. (He only received the apology.) Kiritsis was acquitted by reason of insanity, spent a decade in a mental institution, and was back on the street in 1998. He died a free man in 2005. [See “The End of the Line” for a full account of Kiritsis’s crime.]

3. Bodies Unearthed on Property of Westfield Businessman

It seemed Herb Baumeister was a respectable citizen and family man. But it was a cover for his other identity: serial killer. The Sav-A-Lot owner liked to cruise gay bars, take men back to his palatial Hamilton County home, murder them, and then hide the corpses on the property’s 18 wooded acres. Acting on a tip from a man claiming to have escaped Baumeister’s home unscathed, police searched the grounds in 1996 and discovered the skeletal remains of 11 males. Only four of the men have ever been identified. Baumeister drove to Canada and shot himself before the authorities could prosecute him.

4. Heavyweight Champ Convicted of Raping Beauty-Pageant Contestant

Fearsome boxer Mike Tyson got coldcocked by justice after he was accused, in 1991, of raping a Miss Black America hopeful in his downtown Canterbury Hotel suite. The highly publicized trial resulted in a sentence of six years for three counts: one for rape and two for criminal deviant conduct. A model prisoner, Tyson served only three years total (in accommodations far more spartan than the Canterbury).

5. Powerful Klan Leader Outed as Sex Offender

In the early 1920s, D.C. Stephenson was the law in Indiana. Leader of the state’s Ku Klux Klan network, he helped elect dozens of politicians, including Governor Edward L. Jackson. It all came apart in 1925, when Stephenson was charged with abducting, raping, and causing the death of a young woman who’d poisoned herself while the two were at a hotel in Hammond—and whom a Stephenson associate, on boss’s orders, dropped off at her Irvington home without medical care. Stephenson (pictured at the top of this article) got a life sentence, and when the governor wouldn’t grant a pardon, the convict spilled his guts about backroom dealings, effectively destroying the state Klan and several political careers.

6. Deadly Love Triangle Ensnares Eli Lilly Exec

Husband, father, and Eli Lilly vice president Forrest Teel appeared to be the very model of 1950s propriety. That is, until his mistress, former company employee Connie Nicholas, discovered that Teel was cheating on her as well. In 1958, Nicholas surprised him in his car outside the second mistress’s apartment on East 38th Street and pumped a few slugs into him. In a splashy trial that was covered in Life magazine, the jury found Nicholas (pictured at the top of this article) guilty of only voluntary manslaughter after buying her assertion that the gun went off accidentally. Four times.

7. Millionairess Robbed and Killed in Northside Home

Eccentric northside widow Marjorie Jackson, whose late husband had been heir to the former Standard Grocery chain, stashed a considerable fortune around her house on Spring Mill Road. When word of the pile got out, a cast of unsavory characters lined up to make some unauthorized withdrawals. The first heist nabbed close to $2 million, and then, on May 7, 1977, bandits took Jackson’s life as well as her loot, shooting her dead in the kitchen and running off with approximately $3 million more. The killer, Howard “Billy Joe” Willard, and his accomplice, Manuel Lee Robinson, were quickly apprehended by the authorities. But it is thought that several million dollars of Jackson’s riches remain unaccounted for to this day.

8. Four Dead in Burger Chef Murders

On November 18, 1978, the four-person night staff at a Burger Chef in Speedway simply vanished. Days later, their bodies turned up in Johnson County. Two had been shot, one stabbed, and the other beaten until he choked on his own blood. More than three decades have passed, yet the perpetrators are still unknown. The restaurant was relieved of a paltry $581, but some theorize the motive was more than robbery. Only the killers know. And they aren’t talking.

