Monday, December 28, 2020

TODAY IN CRIME: December 28


1860 Harriet Tubman arrived in Auburn, New York, on her last mission to free slaves. She had evaded capture for eight years on the Underground Railroad.

1915 The British Cabinet moved to institute compulsory military service, with single men to be conscripted before married ones.

1918 Constance Markievicz became the first woman to be elected MP to the British House of Commons. At the time, she was detained in Holloway prison for her part in anti-conscription activities.

1921 The Rand Rebellion started in Southern Africa. It began as a strike by white mineworkers and became an open armed rebellion against the state.

1941 Operation Anthropoid, the plot to assassinate high-ranking Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich, commenced.

1943 Soviet authorities began the deportation of more than 93,000 people of Kalmyk nationality, and non-Kalmyk women with Kalmyk husbands, to Siberia and Central Asia. Many died en route.

1973 U.S. President Richard Nixon signed into law the United States Endangered Species Act.

1937 The Irish Free State became the Republic of Ireland when a new constitution established the country as a sovereign state under the name of Eire.

1970 Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) adopted its constitution

1971 The Dutch Opium Law (Opiumwet) now included hashish.

1972 German investigators concluded the skeletal remains found by Berlin construction workers on December 7 were those of Martin Bormann, Hitler's deputy. DNA tests in 2011 confirmed the identification.

1973 The Chamber of Commerce of Akron, Ohio, terminated its association with the All-American Soap Box Derby, stating that the race had become "a victim of cheating and fraud." Derby officials stripped the 1973 winner of his title when he was caught using an electromagnetic system to gain an advantage.

1974 At a clandestine congress, the Senegalese radical Marxist group Reenu-Rew founded the political movement And-Jëf/African Party for Democracy and Socialism.

1975 Audience member David Gelfer, 25, pointed a .44 magnum at rocker Ted Nugent at a concert in Spokane, Washington, before being brought down to the ground by members of the audience and security guards. Police charged Gelfer with "intimidating with a weapon."

1982 A police officer mortally wounded Nevell Johnson Jr., a Black man, in a Miami video arcade, setting off three days of race-related disturbances that left another man dead.

1987 Authorities in Arkansas found the bodies of 14 relatives of R. Gene Simmons at his home near Dover. Simmons had gone on a shooting spree in Russellville that claimed two other lives and wounded four, then calmly surrendered to police.

1991 Nine people were crushed to death at the “Heavy D. and Puff Daddy Celebrity Charity Basketball Game” at City College of New York after several hundred people failed to gain admission to the game. Sponsors Heavy D, Sean "Puffy" Combs, and the CCNY Student Council, as well as the city and state of New York and the security company overseeing the event, faced wrongful death lawsuits.

2005 A U.S. immigration judge ordered John Demjanjuk deported to Ukraine for crimes against humanity committed during World War II.

1995 Pressure from German prosecutors investigating pornography forced online service provider CompuServe to set a precedent by blocking access to sex-oriented newsgroups on the Internet for its customers.

1998 Singer Usher sued the Tommy Hilfigger company for alleged infringement of publicity rights and false endorsement.

2000 U.S. District Court Judge Matsch held a hearing to ensure that confessed Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh understood that he was dropping his appeals. McVeigh said that he wanted an execution date set but wanted to reserve the right to seek presidential clemency.

2001 A Michigan district court judge reduced a fourth-degree criminal sexual misconduct charge against Marilyn Manson to disorderly conduct. A second charge, a misdemeanor count of assault and battery, remained unchanged. The incident stemmed from a concert in 2001 when Manson allegedly assaulted a security guard.

2005 Former top Enron Corp. accountant Richard Causey pleaded guilty to securities fraud and agreed to help pursue convictions against Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

10 Christmas Short Stories You Will Enjoy


Here are ten holiday-themed short stories I always enjoy reading at Christmas, and I thought you would enjoy them, too:

"The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton" and "To Be Taken with a Grain of Salt" by Charles Dickens

"The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry

"The Dead" by James Joyce

"The Adventure of the Dauphin's Doll" by Ellery Queen

"Death on Christmas Eve" by Stanley Ellin

"Christmas Party" by Rex Stout

"The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding" by Agatha Christie

"Maigret's Christmas" by Georges Simenon

 ** Do you have a favorite Christmas short story?**

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

TODAY IN CRIME: December 21


1837 The U.S. House of Representatives renewed a "gag rule" prohibiting any discussion of abolition issues. Vermont representative William Slade's anti-slavery speech the previous day prompted Congress to resolve “that all petitions, memorials, and papers, touching the abolition of slavery, or the buying, selling, or transferring of slaves, in any State, District, or Territory, of the United States, be laid on the table, without being debated, printed, read, or referred, and that no further action whatever shall be had thereon." Congress reinstated the rule every year until 1844.

1866 In Wyoming, a confederation of Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes killed 80 U.S. Army soldiers under the command of Captain William Fetterman in the worst military disaster on the Great Plains up to that time. The Fort Phil Kearny soldiers were assigned to protect settlers on the Bozeman Trail to the Montana gold fields; the Native Americans, including Red Cloud and Crazy Horse, attacked in retaliation for trespassing on treaty lands.

1906 British Parliament passed the Trades Disputes Bill, an act which declared unions could not be sued for damages incurred during a strike, and the Workingmen's Compensation Act, legislation which broadened employers' liability for accidents.

1907 The Chilean Army opened fire with machine guns on striking miners occupying the Santa María school in Iquique, Chile, killing at least 2,000 Chilean, Bolivian, Peruvian, and Argentine miners and their wives and children. The miners were demanding better working conditions; Chile did not start implementing minimum labor standards until 1920.

1919 America’s Bureau of Investigation deported anarchist/feminist Emma Goldman and 248 other radical "aliens" to the Soviet Union on the USS Buford. The Immigration Act of 1918 allowed for the expulsion of any foreign nationals found to be an anarchist, although most of the deportees were U.S. citizens.

1942 In Williams v. North Carolina, the U.S. Supreme ruled that a divorce obtained in Nevada must be recognized by other states.

1956 The day after the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order for Montgomery, Alabama, to integrate its buses, the city’s Black citizens resumed riding the now-integrated buses after a boycott of more than a year. Local Black leaders Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rev. Glenn Smiley were among the first passengers.

1959 Citizens of Deerfield, Illinois, successfully blocked a proposed integrated housing project. After the developer built two model luxury homes on the site, the village board learned 20 percent of the homes were to be set aside for African Americans and set up a referendum. Deerfield residents voted overwhelmingly to condemn the property and turn it over to the Parks Department.

1961 Profaci crime family mobster Joe Gallo—kingpin of the New York rackets—was sentenced to 7 to 14 years in prison for conspiracy and extortion. He'd tried to extort payments from a cafe owner, who immediately went to the police.

