Tag Archives: Murder

today’s birthday: Charles Peace (1832)

Charles Peace (1832)

Peace was a notorious English burglar and murderer whose life spawned many romanticized works of fiction, including dozens of novels and films and even a comic strip. After stints in prison and a criminal career spanning decades, Peace was finally captured and imprisoned on charges of burglary and the attempted murder of a police officer. He was then tried for a past murder and was sentenced to death. Peace is mentioned by name in what Sherlock Holmes short story? More… Discuss

Saint of the Day for Friday, January 16th, 2015: St. Fursey

Image of St. Fursey

St. Fursey

Irish monastic founder, the brother of Sts. Foillan and Ulan, praised by St. Bede. Fursey was born on the island of Inisguia en Lough Carri, Ire�land, as a noble. He founded Rathmat Abbey, now … continue reading

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today’s photo: The Cattle Kingdom (image: National Archives)

The Cattle Kingdom
In 1866, when the transcontinental railroad reached Abilene, Kansas, Chicago livestock buyer J.G. McCoy saw the possibilities of linking the unwanted herds of Texas longhorns with the meat-packing centers of Chicago. McCoy built a series of holding pens in Abilene and convinced south Texas ranchers to drive the cattle north along the Chisholm Trail to the railhead. In 1867, McCoy shipped 35,000 cattle to Chicago to end up on American dinner tables, and by 1871 this number had grown to 600,000. Abilene may have been the first cow town, but disease and rowdy cowboys shifted the cow capital first to Wichita, then to Dodge City, Kansas. The profits to be made were immense, with a $5 steer in Texas bringing up to $45 in Kansas. In fact, the profitability of the cattle kingdom was one of the factors contributing to its demise in 1886. Greedy ranchers dangerously overstocked the grasslands with cattle by the mid-1880s. Then, on January 1, 1886, a great blizzard buried the eastern and southern plains, killing 50 to 85 percent of the herds. The cattle industry survived, but in a very different form. The freewheeling cowboy of American legend became a ranch hand. Although the cattle kingdom lasted only a single generation, the romanticized cowboy remains an enduring symbol of Western America.

Image: National Archives

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.M98Q7l3E.dpuf

this day in the yesteryear: Ronald DeFeo, Jr., Murders Family in Amityville, New York (1974)

Ronald DeFeo, Jr., Murders Family in Amityville, New York (1974)

After the DeFeo family was discovered murdered in their beds, Ronald DeFeo, Jr.—the family’s only surviving member—was placed under police protection. DeFeo initially told investigators that he believed the murders were a mob hit, but he soon confessed and was convicted of murdering his parents and four siblings. A number of controversies surround the case, especially regarding the possible involvement of DeFeo’s sister Dawn. What best-selling novel and series of films did these events inspire? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Lizzie Borden (1860)

Lizzie Borden (1860)

Borden is best known for her suspected involvement in the brutal axe murders of her father and stepmother in 1892. The killings took place in the family home and were discovered by Borden—or so she claimed. The prime suspect, she was arrested and tried for the murders. Though she was ultimately acquitted, the public was unconvinced, and she was ostracized until her death. The case’s notoriety has endured in American pop culture and is still referenced today. What was the evidence against Borden? More… Discuss


The Kitty Genovese Murder

The brutal rape and murder of 28-year-old Catherine “Kitty” Genovese in New York City in 1964 shocked and outraged the nation. Her stabbing death was witnessed in parts by perhaps as many as 38 of her neighbors, but none tried to help her until after the attack ended. Many of them later told police that they were unaware that a homicide was in progress. Subsequent psychological research, spurred by reports sensationalizing the event, prompted investigation into the phenomenon now known as what? More…Discuss

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Murder, Inc., Mobster Louis “Lepke” Buchalter Is Executed (1944)

In the early 1930s, American gangster Louis “Lepke” Buchalter joined “Lucky” Luciano in forming a national crime syndicate. Buchalter came to control the enforcement arm of the Syndicate—Murder, Inc.—which carried out contract killings across the US. He went into hiding during a government crackdown on organized crime in the mid-1930s but eventually surrendered himself, stood trial for various crimes, and was sentenced to die. Which of his associates were executed on the same day as he was? More… Discuss


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Teenage Heiress Lesley Whittle Kidnapped from Bedroom (1975)

Dubbed the “Black Panther,” Donald Neilson terrorized the UK in the 1970s. Initially a burglar, he began breaking into sub-post offices and murdering workers. He then kidnapped his youngest victim, 17-year-old heiress Lesley Whittle, for a ransom of £50,000. Police ineptitude plagued the case, and the ransom money was not delivered by the demanded deadline. Months later, Whittle’s emaciated body was found hanging from a wire at the bottom of a drainage shaft. How was Neilson captured? More…Discuss


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Serial Killer Doctor Hangs Himself in His Cell (2004)

To English doctor Harold Shipman, the fundamental medical principle of “first do no harm” apparently meant little. After practicing medicine for decades, he aroused suspicion in 1998, when it emerged that he was named the sole beneficiary in a deceased patient’s will—a will that Shipman turned out to have forged. He was arrested and ultimately convicted of killing 15 patients, but he is suspected of more than 200 murders. The final life he took was his own. How did “Dr. Death” kill his victims? More…


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George Joseph Smith (1872)

Smith was the English serial killer and bigamist behind the “Brides in the Bath” murders, a case that was a breakthrough in forensic investigation. Suspicions arose when three women were found dead in their bathtubs within three years—and each one had left money to her husband. However, none of the victims showed signs of violence. Smith’s perfect crime unraveled when the Detective Inspector was able to link him to each woman, and the pathologist determined that Smith had done what to them? More…Discuss


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