9. Grocer’s Wife Suspected in Bizarre Double Homicide

In September 1868, the bodies of Jacob and Nancy Jane Young were discovered along White River, riddled with gunshots. A tangled investigation fingered Nancy Clem, an unassuming grocer’s wife allegedly involved in loan-sharking. Despite evidence placing her at the scene of the “Cold Spring murders” (and prosecution by future president Benjamin Harrison), Clem weathered five trials and got only four years in jail—for perjury and forgery

10. Serial Killer Spreads Murder Spree to Irvington

When the World’s Fair came to Chicago in 1893, Herman W. Mudgett—alias H.H. Holmes—built a “hotel” near the grounds. It was, in fact, a murder factory, with secret rooms, gas lines for asphyxiating victims, and basement furnaces for burning bodies. When neighbors grew concerned, Holmes went on the lam to an Irvington cottage, where he killed again—a boy whose mother entrusted him to Holmes’s “care” after he promised to enroll the child in a good school. A detective from Philadelphia, where Holmes had once been jailed for fraud, later found the remains. Holmes confessed to 27 murders. Now known as “America’s First Serial Killer,” he was hanged in 1896.

Dishonorable Mention: High-Flying “Financier” Bilks Thousands

Tim Durham liked to throw money around. Big parties. Lavish homes. Hefty donations to Indiana GOP candidates. But the money the Indianapolis con man spent wasn’t his. Durham’s leveraged-buyout firm, Obsidian Enterprises, located on Monument Circle, and its subsidiary, Ohio-based Fair Finance, were in fact an elaborate Ponzi scheme that relieved roughly 5,000 investors of more than $200 million. The party—believed to be the largest case of corporate fraud in Indiana history—ended on November 24, 2009, with an FBI raid. The 50-year-old Durham got 50 years in the pokey on November 30, 2012.

Stephenson, Baniszewski, and Tyson photos courtesy Indiana State Archives Nicholas photo by Michael Rougier/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Durham photo by Tony Valainis.


10 Most Notorious Criminals In American History

Violence and crime stain the pages of U.S. history, and sadly, they're all but certain to be part of our future.

Still, the criminal mind fascinates us, and you couldn't name or number all the TV shows, movies and novels that all but glamorize true crime.

Selecting 10 of America's most notorious criminals is a daunting task. Of course, there is no single criterion, and morbid factors, such as body count, sadism and notoriety must all be considered. Keeping that in mind, we've assembled a list of some of America's most dangerous and violent villains.

1. Al Capone

Infamous American crime czar Al “Scarface” Capone was once king of the Chicago rackets. A Prohibition-era gangster, he ruled a multimillion-dollar empire in the 1920s that was fueled by illegal booze, gambling and prostitution. Capone is also suspected of being the mastermind behind the 1929 Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in Lincoln Park that left seven of his enemies dead. Capone’s reign as ruler of Chicago’s gangland ended in 1931 when he pleaded guilty to tax evasion and prohibition charges. After serving seven years and six months in federal prison, which included a stay at Alcatraz, Capone was paroled on Nov. 16, 1939. By that time, however, he suffered from paresis derived from syphilis. Capone went into seclusion at an estate near Miami, Fla., where he died of a stroke and pneumonia on Jan. 25, 1947.

2. Charles Manson

Charles Manson was leader of the Manson Family, a quasi-commune that he formed in California in the late 1960s. Manson believed in an impending apocalyptic race war, which he termed "Helter Skelter." He orchestrated a series of gruesome murders on consecutive nights in an effort to help precipitate the race war. In 1969, Manson and his followers were convicted in the slaying of actress Sharon Tate and several others. Initially sentenced to death, Manson's sentence was later commuted to life in prison. Manson was denied parole for the 12th time in April 2012.