1963 "Bloody Christmas" began in Cyprus when Greek Cypriot “special constables” shot dead two Turkish Cypriots who refused to show their identity cards. The next day, after the funerals, shooting broke out between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, ultimately resulting in the displacement of 25,000–30,000 Turkish Cypriots and the destruction of more than 100 villages. On December 30, Greece, Great Britain, and Turkey signed an agreement on the division of the area into Turkish and Greek enclaves.

1970 In Oregon v. Mitchell, the U. S. Supreme court ruled that the federal government could set a voting age for federal elections, ban literacy tests, and allow non-state residents to vote in federal elections, but left the voting age for state and local elections to the discretion of individual states.

1970 Elvis Presley met U.S. President Nixon in the Oval Office to discuss the war on drugs. The “King of Rock and Roll” presented Nixon with a chrome-plated Colt .45 and the president gave Presley a Narcotics Bureau badge. A photo of their meeting is the most requested picture in the National Archives.

1971 Belfast bar owner John Lavery, 60, was killed when he picked up and attempted to remove a bomb the IRA planted in his pub on the Lisburn Road. Lavery was a Catholic.

1978 Police in Des Plaines, Ill., already suspicious of John W. Gacy Jr. in the disappearances of several young men, arrested the friendly contractor on a marijuana charge. The “Killer Clown” confessed to killing more than two dozen boys and young men and burying their bodies in his crawlspace. An Illinois jury convicted him of 33 counts of murder and sentenced him to death.

1988 A terrorist bomb exploded aboard a Pan Am Boeing 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people. The bombing remains to date the deadliest air disaster to occur on British soil.

1994 A bomb exploded on the #4 subway car packed with holiday shoppers as it pulled into the Fulton Street station in New York City, injuring 43 people. Police found Edward Leary of Scotch Plains, N.J., badly burned and wandering around a Brooklyn subway station shortly after the blast and suspected he was holding the bomb in his lap when it exploded prematurely. The unemployed computer analyst planned to extort the NYC Transit Authority with his homemade bomb. He was sentenced to 94 years in prison.

1996 After two years of denials, House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted he violated House ethics rules when he disregarded federal tax law and lied to the ethics panel investigating the case. The House ethics committee recommended a reprimand and an unprecedented $300,000 financial penalty. A censure would have stripped Gingrich of his Speaker’s job.

1998 A Chinese court sentenced high-profile dissidents Xu Wenli and Wang Youcai to lengthy prison terms on subversion charges after they attempted to officially register the China Democracy Party (CDP), the country's first opposition party under communist rule. A third veteran dissident, Qin Yongmin, was sentenced to 12 years in prison the next day. All defendants were effectively denied legal representation and forced to present their own defense.

1999 The Spanish Civil Guard intercepted a van loaded with 950 kg of explosives driven by members of Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), a Basque separatist terrorist organization. The next day, the Guard found another van loaded with 750 kg of explosives in the same area. After 9/11, ETA confirmed it intended to blow up Madrid’s Torre Picasso, the tallest building in Spain at the time. (ETA consistently targets Spain's tourist attractions.) The incident is sometimes called la caravana de la muerte—the caravan of death.

2002 Larry Mayes became the 100th person in the U.S. to be released from prison after DNA tests exonerated him. Mayes spent 21 years in prison for a 1980 rape and robbery that he maintained that he never committed.

2005 Singer Elton John and David Furnish registered their civil partnership at Windsor Town Hall, on the first day the Civil Partnership Act came into effect in England and Wales.

2012 Clashes over access to grazing, farmland, and water between the Orma and Pokomo peoples of Kenya's Tana River District resulted in the deaths of 39 people when 150 Pokomo raiders attacked the Ormo village of Kipao, setting fire to houses and cutting down residents with spears and machetes. The deadly incident was the latest in a series of flareups in the coastal region that began in August between the Orma, who are a mostly cattle-herding nomadic people, and the Pokomo, who are mainly farmers. President Mwai Kibaki set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the attacks.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

TODAY IN CRIME: December 14

835 Chinese Emperor Wenzong of the Tang dynasty conspired with chancellor Li Xun and general Zheng Zhu to kill the powerful eunuchs of the imperial court undermining his rule. The eunuchs learned of the plot, however, counterattacked with their own soldiers, and slaughtered more than 1,000 soldiers and officials involved in the conspiracy.

1650 Authorities in Oxfordshire, England, hanged scullery maid Anne Greene for committing infanticide. Greene had tried to hide the remains of her stillborn baby, and the "Concealment of Birth of Bastards" Act of 1624 presumed that a woman who concealed the death of an illegitimate baby had killed it. The next day, she revived in the dissection room and, "being saved by the hand of God," received a pardon.

1918 Left-wing activist José Júlio da Costa penetrated a double police cordon and fatally shot Portuguese President Sidónio Pais as he entered the Lisboa-Rossio Railway Station in Lisbon. Presidential bodyguards killed four bystanders in the confusion as da Costa waited to be apprehended. He was imprisoned and tortured by the government but never stood trial and died forgotten in a psychiatric hospital 28 years later.

1964 In Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress can use the Constitution's Commerce Clause to fight discrimination. The Heart of Atlanta Motel lost its argument that it had the right to refuse to rent rooms to African-Americans.

1971 Anticipating Bangladesh would win independence, at the end of the Bangladesh Liberation War the Pakistan Army and their local collaborators executed more than 200 intellectuals of what was then East Pakistan to cripple the new nation intellectually. The massacre brought the total of teachers, journalists, attorneys, doctors, engineers, poets, and writers killed over the nine-month period of the war to more than 1,000. Two days later, the Pakistan Army surrendered to the joint forces of the Indian army and Mukti bahini.

1975 Six terrorists from the Indonesian province of South Maluku surrendered to Dutch police after killing three people and holding 23 others hostage for 12 days on a train near the Dutch town of Beilen. The terrorists were demanding the Dutch government recognize the Republic of South Maluku as an independent state.

1981 In a move seen by critics as a declaration of annexation, Israel's Knesset ratified the Golan Heights Law, extending Israeli law to the occupied Golan Heights. Because the Golan Heights is officially Syrian territory occupied by the Israeli military, the law was not recognized internationally—the United Nations Security Council Resolution 497 declared it “null and void and without international legal effect.”

1993 The Colorado District Court found unconstitutional the state's voter-approved Amendment Two prohibiting state and local governments from giving protected status for sexual orientation and imposed a permanent injunction.

1995 The White House released classified documents that revealed the FBI had spied on John Lennon and his anti-war activities during the early '70s. President Nixon ordered the information-gathering in an attempt to deport the influential Beatle.

1999 U.S. and German negotiators agreed to establish a $5.2 billion fund to compensate Nazi-era slave and forced laborers.

