Wild Bill Hickok
On August 2, 1876, Wild Bill Hickok, one of the most famous gunfighters of the American West, is murdered in Deadwood, South Dakota. Born on May 27, 1837 in Troy Grove, Illinois, James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok first gained notoriety as a gunfighter in 1861 when he coolly shot three men who were trying to kill him. A highly sensationalized account of the gunfight appeared six years later in the popular periodical Harper's New Monthly Magazine, sparking Hickok's rise to national fame.
On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman takes a stockpile of guns and ammunition to the observatory platform atop a 300-foot tower at the University of Texas and proceeds to shoot 46 people, killing 14 people and wounding 31. Whitman, who had killed both his wife and mother the night before, was eventually shot to death after Austin police officers charged up the stairs of the tower to subdue the attacker.
On July 31, 1975, Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing. He was last seen alive in a parking lot outside the Machus Red Fox restaurant the previous afternoon. To this day, Hoffa's fate remains a mystery, although many believe that he was murdered by organized crime figures.
The 1994 murder of Megan Kanka inspires sex offender reporting law
On July 30, 1994, Jesse Timmendequas is charged with the murder of seven-year-old Megan Kanka in New Jersey. Kanka's death inspired Megan's Law, a statute enacted in 1994 requiring that information about convicted sex offenders be available to the public.
David Berkowitz aka The Son of Sam serial killer
On July 29, 1976, Donna Lauria and Jody Valenti of the Bronx are shot while they are sitting in a car, talking. Lauria died and Valenti was seriously wounded in the first in a series of shootings by the serial killer known as “Son of Sam” who terrorized New York City over the course of the next year.
Eric Robert Rudolph
On July 27, 1996, the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia are disrupted by the explosion of a nail-laden pipe bomb in Centennial Olympic Park. The bombing, which occurred during a free concert, killed one and injured more than 100 others.
On July 26, 1984, infamous serial killer Ed Gein dies of complications from cancer in a Wisconsin prison. Gein served as the inspiration for writer Robert Bloch's character Norman Bates in the 1959 novel "Psycho," which in 1960 was turned into a film starring Anthony Perkins and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.