On December 18, 1878, John Kehoe, the last of the Molly Maguire’s was executed in Pennsylvania. The Molly Maguire’s, an Irish secret society that had allegedly been responsible for some incidences of vigilante justice in the coalfields of eastern Pennsylvania, defended their actions as attempts to protect exploited Irish-American workers. In fact, they are often regarded as one of the first organized labor groups.
On December 17, 1975, a federal jury in Sacramento, California, sentences Lynette Alice Fromme, also known as "Squeaky" Fromme, to life in prison for the attempted assassination of President Gerald Ford.
Walter LeRoy Moody
On December 16, 1989, Federal Judge Robert Vance is instantly killed by a powerful explosion after opening a package mailed to his house near Birmingham, Alabama. Two days later, a mail bomb killed Robert Robinson, an attorney in Savannah, Georgia, in his office. Two other bomb packages, sent to the federal courthouse in Atlanta and to the Jacksonville, Florida office of the NAACP, were intercepted before their intended victims opened them.
On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shoots and kills his mother at their Newtown, Connecticut, home then drives to nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he kills 20 first graders and six school employees before turning a gun on himself. The Sandy Hook tragedy was the second-deadliest mass-shooting in the United States, following the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, in which a gunman killed 32 students and teachers before committing suicide.
The Texas Seven
On December 13, 2000, seven convicts break out of a maximum-security prison in South Texas, setting off a massive six-week manhunt. The escapees, dubbed the "Texas Seven" by the media, overpowered civilian employees and prison guards in the maintenance shop where they worked and stole clothing, guns and a vehicle. The men left a note saying: "You haven't heard the last of us yet."
On December 12, 1913, two years after it was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris, Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece The Mona Lisa is recovered inside Italian waiter Vincenzo Peruggia's apartment in Florence. Peruggia had previously worked at the Louvre and had participated in the heist with a group of accomplices dressed as Louvre janitors on the morning of August 21, 1911.
On December 11, 1964, in response to a reported shooting, officers of the Los Angeles Police Department were dispatched to the Hacienda Motel, where they found singer Sam Cooke dead on the office floor, shot three times in the chest by the motel's manager, Bertha Franklin. The authorities ruled Cooke's death a case of justifiable homicide, based on the testimony of Franklin, who claimed that Cooke had threatened her life after attempting to rape a young woman with whom he had earlier checked in.