3. Ted Kaczynski

Authorities accused Ted Kaczynski of being the domestic terrorist responsible for more than a dozen bomb attacks in multiple states between 1978 and 1995 that killed three people and injured 23 others. The attacker, who called for the "destruction of the worldwide industrial system," was dubbed the Unabomber because many of his early targets worked at universities and airlines. Investigators zeroed in on Kaczynski after his brother, David Kaczynski, informed the FBI that a manifesto attributed to the Unabomber appearing in The New York Times and The Washington Post was similar to papers his brother had written. Ted Kaczynski was ultimately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Tom Horn was a man of many hats. He was an Army scout, a lawman, an assassin and an outlaw. His name may not be as well-known as that of Billy the Kid or Jesse James, but he was certainly one of the most cold-blooded killers of the Wild West. During the late 1880s, Horn worked for the Pinkerton Detective Agency as a bounty hunter. While he initially seemed like a good fit, his capacity for violence did not go unnoticed. In 1894, he was forced to resign after he was linked to 17 murders. Stripped of his badge, Horn became a killer-for-hire. His typical target was cattle rustlers and he is believed responsible for the deaths of at least 20 rustlers. In 1901, Horn was linked to the murder of 14-year-old Willie Nickell. The teen was the son of a rancher. Horn's guilt remains a subject of debate for historians. Regardless of his level of responsibility, Horn was executed by hanging in Cheyenne, Wyo., on November 20, 1903, the day before his 43rd birthday.

5. Adam Lanza

Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old recluse from Connecticut, brought terror to Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. The troubled young man, armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun, entered the school and fired 154 shots in a span of about five minutes. In the aftermath, 20 first-graders and six educators were left dead. Lanza then took his own life. It was not until later that day that authorities discovered an additional casualty — Lanza's mother, Nancy. He had killed her in their Newtown home prior to the school shooting.

6. Andrew Kehoe

The deadliest mass murder at a U.S. elementary school occurred in Bath Township, Michigan, in 1927. Andrew Kehoe, a 55-year-old school board treasurer and farmer, was supposedly angry about his financial troubles and his defeat in an election for township clerk. On May 18, 1927, Kehoe used timed detonators to trigger several incendiary devices he had planted inside Bath Consolidated School. The resulting explosion destroyed much of the school and claimed the lives of 43 people, including 38 children. Kehoe took his own life by detonating dynamite in his truck. Prior to the bombing, Kehoe had killed his wife and set off incendiary devices at his farm, destroying his home and all the buildings. In the aftermath, investigators found a wooden sign Kehoe had apparently wired to a fence on his farm that read, "Criminals are made, not born."

7. John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy was convicted of murdering 33 young men and boys between 1972 and 1978. Most of the bodies were found buried underneath the crawl space of his Chicago-area home. At the time of his arrest, Gacy claimed he was responsible for at least 45 murders. Gacy was given the nickname "The Killer Clown," because he sometimes adopted the persona of "Pogo the Clown" and participated in charity fundraising events. He was ultimately sentenced to death and executed at the Stateville Correctional Center in 1994 by lethal injection. His notorious last words: "Kiss my ass."

8. Ted Bundy

In the 1970s, Ted Bundy had a bright future in the Washington State Republican Party instead, he became one of the most famous serial killers and necrophiliacs in U.S. history. He often deceived his victims, all women, into thinking that he was injured and in need of help before attacking them. In 1976, he was arrested for an attempted kidnapping, but while acting as his own lawyer, he escaped. He migrated to Florida, where he killed two women in a Florida State University sorority house and 12-year-old Kimberly Diane Leach. He was convicted of those murders and, while on death row in 1989, he confessed to 50 other murders. The true total remains unknown. Bundy died in the electric chair at Raiford Prison in Starke, Fla., on Jan. 24, 1989.

9. Timothy McVeigh

A homegrown terrorist, Timothy McVeigh detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The attack, commonly referred to as the Oklahoma City bombing, claimed the lives of 168 people, including 19 children. A Gulf War veteran, McVeigh was seeking revenge against the federal government for the 1993 siege of a compound belonging to the religious group Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. The siege ended in the deaths of sect leader David Koresh and 75 of his followers. The bombing of the Murrah building took place on the two-year anniversary of the Davidians' deaths. McVeigh was convicted of 11 federal offenses and was executed on June 11, 2001.

