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On April 30, 1927, the Federal Industrial Institution for Women, the first women's federal prison, opens in Alderson, West Virginia. All women serving federal sentences of more than a year were to be brought here. Run by Dr. Mary B. Harris, the prison's buildings, each named after social reformers, sat atop 500 acres.
On April 29, 1992, four police officers who were accused of beating Rodney King are acquitted. The announcement of the verdict, which enraged the black community, prompted widespread rioting throughout much of Los Angeles. It wasn't until three days later that the arson and looting finally ended.
On April 28, 2011, Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy plead guilty to the kidnapping of 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard. The Garrido’s held Dugard captive at their Northern California property for 18 years, during which time Phillip Garrido fathered two children with her. The 29-year-old Dugard was rescued, along with her daughters, then ages 11 and 15, in 2009.
On April 27, 1997, Andrew Cunanan kills Jeffrey Trail by beating him to death with a claw hammer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Trail's murder set Cunanan off on a killing spree that ended in July when he killed himself on a houseboat in Miami Beach.
On April 26, 1913, thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan is found sexually molested and murdered in the basement of an Atlanta pencil factory where she worked. Her murder later led to one of the most disgraceful episodes of bigotry, injustice, and mob violence in American history.
On April 25, 1989, James Richardson walks out of a Florida prison 21 years after being wrongfully convicted of killing his seven children. Special prosecutor Janet Reno agreed to the release after evidence showed that the conviction resulted from misconduct by the prosecutor. In addition, neighbor Betsy Reese had confessed to the crime to a nursing home employee.
On April 24, 1922, Colin Ross is executed in Australia for the rape and murder of 13-year-old Alma Tirtschke. Ross was one of the first criminals in Australia to be convicted based on forensic evidence. On December 30, 1921, Tirtschke was reported missing in Melbourne. The next day, a constable patrolling Gun Alley, a well-known area for prostitutes, found the young schoolgirl's body bundled up in a blanket.
On April 23, 1969, Sirhan Sirhan is sentenced to death penalty after being convicted in the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. In 1972, Sirhan's sentence was commuted to life in prison after California abolished the death penalty.