On January 8, 2011, U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was critically injured when a man goes on a shooting spree during a rally outside a Tucson-area supermarket. Six people died in the attack and another 13, including Giffords, were wounded. The gunman, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, was taken into custody at the scene.
On January 7, 1901, Alfred Packer is released from prison on parole after serving 18 years for murder and cannibalism. One of the ragged legions of gold and silver prospectors who combed the Rocky Mountains searching for fortune in the 1860s, Alfred Packer also supplemented his meager income from mining by serving as a guide in the Utah and Colorado wilderness. In early November 1873, Packer left Bingham Canyon, Utah, to lead a party of 21 men bound for the gold fields near Breckenridge, Colorado. The winter of 1873-74 was unusually harsh. After three months of difficult travel, the party staggered into the camp of the Ute Indian Chief Ouray, near present-day Montrose, Colorado.
On January 6, 1994, Olympic hopeful Nancy Kerrigan is attacked at a Detroit ice rink following a practice session two days before the Olympic trials. A man hit Kerrigan with a club on the back of her knee, causing the figure skater to cry out in pain and bewilderment.
On January 4, 1964, Mary Sullivan was raped and strangled to death in her Boston apartment. The killer left a card reading "Happy New Year" leaning against her foot. Sullivan would turn out to be the last victim killed by the notorious Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo, who had terrorized the city between 1962 and 1964, raping and killing 13 women.
On January 3, 1967, Jack Ruby, the Dallas nightclub owner who killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, dies of cancer in a Dallas hospital. The Texas Court of Appeals had recently overturned his death sentence for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald and was scheduled to grant him a new trial.
On January 2, 1981, Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper was apprehended by British police, ending one of the largest manhunts in history. For five years, investigators had pursued every lead in an effort to stop the serial killer who terrorized Northern England. Sutcliffe was spotted in a stolen car with a prostitute and arrested by Sergeant Robert Ring. Near the scene of the arrest police found a hammer and knife, the Yorkshire Ripper's weapons of choice. Sutcliffe confessed to the murders when confronted with this evidence.
On December 31, 1984, Bernhard Goetz, who was dubbed the "subway vigilante" after he shot four young black men on a New York City subway train, turns himself in at a police station in Concord, New Hampshire. Goetz claimed that the men, all of whom had criminal records, were trying to rob him and that he had acted in self-defense. At the time, New York was in the midst of a crime wave and Goetz was viewed by some people as a hero, an ordinary citizen fighting back against his attackers.