Blogs

Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated - 1968
Apr 4, 2013, - 0 Comments

king assassination

Martin Luther King Jr. assassination scene

by Michael Thomas Barry

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. is shot to death at a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. A single shot fired by James Earl Ray from over 200 feet away at a nearby motel struck King in the neck. He died an hour later at St. Joseph's Hospital. The death of America's leading civil rights advocate sparked a wave of rioting in the black communities of several cities around the country.

Survivalist surrenders in Utah mountains
Apr 3, 2013, - 0 Comments

April 3, 2013 Associated Press

MANTI, Utah — For six years Troy James Knapp eluded authorities, who say he moved from cabin to cabin across the Utah mountains, taking food and weapons and leaving notes to brag about it.

It all ended Tuesday as authorities made what they say was a surprisingly easy capture outside a remote cabin after the suspect fired off a few harmless shots.

"He was laughing with our guys. He said, 'Boy, you really snuck up on me,'" said Sevier County Sheriff Nathan Curtis. "He threw his rifle down in the snow and said, 'You got me.'"

The 45-year-old survivalist is suspected of burglarizing dozens of Utah cabins and leaving notes telling owners to "get off my mountain" and warning county sheriffs he was "gonna put you in the ground!"

Iron, Kane and Garfield counties have all issued arrest warrants for Knapp on burglary and weapons charges. More charges are expected, including counts of shooting at a police helicopter and officers on the ground during his capture.

Spain's Princess Christina named as suspect in corruption case
Apr 3, 2013, - 0 Comments

April 3, 2013 Guardian

Allegations of corruption and tax fraud struck at the heart of Spain's royal family on Wednesday as the king's daughter, Princess Cristina, was formally named as a suspect in a court investigation.

The dramatic decision by investigating magistrate José Castro will see the princess called to give evidence at a courthouse in Palma de Mallorca, capital of the Balearic Isles, on 27 April.

The decision is a blow for King Juan Carlos, as a once model royal family begins to buckle under the weight of public scandal.

A spokesman at the king's Zarzuela Palace in Madrid expressed surprise at the decision. "The royal household is in absolute agreement with a decision by state anti-corruption prosecutors to appeal against the decision," he said.

Princess Cristina, aged 47, must explain her role as a board member of a non-profit foundation set up by her husband, former Olympic handball player Iñaki Urdangarin.

Ex-firefighter, girlfriend charged in Va. arsons
Apr 3, 2013, - 0 Comments

April 3, 2013 Associated Press

ACCOMAC, Va.  — A former volunteer firefighter and his girlfriend are responsible for all but a handful of the 77 arsons set on Virginia's Eastern Shore over the past five months, state police said Tuesday.

Charles R. Smith III, who went by the alias Charles Applegate when he served as captain of the Tasley Volunteer Fire Department several years ago, and his girlfriend, Tonya S. Bundick, were arrested early Tuesday, shortly after an abandoned residence was set ablaze.

The pair has been charged in only one fire, but Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said they are believed to be responsible for most of the blazes set since November. She said more charges should be filed soon.

"We now have a very complex prosecution ahead of us due to the sheer numbers of arsons these two people are responsible for setting," Geller said.

All of the fires were set in or near abandoned or unoccupied commercial and residential buildings, and no injuries were reported.

Robert Ford assassinates outlaw Jesse James - 1882
Apr 3, 2013, - 0 Comments

ford

Robert Ford

by Michael Thomas Barry

On April 3, 1882, one of America's most notorious outlaws, Jesse James, is shot to death by fellow gang member Robert Ford. For 16 years, Jesse and his brother, Frank, committed robberies and murders throughout the Midwest. Newspaper accounts and pulp novels glamorized the James gang, turning them into mythical Robin Hoods who were driven to crime by unethical landowners and bankers. In reality, Jesse James was a ruthless killer who stole only for himself. 

Man held for 42 years in deadly Arizona hotel fire set to be released
Apr 2, 2013, - 0 Comments

April 2, 2013 MSNBC

An Arizona man who has maintained for 42 years that he had nothing to do with a horrific hotel fire that killed more than two dozen people is set to be freed from prison Tuesday.

Louis Cuen Taylor was just 16 years old when he was sentenced to multiple consecutive life sentences for a fire that ripped through the Pioneer Hotel, a Tucson landmark that went up in flames in December 1970 while employees of an aircraft company were there for a Christmas party. 

Taylor, who is black, claims police pinned the crime on him and an all-white jury gave him an unfair trial. A 2002 examination of his case by CBS' "60 Minutes" found evidence that he had been railroaded and led volunteer legal group The Arizona Justice Project to take on his case.

On Tuesday, Taylor is expected to be released as part of a deal with prosecutors in which he will be forced to plead no contest in the case. 

The blaze killed 29 people: Some jumped to their deaths, others were trapped in their rooms because fire truck ladders weren't long enough to reach upper floors, but most victims died from carbon-monoxide poisoning inside the hotel.

The "Teflon Don" John Gotti is found guilty of murder - 1992
Apr 2, 2013, - 0 Comments

gotti

John Gotti

by Michael Thomas Barry

On April 2, 1992, a jury in New York finds mobster John Gotti, guilty on 13 counts, including murder and racketeering. In the wake of the conviction, the assistant director of the FBI’s New York office, James Fox, was quoted as saying, “The don is covered in Velcro, and every charge stuck.” On June 23 of that year, Gotti was sentenced to life in prison, dealing a significant blow to organized crime.

Pages