On December 25, 1996, six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey is killed in her Boulder, Colorado, home. John and Patsy Ramsey, her parents, called police at 5:52 the following morning to report that their daughter was missing. Although police found a ransom note demanding $118,000, the money would never be necessary, because the young girl’s body was found under a blanket in the basement that afternoon. The crime soon became a national sensation.
On December 23, 1948, Hideki Tojo, former Japanese premier and chief of the Kwantung Army, is executed along with six other top Japanese leaders for their war crimes during World War II. Seven of the defendants were also found guilty of committing crimes against humanity, especially in regard to their systematic genocide of the Chinese people.
Sunny & Claus von Bulow
On December 21, 1980, wealthy socialite Martha "Sunny" Crawford von Bulow is found in a coma at her Newport, Rhode Island mansion, from what initially appeared to be an insulin overdose. Following a long investigation, Sunny's husband, Claus von Bulow, was charged with two counts of attempted murder and was convicted in a sensational trial in 1982. His conviction was later overturned, and Claus was acquitted at a second trial in 1985.
On December 20, 1986, three black men are attacked by a group of white teenagers yelling racial slurs in Howard Beach, a predominately white, middle-class, Italian-American neighborhood in Queens, New York. Earlier that night, the men were driving from Brooklyn to Queens, when their car broke down near Howard Beach.
On December 19, 1986, Michael Sergio, the man who parachuted into Game Six of the 1986 World Series at New York’s Shea Stadium, is fined $500 and sentenced to 100 hours of community service. On October 25, Sergio, a 37-year-old actor and Mets fan, landed on the infield with a "Go Mets" banner in the first inning of the sixth game between the Mets and the Boston Red Sox.
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.