2000 Russian authorities announced American businessman and retired naval intelligence officer Edmond Pope would be released for humanitarian reasons. Pope had been sentenced to 20 years in prison after his conviction on espionage charges when newly elected Russian President Vladimir Putin pardoned him.

2003 In the third close call during his four-year rule, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when a powerful bomb blew up a bridge seconds after his highly guarded convoy crossed it in Rawalpindi, just outside the capital of Islamabad. Militants angry at Musharraf's support for the U.S. in its fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban set the bomb.

2008 Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw both of his shoes at U. S. President George W. Bush during an Iraqi press conference at Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s palace in Baghdad. Palace guards grabbed the attacker, kicked him, and rushed him from the room. President Bush was not harmed. The Central Criminal Court of Iraq sentenced al-Zaidi to three years in prison for assaulting a foreign head of state during an official visit.

2012 Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother in their Newtown, Connecticut home, then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School, forced his way in, and killed 26 people with a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle. The victims included 20 children between the ages of six and seven. Lanza shot himself in the head with a Glock 20SF handgun while still inside the school.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

TODAY IN CRIME: December 7


Fulvia With the Head of Cicero by Pavel Svedomsky

43 BC Two soldiers acting for the Second Triumvirate assassinated Roman orator and politician Marcus Tullius Cicero, the last defender of the Roman Republic, before he could flee to Macedonia. Mark Antony ordered his enemy’s severed head and hands nailed on the Rostra in the Forum Romanum—but first Antony’s wife Fulvia spat on Cicero’s severed head, pulled out his tongue, and stabbed it with her golden hairpins as a final act of revenge against the power of his oratory.

1941 353 Japanese warplanes attacked the home base of the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, killing more than 2,300 Americans. Because the attack happened without a declaration of war and without explicit warning, judges at the Tokyo War Crimes Trials ruled the strike illegal—a war crime under the 1907 Hague Convention.

1972 Geodetic engineer Carlito Dimahilig attempted to assassinate Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos, on live television. Wielding a bolo—a long, heavy, single-edged knife—Dimahilig repeatedly stabbed Marcos, inflicting wounds that required 75 stitches, before the First Lady’s bodyguards shot and killed him. The attacker’s motive is unknown.

1974 President Makarios returned to Cyprus after five months in exile. He fled to London after a coup d’etat.

1982 At Ellis Unit near Huntsville, Texas, convicted murderer Charlie Brooks Jr. became the first prisoner in the U.S. to be executed by lethal injection.

1984 Michael Jackson testified in Chicago, IL, that he wrote the song "The Girl is Mine," not Illinois songwriter Fred Sanford. Sanford alleged the King of Pop copied his song "Please Love Me Now" and sued CBS Records for $5 million for copyright infringement. Jackson described his song-writing process to the jury and CBS won the case.

1987 Ticket agent David Burke, a disgruntled former employee of USAir, followed his ex-boss onto a Pacific Southwest Airlines British Aerospace 146-200A flying from Los Angeles to San Francisco and hijacked the plane. Burke, who had recently been terminated, used his credentials to bypass security and boarded with a .44-caliber Magnum pistol. He shot his ex-boss, the two pilots, and two others before the plane crashed, killing the remaining 38 people on board.

1992 The U. S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to a Mississippi law that required women to receive counseling and wait 24 hours before having an abortion.

1993 U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders suggested that the U.S. government study the impact of drug legalization as a possible antidote to urban violence. About a week later, Arkansas police arrested her son Kevin for selling cocaine.

1993 Gunman Colin Ferguson opened fire with a Ruger P-89 9mm on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train, killing six people and wounding 19 before three passengers tackled him to the floor. After a bizarre trial where Ferguson insisted on representing himself and questioned his own victims on the stand, the killer was convicted of six counts of murder and 22 counts of attempted murder and sentenced to 315 years in prison.

1996 A thief stole Jerry Lewis's white and red pinstriped devil suit from his dressing room at Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, New York. Lewis needed the $9,000 costume to play the role of Satan in the musical Damn Yankees.

1998 The Immigration and Naturalization Service granted jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval U.S. citizenship after a two-year legal battle. Sandoval, who defected from Cuba in 1990, had been denied citizenship because he once belonged to Cuba's Communist Party.

1998 U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno reported she would not seek an independent counsel investigation of President Clinton over 1996 campaign financing.

1999 A U.S. federal grand jury indicted former convict David Roland Waters in the 1995 disappearance of atheist leader Madalyn Murray O'Hair. Waters, an employee of American Atheists, along with two accomplices, killed and dismembered O-Hair, her son, and granddaughter, then disposed of their mutilated corpses.

2002 In Amsterdam, Netherlands, two men stole two van Gogh paintings—“ View of the Sea at Scheveningen" and "Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen"—valued at 100 million dollars from the Van Gogh Museum. Professional art thief Octave Durham and accomplice Henk B used a ladder and broke in through a second story window, setting off the alarm system, but disappeared before police arrived. Forensic analysis lead police to the pair and they subsequently served time but the paintings were not recovered until 2016.

2011 U.S. District Judge James Zagel fined ousted Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich $20,000 and sentenced him to 14 years in prison for public corruption— he attempted to trade President Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat in exchange for money or favors. The second former Illinois governor in a row to be sent to prison, Blagojevich served almost 8 years before President Trump commuted his sentence in 2020.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

TODAY IN CRIME: November 30

1487 Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria, decreed the first German Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot), stating beer should be brewed from only three ingredients—water, malt, and hops.

1523 Amsterdam banned assembly of heretics.

1678 In England, the Cavalier Parliament passed an act under King Charles II “for the more effectuall preserving the Kings Person and Government by disableing Papists from sitting in either House of Parlyament.”

1786 Leopold II, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, promulgated a penal reform, making Tuscany the first modern state to abolish the death penalty. November 30 is celebrated today worldwide as Cities for Life Day.

1804 The U. S. Senate began impeachment proceedings against Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase, accusing him of political bias. He was acquitted.

1902 Police in Knoxville, Tennessee, captured Kid Curry Logan, second-in-command of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch gang, for killing two policemen in a shootout. The lawmen had tried to arrest him for robbery. Logan was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with hard labor.

1953 Governor of Uganda Sir Andrew Cohen deposed Kabaka (king) of Buganda Edward Mutesa II for promoting Buganda's secession from the Uganda Protectorate and exiled him to London. Widespread discontent with this move forced Cohen to reinstate Mutesa in 1955 as a constitutional monarch. All of Uganda gained independence in 1962.

1957 Members of the Islam group Darul Islam under the leadership of mystic Sekarmadji Maridjan Kartosuwirjo initiated a grenade attack upon Indonesian president Sukarno during a visit to a school in Central Jakarta. The leader was slightly harmed; six children were killed and more than 100 wounded.