10. Jim Jones

Jim Jones, the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple, fled California in 1974 with his followers and set up a compound in Guyana, which he dubbed Jonestown. Jones, a charismatic and disturbed individual, had become paranoid that the CIA and FBI were watching him. Jones ruled his community with an iron fist and did not permit anyone to leave. His actions made it back to officials in the U.S. and, on November 18, 1978, California Congressman Leo J. Ryan paid a visit to Jonestown. After touring the facility, Ryan left the compound with a number of defectors. Angered, Jones sent some of his men to the airstrip in Port Kaituma, where they gunned down Ryan and four others. Later that same day, 909 of Jones' followers, 303 of which were children, died of apparent cyanide poisoning. Jones died from a gunshot wound to the head consistent with suicide. "We didn’t commit suicide we committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world," Jones said in a 45-minute audio recording that was made that day. The incident was, until Sept. 11, 2001, the single greatest loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster.

Leave a comment below on who you think is among the most notorious criminals in American history.


5. Ruth Ellis

No trip through London’s seedy history would be complete without a stop at The Magdala in Hampstead. The pub might be closed now, but everyone still remembers it as the place where Ruth Ellis killed her lover and then became the last woman executed in Britain.

The 28-year-old nightclub hostess was dating a racing driver named David Blakely. They had a fierce relationship which often became violent. Ruth had recently suffered a miscarriage after being punched in the stomach by Blakely.

On April 10, 1955 Blakely went drinking at the Magdala with a friend named Clive Gunnell. Ellis waited for him outside the pub. When David came out, he initially ignored Ellis and walked right by her. That’s when she pulled out a Smith & Wesson and started firing. The first shot missed. The second hit Blakely in the back and he collapsed on the pavement. Ellis walked up to him and fired three more times at close range. She then stood next to the body in shock until an off-duty policeman arrived and arrested her.

Her trial was short but sensational. Ruth sealed her fate during testimony when she said “It is obvious when I shot him I intended to kill him.” After a brief deliberation, the jury found her guilty and she was sentenced to death. Ruth Ellis hanged on July 13.


The 16 most infamous crimes in Bay Area history

Click through this slideshow to see the 16 most infamous crimes in Bay Area history.

The Chronicle The Jack the Ripper of the Bay Area: Zodiac is our bogeyman.

-/The Bancroft Library Fong "Little Pete" Ching

(second from right) was the king of Chinatown in 1897. As leader of the Sam Yup Tong, the 32-year-old was rumored to have killed 50 men, and was worth more than $150,000 - a fortune in those days - in gains from his empire built on prostitution, gambling and opium.

Susan Ehmer/sfc It was a reign of terror that shocked the city: From the autumn of 1973 until the spring of 1974, San Francisco wasn’t safe at night while the Zebra killers stalked the streets.

Chronicle Archive He was by reputation an honest man, but in the days of graft and quick death in the early 1900s, that wasn't enough to save Police Chief William Biggy. Scandal at City Hall led to ominous whispers - and in 1908, the chief disappeared.


Ruling Paris’ criminal underworld at the turn of the 20th Century, they began as a Bellville street gang and then grew into a major force. Members sported striped shirts and inspired the famous Apache dance sequence in the film Singing In The Rain.

Mainly North African from the Val Fourre housing estate in Mantes-la-Jolie, Paris, the Grags fought a pitched battle with their sworn enemies from the La Cite de La Noye estate in Chanteloup in the biggest shopping complex in Paris. The encounter took place on a Saturday afternoon in February 2001 and lasted for over two hours. It involved 200 police, a battalion of the CRS riot squad and over 400 gang members.


These 10 Famous Homicides In Massachusetts Will Never Be Forgotten

Horrible crimes happen even in the best of places. Check out these infamous murders that occurred right here in Massachusetts. Some have passed into the realm of state lore, while others are far too fresh and painful in the memories of Massachusetts residents.

Wayne Lo is a Taiwanese-born American who shot and killed one student and professor and wounded four people at Simon's Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington on December 14, 1992. A gifted violinist and excellent student, Lo was accepted to Simon's Rock College of Bard in 1991. While at the school, he presented himself as a hardened racist and openly spoke about his fascist beliefs. He also wrote an essay stating that the way to decrease AIDS was to segregate homosexuals in the United States.

