J. Edgar Hoover
On May 10, 1924, J. Edgar Hoover is named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (now the FBI). By the end of the year he was officially promoted to director. This began his 48-year tenure in power, during which time he personally shaped American criminal justice in the 20th century.
Former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro
On May 9, 1978, the body of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro is found, riddled by bullets, in the back of a car in the center of historic Rome. He was kidnapped by Red Brigade terrorists on March 16th after a bloody shoot-out near his suburban home.
On May 8, 1988, Stella Nickell is convicted on two counts of murder by a Seattle, Washington, jury. She was the first person to be found guilty of violating the Federal Anti-Tampering Act after putting cyanide in Excedrin capsules in an effort to kill her husband.
H. H. Holmes
On May 7, 1896, serial killer H. H. Holmes is hanged in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although his criminal exploits were just as extensive and occurred during the same time period as Jack the Ripper, Holmes has not endured in the public's memory the way the Ripper has.
On May 6, 1911, George Maledon, the man who executed at least 60 men for "Hanging Judge" Isaac Parker, died from natural causes in Tennessee. Few men actively seek out the job of hangman and Maledon was no exception.
On May 5, 1981, Irish Republican Army militant Bobby Sands dies after refusing food for 66 days in protest of his treatment as a criminal rather than a political prisoner by British authorities. His death immediately touched off widespread rioting in Belfast, as young Irish-Catholic militants clashed with police and British Army patrols and started fires.
On May 4, 1990, Jesse Tafero is executed in Florida after his electric chair malfunctions three times, causing flames to leap from his head. Tafero's death sparked a new debate on humane methods of execution.