1971 The government of the Republic of Ireland stated that it would take the allegations of brutality against the security forces in Northern Ireland to the European Court of Human Rights. Ireland claimed that the "five techniques"—prolonged wall-standing, hooding, subjection to noise, deprivation of sleep, and deprivation of food and drink—used against detainees by Northern Ireland and the UK constituted torture.

1972 In Rome, an illegal fireworks factory on the eighth floor of an apartment building exploded, killing 15 and injuring 100.

1983 Police freed kidnap victim Alfred Heineken in Amsterdam. Five kidnappers held the beer magnate and his chauffeur in a Quonset hut near the harbor for 21 days before the Heineken family paid 11 million dollars— the highest amount paid for a kidnap victim at the time—for their release. The abductors were eventually captured and sent to prison.

1987 The Grand Assembly of Afghanistan under Mohammad Najibullah adopted the constitution of the Republic of Afghanistan.

1988 The United Nations General Assembly (151-2) censured the U.S. for denying the visa of Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat. Arafat was scheduled to speak during a scheduled debate on the Palestinian question at the U.N. in New York on December 1, but U.S. Jewish leaders as well as 51 U.S. senators opposed his visit.

1988 A furrier in New York City sued Mike Tyson for $92,000 for non-payment of purchase.

1989 A roadside bomb killed Deutsche Bank chairman Alfred Herrhausen. Ten kilos of explosives and a copper plate pierced the armor-plated limo of the head of Germany's biggest bank and struck him in the legs. He bled to death before assistance could arrive. No one was ever caught or prosecuted for the murder, although the far-left terrorist group Red Army Faction lead the list of suspects.

1993 Authorities in California arrested career criminal Richard Allen Davis on the Coyote Valley Indian reservation for a parole violation. He was quickly identified as the primary suspect in the abduction and murder of 12-year-old Polly Klaas of Petaluma.

1993 U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. It required a federal background check and five-day waiting period for handgun purchases.

1998 Inga Vainshtein, the former manager of singer-songwriter Jewel, filed a $10 million lawsuit against the star and her mother, Lenedra Caroll, claiming she was fired after Caroll intentionally caused a rift between her and the singer. Vainshtein discovered Jewel in 1993 when she was performing in coffeehouses and living out of her car.

1999 Protests by anti-globalization demonstrators against a World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle, Washington, caught police unprepared and forced the cancellation of opening ceremonies. 40,000 protestors attended. Police arrested 157 individuals but released them for lack of probable cause or hard evidence; in 2004 the city paid them $250,000 in compensation.

2001 Police in Washington state arrested Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer. DNA evidence linked semen left in four victims to a saliva swab taken by police 20 years earlier. Ridgway was convicted of 49 murders committed between 1982 and 1998 and received life in prison without parole.

2006 Same-sex marriage in South Africa became legal. With the Civil Union Act of 2006, South Africa became the fifth country in the world and the first in Africa to enact such legislation.

2017 Def Jam founder Russell Simmons stepped down from Def Jam records, his yoga lifestyle brand, CNNMoney, and other media properties after allegations of sexual misconduct. After the NYPD opened an investigation into the claims, the hip hop mogul fled to Indonesia to avoid extradition.

2018 Marriott Hotels revealed a massive data breach. In one of largest-ever company hacks, cyber-criminals accessed information on as many as 500 million guests, including names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, unencrypted passport numbers, credit card information, arrival and departure information, VIP status, and loyalty information for linked companies like airlines. An investigation revealed the attack went undetected for years.

2019 A gun battle between a drug cartel and security forces at the city hall in Villa Unión, Mexico, killed 19 people—four police officers, two civilians, and 14 criminals. Seeking to retake control of the northern state of Coahuila, members of the Cartel del Noreste—made up of former members of the bloody Los Zetas Cartel—sprayed town offices with bullets from heavily armed pickup trucks painted with skulls and fought Mexican police for more than 90 minutes. Police confiscated various long-range guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and 25 vehicles, four with high-caliber guns, in the town about 40 miles south of Eagle Pass, Texas.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

TODAY IN CRIME part two: November 23

1998 The four largest tobacco companies in the U.S.— Philip Morris Inc., R. J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson, and Lorillard—signed the biggest civil litigation settlement in the country’s history with the attorneys general of 46 states, Washington, D.C., and five U.S. territories. The $206-billion deal resolved remaining state claims for medical care for persons with tobacco-related illnesses.

1998 U.S. federal judge Leonie Brinkema rejected the efforts of Loudoun County, Virginia, to block pornography on a library computer, calling the attempt unconstitutional.

1998 Basketball star Dennis Rodman filed for an annulment from model-actress Carmen Electra. He claimed he was of "unsound mind" when they married nine days before.

1998 A California court sentenced businessman Donald Bohana, 61, to 15 years to life in prison for the drowning death of Delores "DeeDee" Jackson, the ex-wife of Tito Jackson of the Jackson 5. Jackson had been dating Bohana for only a few months when she drowned in his pool after a night of drinking. The coroner initially ruled her death an accident.

2001 Sixty-four parties signed the Convention on Cybercrime in Budapest, Hungary. It was the first international treaty seeking to address Internet and computer crime.

2003 Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze resigned following twenty days of mass protests over disputed parliamentary elections.

2006 Retired FSB member Alexander Litvinenko died in London from radiation poisoning after making a deathbed statement blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin. Litvinenko is the first known victim of lethal polonium 210-induced acute radiation syndrome.

2009 In Maguindanao province on the island of Mindanao, Philippines, a private army hired by the powerful Ampatuan clan stopped and massacred a convoy of supporters of rival politician Esmael Mangudadatu. 58 Mangudadatu family members, journalists, and others were killed on their way to file a certificate of candidacy for Mangudadatu to run for governor against Andal Ampatuan Jr. Eventually, 28 people were convicted of 57 counts of murder and sentenced to 40 years, 15 were sentenced to 6-10 years as accessories to crime, and 55 were acquitted.

2011 Yemen's authoritarian President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to step down amid a fierce uprising to oust him after 33 years in power. He ceded the office and powers of the presidency to Vice President 'Abd al-Rabb Mansour al-Hadi in return for immunity from prosecution.

2014 Abdikadir Mohammed, an adviser to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, claimed the slaughter of 28 people on a bus by the Somali militant Islamist group al-Shabab was intended to create a religious war in the country. Sixty people were traveling to the capitol of Nairobi when about 100 militants forced the bus off the road and shot dead passengers who failed to recite the Koran.

2015 President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia banned female genital mutilation, claiming it is not required in Islam, and threatened practitioners with a prison sentence of up to three years. According to UNICEF, 75% of women in the mostly Muslim country were subjected to the ritual of Khatna.