Lo quickly became an outcast in school. Students reported that Lo had been stockpiling ammunition in his room and school officials even intercepted a package containing 7.62 caliber ammunition, but after searching his room and questioning Lo, residence director Katherine Robinson decided that he probably did not have any weapons on campus (Lo said that the ammunition stockpiled in his room was a Christmas present for his father). The night after the search, a student whom had recently had dinner with Lo called the school to report that Lo was armed with weapons and was planning on killing the Robinson family that evening. The Robinsons responded to the information by staying at the home of another school official, but no other steps were taken and police

That morning, Lo had in fact purchased a SKS semi-automatic rifle at Dave's Sporting Goods store. Around 10 pm that evening, Lo opened fire on the campus of the school. In an interview after his arrest, Lo stated: "The fact that I was able to buy a rifle in 15 minutes, that's absurd. I was 18. I couldn't have rented a car to drive home from school, yet I could purchase a rifle. Obviously a waiting period would be great. Personally, I only had five days left of school before winter break . If I had a two-week waiting period for the gun, I wouldn't have done it."

Sinedu Tadesse was a junior at Harvard University until May 28, 1995, when she murdered her roommate and subsequently killed herself.

Tadesse grew up in Ethiopia during a very turbulent period. To escape the violence of her environment and her difficulty making friends, she devoted herself to studying and eventually became valedictorian of her high school. She was admitted to Harvard and planned to study medicine. Unfortunately, Sinedu could not maintain her grades at college and made no friends.

She mailed a form letter to multiple strangers that she selected at random from the phone book, detailing her unhappiness and asking them for friendship. During her sophomore and junior years, Sinedu shared a room with Trang Ho, a Vietnamese student who was popular and academically successful. When Trang told Sinedu she planned to live with another group of students the following year, Sinedu became despondent. Before the murder, Tadesse bought two knives and a length rope. She also sent a picture of herself with an anonymous letter to The Harvard Crimson. The message read: "Keep this picture. There will soon be a very juicy story involving this woman."

She sat for one final exam. On May 28, 1995, Sinedu Tadesse fatally stabbed Trang 45 times with a hunting knife. She also assaulted one of Ho's friends who had come to visit, 26-year-old Thao Nguyen. Nguyen was seriously injured, but survived the attack. Afterwards, Tadesse hanged herself in the bathroom.

Aaron Hernandez, a former tight end for the New England Patriots, was found guilty of multiple murders. On June 18, 2013, the police searched Hernandez's house in North Attleboro for several hours in connection with an investigation into the shooting death of a friend, Odin Lloyd. Lloyd's body was discovered in an industrial park near Hernandez's house. The body had sustained multiple gunshot wounds. A badly damaged cell phone owned by Hernandez was turned over to police and Hernandez purportedly hired a team of professional house cleaners the same day Lloyd's body was discovered.

On April 15, 2015, Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder. He was also found guilt for five weapon charges, which automatically translated to a life sentence without possibility of parole. Hernandez was also investigated in connection with a double murder that took place on July 16, 2012, in Boston's South End, when Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, 28, both of Dorchester, were killed by gunshots fired into their vehicle. On May 15, 2014, Hernandez was indicted on murder charges for both killings.

You never know when a sleepy town will be the site of a horrific crime. Do you have any memories of horrific crimes that happened in Massachusetts during your lifetime?


The 10 Most Famous Unsolved Murders In the World

Some crimes are so shocking and heinous they capture the minds of the general public and won’t let go until the killer is brought to justice. What happens when the perpetrator of such a crime is never brought to justice and the case remains open for decades? The public never really gets that closure they’re looking for. We don’t get that feeling that justice has been served. The killings on this list are all examples of stories that continue to capture our attention. The victims never saw the justice they deserved and their cases remain open to this day.

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10: Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman

How did one of the most famous unsolved murders in history come in at number 20 on this list? Simple. We all know who did it. OJ Simpson was acquitted, yes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t do it. He got away with a heinous double murder because he hired the best attorneys money could buy and because the LAPD screwed up the case in such an astounding way, the prosecutors had little chance of successfully putting Simpson away. All of the evidence was there technically but it had been improperly handled to an extent that the men and women of the jury had no choice but do view it with reasonable doubt. The American justice system promises every citizen accused of a crime a fair trial. OJ Simpson got one. Ron and Nicole did not. Had the evidence been handled properly from the start, there is no way Simpson would’ve walked out of that courtroom a free man.

It’s worth mentioning, of course, that a documentary released in 2012 seems to cast doubt on whether or not OJ was actually the killer after all. The documentary claims that serial killer Glen Rogers, already on death row for several murders, was responsible for taking Ron and Nicole’s lives. He was working construction in the area at the time and bragged to his family that he was spending time with Nicole. He told his family she was rich and said he planned to ‘take her out’. Even if true, The Juice doesn’t escape at least partial responsibility. According to Rogers, who has confessed to the crime, OJ actually hired him to break into Nicole’s home and steal a pair of earrings OJ had given her. OJ then told Rogers to ‘kill the b****’ if necessary. Is it true? Hard to say. Glen Rogers has often boasted of his killings and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think he would lie about killing Ron and Nicole to make himself a little more infamous. Of course, he offered details to investigators only the killer could have know. Perhaps this one isn’t as open and shut as we’ve long believed.

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09: Andrew and Abbey Borden

I was on the “Lizzie was innocent!” side of this debate for a very long time, but then I did something silly – I read more about the case. The evidence is all circumstantial, sure, but there’s a whole lot of it and most of it points to Lizzie Borden. Now, maybe she didn’t kill her father, Andrew, and her stepmother, Abbey, but I’m convinced she knew who did and decided to keep that information from the authorities. Lizzie was put on trial for the murders but was acquitted. That didn’t mean the veil of suspicious was lifted though. She was ostracized by her neighbors and lived that way until 1927 when she passed away, many still believing she was guilty … which she probably was.

08: The Tamam Shud Case

This one is probably the most fascinating murder case on this list for me. It has all the makings of a hit suspense novel or movie but this is no work of fiction. It all began on December 1, 1948 in Adelaide, Australia when the lifeless body of a man, believed to be in his 40s, was found on Somerton Beach. In the beginning, it was believed the man, who had no ID, died of natural causes but further investigation showed the cause of death to be poisoning. The type of poison? Unknown. The man’s identity? Unknown. The only clue authorities had to go on was a slip of paper found in a hidden pocket in the man’s pants. The words “Tamam Shud” were written on the paper, which looked like it had been ripped or cut from a book. The book turned out to be a book of poems titled The Rubaiyat written by Omar Khayyam. The book the paper had been written from was found in a car close to the location where the body was found. The car’s owner evidently had no connection to the deceased or the crime and was not even aware the book was in his car. The theory is that the killer tossed the book into the car as he fled the scene or that possibly the victim himself had discarded the book. More clues were found inside the book including a series of letters that may have been a code as well as a phone number. Authorities called the number but the woman who answered claimed to have no knowledge of the man. For whatever reason, the phone number and the woman were excluded from the investigation, leaving authorities with little to nothing to go on. To this day, no one knows who the man was, who poisoned him or whether or not the strange letters found inside the book was actually a code. If it is, that code has never been cracked but one has to assume if it were, it would at least offer police a new direction to go in.

07: Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace

A lot of people have a lot of theories about this one but on the record, the murders of 2Pac and Biggie Smalls remain unsolved. When Tupac Shakur was shot on September 7, 1996 after leaving the MGM Grand with Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight. For a few days, news of Shakur’s condition was mixed but he succumbed to his injuries on September 13, 1996. Six months later, almost to the day, Christopher Wallace, also known as Biggie Smalls or the Notorious B.I.G, was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting. Suspicious that the two murderers were related was hard to avoid considering the well known battle between East Coast rappers and West Coast rappers with many seeing 2Pac and Biggie as the dominant figures in each side of the war. The idea that Biggie was murdered in retaliation for 2Pac’s murder was not uncommon but all these years later, the answer is still not clear. Who killed these two talented rap artists? Theories abound but no one has been charged and both cases remain open.