2016 British Justice Sir Alan Fraser Wilkie ordered life in prison for Thomas Mair, murderer of Labour MP Jo Cox. Mair, a right-wing extremist, shot and stabbed to death the representative for Batley and Spen a week before the EU referendum vote in June. He shouted, "Britain first, this is for Britain!" as he attacked the mother of two.

2017 After a three-week standoff, Papua New Guinea Police stormed the Manus Island refugee camp, forcibly removing asylum seekers.

2017 An Italian court sentenced Brazilian football star Robinho to nine years in prison for rape. He and five other males were convicted of sexual assault in the January 2013 gang rape of a 22-year-old Albanian woman at a Milan nightclub.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

TODAY IN CRIME part one: November 23

800 Charlemagne arrived in Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III. After the pope swore an oath of purgation claiming he was innocent of the adultery and perjury charges, his accusers were exiled.

1227 Rivals-to-the-throne assassinated Leszek I the White, High Duke of Poland, at an assembly of Polish dukes at Gąsawa, and a struggle for succession ensued.

1499 British authorities hanged pretender to the throne Perkin Warbeck for plotting to overthrow King Henry VII. Werbeck had invaded England in 1497, claiming to be one of the “Princes in the Tower”—the lost sons of King Edward IV—but later confessed he was actually a merchant from Belgium.

1765 In defiance of the Stamp Act of 1765, twelve Maryland magistrates composed a resolution known as the Repudiation Act that allowed businesses and officials to proceed without the use of the stamped paper England required for most documents. It is considered the first official defiance of the colonies against the British government, eight years before the Boston Tea Party.

1867 Officials at New Bailey Prison in Manchester, England, hanged the Manchester Martyrs for killing a police officer while freeing two Irish Republican Brotherhood members from custody. 10,000 people witnessed the hanging.

1876 U.S. Navy frigate USS Franklin delivered corrupt Tammany Hall leader William Magear Tweed (better known as Boss Tweed) to authorities in New York City after his capture in Spain.

1921 To close a loophole in the National Prohibition Act, U.S. President Warren G. Harding signed the Willis-Campbell Act (anti-beer bill) that forbid doctors to prescribe medicinal alcohol.

1974 On the orders of dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, the Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia executed sixty imprisoned Ethiopian politicians, aristocrats, military officers, and other persons in the Massacre of the Sixty.

1976 Memphis police arrested singer Jerry Lee Lewis outside the gates of Graceland after he showed up for the second time that night and made a scene by shouting, waving a pistol, and demanding to see Elvis Presley.

1979 The Republic of Ireland sentenced Thomas McMahon to life imprisonment for the assassination of Earl Mountbatten and three others. McMahon, a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, exploded a bomb on Mountbatten’s fishing boat the previous August. He was released in 1998 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

1979 Police in Oslo, Norway, arrested singer Marianne Faithful at Oslo Airport for possession of marijuana.

1985 U.S. Marshals arrested Larry Wu-tai Chin, a retired CIA analyst, for spying for China. Facing two life terms in prison and fines totaling $3.3 million, Chin committed suicide in prison a year after his conviction for multiple charges of espionage and tax violations.

1985 Gunmen of the terrorist organization Abu Nidal hijacked EgyptAir Flight 648 en route from Athens to Cairo. When the plane landed in Malta, Egyptian commandos stormed the aircraft and 58 people died in the raid.

1989 The U.S. flew Lucia Barrera de Cerna, survivor of the massacre at Jose Simeon Canas University in El Salvador on November 16, to Miami for protective custody. de Cerna worked as a housekeeper for the six Jesuit priests killed by Salvadoran Army soldiers November 16; her coworker and her coworker’s teenaged daughter were also killed in the raid.

1994 Police in Nagpur, India, created a panic and triggered a stampede that killed 114 people after they charged a crowd of protesters with their batons. The crowd of 50,000 Gowari people were demanding tribal status. The victims, mostly women and children, were crushed to death. The Maharashtra Minister of Tribal Development accepted responsibility for the tragedy and resigned, although the Maharashtra state government found no one responsible.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

TODAY IN CRIME: November 16

1491 Spanish civil authorities publicly executed nine people accused by the Spanish Inquisition of killing a little boy. The three Jews and six conversos (Jews converted to Catholicism) were burned at the stake in the Brasero de la Dehesa outside of Ávila. Despite there being no evidence of any boy being killed, and disputed evidence that such a child even existed, locals still celebrate the cult of the Holy Infant. Jews were often accused of killing Christian children and using their blood in their religious rituals.

1581 After Tsar Ivan the Terrible of Russia assaulted his pregnant daughter-in-law and caused her to miscarry, his son Ivan Ivanovich rushed in to confront his father. The enraged tsar struck him on the head with his scepter but immediately regretted it. Despite his father's prayers, Ivan died three days later.

1793 Considering the guillotine too slow a death for those suspected of activities counter to the French Revolution, Committee for Public Safety member Jean-Baptiste Carrier ordered the drowning of ninety dissident Roman Catholic priests in the Loire River at Nantes. Carrier continued the mass drownings through February.

1849 A Russian court sentenced writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky to death for anti-government activities linked to a radical intellectual group. Facing a firing squad, Dostoyevsky received a last-minute reprieve from the Tsar and spent four years in a labor camp.

1885 Canada executed rebel leader of the Métis and "Father of Manitoba" Louis Riel for high treason. Riel's work to preserve the rights, culture, and even lands of native peoples lead to armed confrontation with the newly formed confederation government. The Royal North-West Mounted Police put down the rebellion and captured Riel, and he was tried, convicted, and hanged. Riel’s execution permanently alienated Francophones and is controversial to this day.

1940 "Mad Bomber" George Metesky left his first bomb on a window sill at the Consolidated Edison power plant at 170 West 64th Street in Manhattan. He went on to plant at least 32 more bombs in New York City over the next 16 years.

1966 An Ohio jury acquitted Dr. Samuel H. Sheppard in his second trial on charges of bludgeoning to death his pregnant wife, Marilyn Reese Sheppard, in 1954. Noting the "carnival atmosphere" and a biased judge of his first trial, the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down the original 1954 conviction and allowed the retrial.

1976 Scottish homemaker Renee MacRae and her son Andrew disappeared from Inverness, Scotland. Their bodies have never been found; the disappearance is currently Britain's longest-running missing persons case. The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service charged MacRae’s lover, William MacDowell, with their murders in 2019.

1988 A Los Angeles Superior Court judge sentenced Stephen Love, former Beach Boys manager and the brother of lead singer Mike Love, to 5 years’ probation and ordered him to pay $86,000 restitution for embezzling more than $900,000 from the band.