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06: JonBenet Ramsey

When JonBenet Ramsey was found murdered in her family’s Boulder, Colorado home on December 25, 1996, shock and disbelief spread throughout the United States and much of the rest of the world. Who would want to harm this beautiful little girl? The death of the six-year-old beauty contestant had everything the press needed for a sensational story and that’s exactly what the world got. There were no footprints in the snow outside the family’s home. There were no signs of forced entry. A ransom note inside the home was oddly worded and written on stationary from inside the family’s home. More than that, why ask for ransom when the little girl was already dead, her body still inside the family’s home. The veil of suspicion immediately fell over JonBenet’s family. Some have accused Boulder police of deciding the family was guilty and therefore not collecting evidence properly that may have implicated other people. In the years since her death, many new ‘breaks’ have come in the JonBenet Ramsey case but none have led to an arrest. In 2009, JonBenet’s family was officially taken off the suspect list but with more than 100 break-ins around the neighborhood around the same time, 38 registered sex offenders living within a 2 mile radius of the Ramsey home and numerous other suspects investigated and cleared, the case remains open and it seems we are no closer to finding out who was responsible and bringing the person responsible for JonBenet’s death to justice.

05: The Zodiac Killer

The Zodiac Killer is one of those killers that can’t seem to help gloating about his sick accomplishments. In various communications, he’s claimed responsibility for 37 murders although investigators can only conclusively tie seven attacks to the killer, two of whom survived Zodiac’s attack. There have been many books written about the Zodiac Killer and many movies made about the story but despite lots of theories floating around about who could have been responsible for these terrible crimes, no one has ever been arrested and convicted. The Zodiac Killer sent several cryptograms to police officers, investigators and media outlets but only one of the four cryptograms have been solved for certain. Who is the Zodiac Killer? We may never know.

04: The Tylenol Murders

The Tylenol Murders claimed seven lives in September and October of 1982 and the perpetrator of the crimes has never been caught. There have been several suspects and several theories about who committed the crime and how but nothing concrete was ever brought forward, nothing solid enough to get a conviction, at least. James William Lewis was long considered a prime suspect, but there were flaws with the theory. The victims of the poisoned Extra Strength Tylenol Capsules took place in Chicago but Lewis and his wife lived in New York when the crimes were committed. Sabotage at the factory was ruled out as all of the poisoned pills were produced in different factories. How were the pills poisoned, then? It is believed the killer purchased bottled of Tylenol from different drug stores around Chicago, took the pills home, poisoned them and then returned them to store shelves. It’s a terrifying though, especially for anyone that has pain relievers close at hand at all times. The murders led to reforms in the way pain relievers are packaged but the changes came too late for the victims of this cold blooded killer. In 2011, new theories came forward that put a new spin on the entire investigation though, including the theory that ‘Unabomber’, Ted Kaczynski may have been involved or that the tampering had not taken place after pills made their ways to store shelves. This theory focuses on distributing centers, the step between the factory and the store shelves. It’s and especially explosive theory considering Scott Bartz, the man behind the theory, believes Johnson & Johnson knew about the tampering but covered it up. Is there any truth to that rumor? No one knows but this far after the fact, it would be hard, if not impossible, to prove.