1989 In San Salvador, El Salvadoran army troops dragged six Jesuit priests and two others in residence at the Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas from their beds and shot them in the head. The Jesuits advocated a negotiated settlement between the Salvadoran government and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), a coalition of left-wing groups that had battled the government for a decade.

1997 The People’s Republic of China released pro-democracy dissident Wei Jingsheng for medical reasons. He had been incarcerated for nearly 18 years. Wei settled in the United States, where he remains active in the democratization of China.

1998 In Wright v. Universal Maritime Service Corp. et al., the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that union members could file discrimination lawsuits against employers even when labor contracts require arbitration.

1999 A hitman hired by NFL wide receiver Rae Carruth shot Carruth’s pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams, four times in her car. Adams managed to call 911 and rescuers were able to save her baby. Adams died after a month in the hospital. A North Carolina jury convicted Carruth of conspiracy to commit murder but acquitted him of first-degree murder; he served 18 years in prison. Prosecutors believed Carruth arranged the hit so he wouldn’t have to pay child support to another girlfriend.

2001 In the midst of the anthrax scare, hazardous materials experts sifting through 280 barrels of mail addressed to the U.S. Capitol found a letter addressed to Senator Tom Leahy (D-Vt.) laced with the deadly bacterium. Investigators sent the suspicious mail through a sensor machine that could detect the presence of biological agents. The FBI concluded microbiologist Bruce Ivins was responsible for the attacks that killed five people.

2010 The U.S. House Ethics Committee found 80-year-old Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) guilty of 11 of 13 charges related to financial misconduct: for improperly fundraising for a community center in his name, failing to disclose more than $500,000 in assets on financial disclosure forms, and failing to disclose financial arrangements for a villa at a yacht club in the Dominican Republic. Although his fellow congressmen censured him, Rangel stayed in office until 2017.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

TODAY IN CRIME: November 9


694 Believing all Jews were conspiring with Muslims to extinguish Christianity, Visigoth king Egica, ruler of Hispania and Septimania in southwestern Europe, ordered all Jews into slavery. The crown would confiscate their property and remove any children over the age of seven from their homes to be raised as Christians.

1456 Agents of László, son of Hungarian governor János Hunyadi, assassinated Ulrich II, Count of Celje. Because Ulrich was captain general and de facto regent of Hungary, governor of Slavonia, Croatia and Dalmatia, feudal lord of vast lands across central Europe, and claimant to the Bosnian throne, his death plunged Hungary into civil unrest.

1520 In an attempt to secure his control of the Swedish throne, Danish king Christian II ordered 82 nobles executed for heresy in the Stockholm Bloodbath, but the massacre only caused Sweden to secede from the Kolmar Union of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Hostility between Sweden and Denmark as they clashed for control of Scandinavia and northern Germany continued for almost 300 years.

1720 In Jerusalem, Arab creditors broke into the synagogue of Judah HeHasid and burned it down, leading to the expulsion of the Ashkenazim from Jerusalem.

1799 Napoleon Bonaparte lead the Coup de 18 Brumaire, ending the Directory government of the French Revolution and replacing it with the French Consulate.

1851 Marshals from Kentucky abducted abolitionist minister Calvin Fairbank from Jeffersonville, Indiana, and took him back to Kentucky to stand trial for aiding a slave named Tamar escape to Indiana. Fairbank served 19 years in the Kentucky State Penitentiary for his work on the Underground Railroad.

1923 In Munich, German troops loyal to the democratic government crushed the Beer Hall Putsch in Bavaria. Sixteen Nazis and four Bavarian State Police officers died in a gunfight between the Nazis and the police. The evening before, Adolf Hitler had taken control of a beer hall full of Bavarian government leaders at gunpoint in an attempted coup against the Weimar Republic. The future chancellor went to prison for eight months for high treason.

1938 Nazi German diplomat Ernst vom Rath died from gunshot wounds inflicted Nov. 7 by Herschel Grynszpan, a Jewish teenager bent on avenging atrocities already committed against the Jewish people. The night of Nov. 9, the Nazis used the shooting as an excuse to instigate Kristallnacht: SA paramilitary forces and Nazi sympathizers burned and looted Jewish-owned stores and houses throughout Germany, Austria, and the Sudenland.

1953 The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a 1922 ruling that major league baseball is outside the scope of federal antitrust laws. The 1922 Court that found that baseball, as an exhibition, is not subject to the Constitution’s Commerce Clause (Federal Baseball Club v. National League).

1965 Catholic Worker Movement member Roger Allen LaPorte set himself on fire in front of the United Nations building in New York to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He died the next day.

1970 Citing lack of jurisdiction, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6–3 against hearing a case testing the legality of the Vietnam War. Massachusetts passed a state law granting residents the right to refuse military service in an undeclared war, and the state attorney general asked the Supreme Court to consider the case.

1976 The United Nations General Assembly approved 10 resolutions condemning apartheid in South Africa.

1998 In the largest civil settlement in American history, a federal judge in New York ordered 37 U.S. brokerage houses to pay $1.03 billion to investors who were overcharged for NASDAQ-listed stocks from 1989-1994. The federal government issued a consent decree in 1996 forcing permanent changes in NASDAQ's operation to prevent future price-rigging.

1998 The United Kingdom abolished capital punishment—already abolished for murder—for all remaining capital offences.

1998 Michael Jackson settled a lawsuit over stories and pictures in the London Daily Mirror that reported his face had been disfigured by cosmetic surgery.

2005 Suicide bombers attacked the U.S.-based Grand Hyatt, Days Inn, and Radisson SAS hotels in Amman, Jordan, killing at least 60 people and wounding hundreds. Two bombers strapped devices to their bodies and the third used a car bomb. The government of Jordan, unused to terror attacks in its country, instituted new anti-terror measures.

2007 The German Bundestag passed a controversial data retention bill that mandated storing citizens' telecommunications traffic data for six months without probable cause. In 2010 the German Constitutional Court ruled the bill violated Article 10 of the German Basic Law protecting the privacy of correspondence, posts, and telecommunications.

2011 Penn State University fired longtime head football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier over their handling of child sex abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Paterno was never charged with any wrongdoing and Spanier's conviction of child endangerment was overturned, but Sandusky was ultimately sentenced to 30-60 years in state prison after his conviction on 45 counts of abuse involving ten boys, including attacks that occurred on campus property.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

TODAY IN CRIME: November 2

619 Emperor Gaozu, founder of the Tang dynasty of China, allowed an envoy of the Eastern Turk Khaganate to assassinate a qaghan (emperor) of the Western Turkic Khaganate after a banquet in Gaozu's palace. When everyone was replete with food and drink, Gaozu lured the emperor to an empty office where he was set upon by assassins. The powerful Eastern Turks made better friends than enemies, and this way Gaozu could repay them for their help during his march on Chang'an.

1859 A Charles Town, Virginia, jury sentenced abolitionist John Brown to death by hanging. On October 31 the jury had found him guilty of murder, conspiring slaves to revolt, and treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia for his raid at Harper's Ferry October 16-18.

1959 Twenty-One game show contestant Charles Van Doren admitted to the U.S. Congress that he had been given questions and answers in advance.

1960 In London, a jury of nine men and three women found Penguin Books not guilty of obscenity by publishing the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover.

1963 Army of the Republic of Vietnam Majors Nguyễn Văn Nhung and Dương Hiếu Nghĩa assassinated South Vietnamese president Ngô Đình Diệm and his brother, political advisor Ngô Đình Nhu, on the orders of RVN General Dương Văn Minh in a coup d'état. With the brothers tied up in the back of an armored personnel carrier, Nhung lunged at Nhu with a bayonet and stabbed him 15-20 times, shot Diem in the head with a semi-automatic, then turned and shot Nhu. No one was ever charged in the killings but Nhung was later executed. His cohort Nghĩa survived the Fall of Saigon. Junta leader Minh was himself deposed in a bloodless coup three months later.

1964 Saudi Arabia formally deposed King Saud and replaced him with his half-brother Faisal.

1965 Norman Morrison, a 31-year-old Quaker, doused himself with kerosene and set himself on fire outside the Pentagon office of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war.

1966 The Cuban Adjustment Act took effect, allowing Cuban refugees the opportunity to apply for permanent residence in the U.S.

1979 Black militant Assata Olugbala Shakur escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey, where she'd been serving a life sentence for the 1973 murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster. She fled to Pittsburgh; eventually Cuba granted her political asylum. In 2013 she became the first woman added to the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list; there is a two-million-dollar reward for her return.

1984 Convicted murderer Velma Margie Barfield became the first woman to be executed since the reinstatement of capital punishment in 1976. No woman had been executed in the U.S. since 1962. Barfield confessed to killing at least five people, although she was tried and executed for only one homicide—poisoning boyfriend Rowland Stuart Taylor with arsenic.

1985 The South African government imposed strict rules of censorship on all media coverage of unrest by both local and foreign journalists. The press of South Africa is still considered only partly free.

1986 Shiite Muslims released American kidnap victim David Jacobsen after holding him in Lebanon for 17 months.

1988 Cornell graduate student Robert Morris launched the Morris worm, the first highly publicized Internet-distributed computer worm, from the computer systems at MIT. In 1990, Morris was the first person convicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for penetrating and crippling 6,000 "federal interest" computers nationwide. The U.S. District Court of NDNY sentenced him to three years' probation, 400 hours of community service, a $10,050 fine, and costs of his supervision.

1993 The U.S. Senate voted 94-6 to demand full disclosure of Senator Bob Packwood's diaries in a sexual harassment probe. Packwood resigned from the Senate the previous month under threat of expulsion after 19 women came forward alleging sexual harassment, abuse, and assaults. His diaries confirmed the allegations.

1995 Eleven former senior military officers, including former South African defense minister General Magnus Malan, were arrested and charged with the murders of 13 people in the KwaMakhutha apartheid massacre in 1987. All were eventually acquitted.

1995 The U.S. banned Daiwa Bank Ltd. from operating in the United States for allegedly covering up $1.1 billion in trading losses incurred by New York bond trader Toshihide Iguchi over a 12-year period. Daiwa paid a record $340-million fine to settle the fraud case and Iguchi spent four years in prison.

1999 In the worst mass murder in the history of Hawaii, Xerox service technician Byran Koju Uyesugi shot eight people with a Glock 17 handgun at the Xerox building in Honolulu, killing his supervisor and six coworkers. Uyesugi was facing dismissal for refusing to take training on new machines and "decided to give them a reason to fire me."

2010 California voters rejected a statewide ballot measure that would have made the Golden State the first to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act did succeed in 2016.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

TODAY IN CRIME: October 26

1881 Wyatt Earp, his two brothers, and "Doc" Holliday confronted Ike Clanton's gang in a gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Ariz. Three members of Clanton's gang were killed; Earp's brothers were wounded.

1892 Ida B. Wells published Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases. In 2020 the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded Wells a special citation "[f]or her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching."

1909 Korean nationalist and independence activist An Jung-geun assassinated Itō Hirobumi, President of the Privy Council of Japan, who forced the Emperor of Korea to sign the Eulsa Treaty, an agreement that stripped Korea of its diplomatic sovereignty and placed all Korean affairs under Imperial Japanese control. After six trials, An was hanged.

1956 During the Hungarian Revolution, Hungarian secret police forces massacred more than 100 students, workers, and townspeople of the town of Mosonmagyaróvár who had gathered to peacefully demonstrate against Soviet occupation. Fighting spread throughout the country.

1970 In Atlanta, Muhammad Ali faced off against Jerry Quarry in his first boxing match after a three-year hiatus, still awaiting the appeal of his conviction for draft evasion. He knocked out Quarry in the third round. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1971.

1979 Kim Jae-kyu, the head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, shot and killed South Korean President Park Chung-hee at a KCIA safe house in Seoul after a banquet. Kim and his associates also killed four bodyguards and a presidential chauffeur before being captured, tortured, and executed. It is still unclear whether the attack was unplanned and impulsive or deliberate and premeditated, whether Kim was motivated by jealousy of Park's chief bodyguard, a loyalist who had gained too much favor with the dictator, whether Kim was attempting to seize power himself or to restore democracy with the help of the American CIA, or suffering temporary insanity due to hepatic encephalopathy.

1991 Former Washington Mayor Marion Barry arrived at the Federal Correctional Complex in Petersburg, VA, to begin serving a six-month sentence for cocaine possession. He was released in April 1992 and went on to win re-election in 1994.

1993 A Washington, D.C., circuit court convicted Deborah Gore Dean, a central figure in the Reagan-era HUD scandal, of twelve felony counts of defrauding the U.S. government and lying to the U.S. Congress.

1995 Mossad agents assassinated Fathi Shaqaqi, co-founder and Secretary-General of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, in his hotel in Malta, a stopover on his way home to Damascus after securing the promise of funding from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The assassination and a crackdown by Israel and the Palestinian National Authority left the PIJ considerably weakened.

1995 A Texas jury sentenced Yolanda Saldivar to life in prison for the murder of popular singer Selena, her former employer. Saldivar shot and killed the “Queen of Tejano music” March 31, 1995, after being fired for embezzlement.

1996 Federal prosecutors cleared security guard Richard Jewell as a suspect in the Olympic park bombing. Because leaks in the investigation lead to his being identified as a suspect, Jewell filed defamation suits against the FBI, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ABC, NBC, CNN, the New York Post, two radio stations, and Piedmont College. He reached monetary settlements with most.