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03: The Black Dahlia

The body of 22 year old Elizabeth Short was found horribly mutilated and partially naked on January 15, 1947 in Leimert Part, Los Angeles. This story has been written about in books, adapted for films and portrayed on various television shows.More than 60 people have come forward to confess to the crime although no confession has led to an arrest. As it stands, the murder of Elizabeth Short remains one of the oldest unsolved murders in United States history. Perhaps one of the biggest problems with this case is the lack of credible information being passed around in regards to Elizabeth and the circumstances surrounding her murder. First, there is no evidence Elizabeth ever worked as a call girl, a popular rumor likely started be ‘journalists’ looking to make the story even more sensational. Second, Elizabeth did not go by the nickname The Black Dahlia. When this murder took place, the media liked to give sensational murders nicknames to make them easier for the public to remember. It was easier to sell stories about a mysterious murder victim named The Black Dahlia than it was to sell stories about a 22 year old girl named Elizabeth. Did all the sensationalism draw more attention to the story? Yes. Could that attention help solve the crime? In theory. In practice though, it did not. Despite a lengthy list of suspects and a whole lot of rumors, no one has ever been charged with Elizabeth Short’s murder.

image source: wikipedia.com

02: The Boy in the Box

This is truly one of the saddest stories on this list for two reasons, First, the killer of this little boy, believed to be between 4 and 6 years of age at the time of his death, has never been found. Second, the identity of this little boy is still unknown. The naked body of the boy was found tucked inside a cardboard box in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 25, 1957. The box he was found inside once held a baby’s bassinet commonly sold at J.C. Penny making it difficult to even track down the owner of the bassinet that had been inside the box. The boy was wrapped in a plaid blanket and he had been badly beaten. His hair had been cropped close to his head in a hurried way, suggesting the killer may have cut the hair to destroy evidence. This factor contributes to one of the most credible theories behind the Boy in the Box mystery.

In 2002, a woman came forward claiming her mother had purchased a young boy from a couple in 1954. He was either named Michael prior to arriving at his new home or named Michael by his new mother, an abusive woman who subjected the poor boy to physical and sexual abuse for two years before flying into a fit of rage after the boy threw up in the bathtub, an incident that culminated in the beating death of little Michael. The woman then claimed she’d helped her mother dispose of Michael’s body inside a cardboard box where the unidentified child had been found. According to the woman, a passing motorized had stopped to offer the woman and her young daughter assistance with the box but had driven off when they insisted they didn’t need help. This matched up with evidence given by a witness at the time of the body’s discovery but questions still remained. The woman who came forward had a long history of mental illness, which could certainly be caused by an abusive mother but that would also cause investigators to doubt her story, especially after so much time had passed. Neighbors of the woman and her young daughter also called the claims she made ridiculous and indicated no young boy had ever lived with the family. Is it possible the young mother had kept Michael hidden from neighbors? It would make sense and it would also explain why no one had noticed the boy missing but with little actual evidence to prove the troubled woman’s story was true, the case remained open.

A second theory has also gotten much attention in this case, one involving a foster home, a psychic and a medical examiner’s office employee that refused to let go of the case. Remington Bristow was troubled by the story of the Boy in the Box since the boy’s body had been discovered and launched an investigation to find the people responsible. He continued his investigation until the day he died in 1993. Bristow believed the young boy lived at a foster home a mere 1.5 miles from where the unidentified boy had been discovered. He spoke with a psychic who led him straight to the foster home which seemed to confirm Bristow’s suspicion, but could hardly count as evidence enough to charge the family. More curiously though, a search of an estate sale at the home turned up a bassinet similar to the one that came in the box the boy was found in. On the clothes line? A blanket similar to the one the boy was wrapped in. None of this was enough to pursue charges against the family, however. Investigators later cleared the family of suspicion and the investigation into the tragic case continued.

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01: Jack the Ripper

When it comes to unsolved murders, nothing can top Jack the Ripper. The story of Jack the Ripper has been told and retold so many times and so many theories have been floated around it’s almost impossible to tell fact from folklore at this point. Were the police in on it? Was there a Royal connection? Were there multiple killers? The questions are endless and, at this point, almost completely unanswerable. The truth at the heart of the story that people often forget though is that Jack the Ripper’s victims were brutally killed, horribly mutilated and no one has ever been punished for the crime. That’s truly frightening.


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