1998 The Recording Industry Association of America lost its case against the sale of MP3 players when a U.S. federal judge refused to issue an injunction against the devices. MP3 players are used to play music downloaded from the Internet.

1999 Britain's House of Lords voted to end the right of hereditary peers to vote in Britain's upper chamber of Parliament.

2000 A wave of protests in the Ivory Coast forced Robert Guéï to step down as president after the presidential election. He fled the country while the duly elected Laurent Gbagbo took office. Gbagbo in turn refused to step down after his defeat in the presidential election ten years later.

2001 U.S. President George W. Bush signed the USA Patriot Act into law, giving authorities unprecedented ability to search, seize, detain, or eavesdrop in their pursuit of possible terrorists.

2002 A three-day hostage siege by Chechen rebels at a Moscow theater ended when Russian special forces pumped a knockout gas into the building, killing 129 of the 800-plus captives. All 50 hostage-takers were killed by the gas or gunshot wounds.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

TODAY IN CRIME: October 19

1765 Nine American colonies united to draw up a “Declaration of Rights and Grievances” opposing the Stamp Act, which ordered colonists to pay yet more taxes—without representation. Eventually all thirteen colonies adopted the Declaration.

1864 21 Confederate soldiers based in Canada robbed three banks in St. Albans, Vermont, killed a local man, then escaped back across the border. Their goal, in addition to raising funds, was to convince Union generals the northern border posed a significant threat and troops were needed there. A U.S. posse captured several raiders but Canadian authorities ordered their release.

1921 Radical members of the Portuguese Army, Navy, and National Republican Guard set up artillery in Lisbon and forced the government of Portuguese Prime Minister António Granjo to step down. When President António José de Almeida refused to allow the rebels to take over, Corporal Abel Olímpio drove a "ghost van" through the streets of Lisbon looking for National Republican Party politicians on a hit list and led the radicals in the assassination of P.M. Granjo and several cabinet members. The perpetrators were judged and condemned in court.

1943 Allied aircraft bombed and sank the cargo vessel Sinfra at Crete, drowing 2,098 Italian prisoners of war crammed in the cargo hold.

1944 The "October Revolution" of Guatemala started when a small group of army officers launched a coup against the military junta of Juan Federico Ponce Vaides that was set up by U.S.-backed dictator Jorge Ubico after he was forced to resign. Oppressed citizens across the country joined the pro-democracy movement and replaced the junta with one that promised free and open elections.

1960 Police arrested Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and 51 others after they refused to leave their seats at a segregated lunch counter in an Atlanta department store. Judges dismissed charges against 16 of the protesters at their first court appearance but Dr. King was held on a charge of violating his probation and sentenced to six months’ hard labor. Presidential candidate JFK helped secure Dr. King's release.

1970 "Killer Prophet" John Frazier, convinced he was obeying the word of God, invaded the home of California ophthalmologist Victor Ohta and bound Ohta, his wife, two sons and a secretary, shot them all dead, threw their corpses in the swimming pool, then wrote a note on Ohta's typewriter declaring the start of WWIII and left it on Ohta's Rolls Royce. Deputies staked out Frazier's shack and arrested him October 23. Tried and sentenced to death, he received a commutation to life imprisonment; he hanged himself in his cell in 2009.

1973 U.S. President Nixon rejected an Appeals Court decision that he turn over the Watergate tapes.

1976 U.S. President Gerald Ford signed the Copyright Act of 1976, the first major revision of American copyright law since 1909. It extended federal copyright protection to all works, both published and unpublished, once they are fixed in a tangible form.

1977 French authorities found the body of kidnap victim Hanns-Martin Schleyer in the trunk of an Audi 100 on the rue Charles Péguy in Mulhouse. The Red Army Faction, a West German far-left militant organization, kidnapped the industrialist and former SS officer in September and demanded the release of four RAF members being held at Stammheim Prison in Stuttgart. The German government refused to negotiate and even prevented Schleyer's family from offering 15 million Deutschmarks as a ransom. After three of the RAF fanatics were found dead in their cells October 18, the kidnappers shot and killed Schleyer.

1982 Police arrested automaker John DeLorean on charges of conspiracy to obtain and distribute 55 pounds of cocaine worth $24 million. He was acquitted two years later.

1984 Three agents of the Polish Security Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs kidnapped Roman Catholic priest Jerzy Popiełuszko, chaplain of the Polish “Solidarity” trade union, on his way home from a prayer service. His captors tortured and hog-tied him, then bound him up, attached rocks to his body, and threw him over a dam to drown. The intelligence agents were tried and convicted of the murder.

1986 Mozambique President Samora Machel, leader of the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) who led the Mozambican people in their fight for independence from Portugal, along with 33 others, died when their aircraft crashed into the Lebombo Mountains in South Africa. Some observers believe the apartheid regime of South Africa set up a false beacon to lure the plane off-course.

1988 The British government imposed a broadcasting ban on television and radio interviews with members of Sinn Féin and eleven Irish republican and Ulster loyalist paramilitary groups.

1989 The Court of Appeal of England and Wales quashed the convictions of the Guildford Four after they had spent 15 years in prison for the pub bombings in 1974 Surrey that killed four soldiers and one civilian and wounded 65 others. The Met forced false confessions out of Paul Hill, Gerry Conlon, Paddy Armstrong, and Carole Richardson and they were wrongly convicted; the Balcombe Street Gang of the Provisional Irish Republican Army later claimed responsibility.

1989 The U.S. Senate rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned the desecration of the American flag, with 51 Senators voting in favor of the amendment and 48 voting in opposition. Congress passed the Flag Protection Act nine days later, but in June 1990 the Supreme Court ruled (United States v. Eichman) the Act violated the right of free speech under the First Amendment.

1998 Rock music fan Mark Nieto filed a lawsuit against the rock group Aerosmith for alleged hearing loss after he attended a “Nine Lives” concert at the Concord Pavilion amphitheater in Concord, California, the year before. Nieto claimed he was not made aware of possible hearing loss before the show.

1998 Members of the Earth Liberation Front set fire to several lifts and buildings at Vail Ski Resort in Colorado, claiming expansion of the resort was causing irreparable harm to area wildlife. The eco-terrorists caused $12 million in damages. Two members pleaded guilty, one suspect was finally captured 20 years later, and another remains at large.

2004 Thai officials announced the State Peace and Development Council ousted Myanmar prime minister Khin Nyunt and placed him under house arrest on charges of corruption. He was released in 2012.

2005 A defiant Saddam Hussein pleaded innocent to charges of pre-meditated murder and torture and argued with the Iraqi Special Tribunal on the opening day of his trial in Baghdad. He was sentenced to death by hanging a year later.