On February 8, 1924, the first execution by lethal gas in American
history is carried out in Carson City, Nevada. The executed man was Tong Lee, a member of a Chinese gang who was convicted of murdering a rival gang member. Lethal gas was adopted by Nevada as a more humane method of carrying out its death sentences, as opposed to the traditional techniques of execution by hanging, firing squad, or electrocution.
On February 7, 1968, Bernard Josephs returns to his home in Bromley, England, and finds his wife Claire dead under the bed. Her throat had been slashed and wounds to her hands appeared to be caused by a serrated knife. No weapon was found at the scene, and police had no other clues to go on.
On February 6, 1891, the Dalton Gang attempted their first train robbery near Alila, California. Bob, Emmett, and Grat Dalton were only three of Lewis and Adeleine Dalton's 10 sons. The brothers grew up on a succession of Oklahoma and Kansas homesteads during the post-Civil War period, when the region was awash in violence lingering from the war and notorious outlaw bands like the James-Younger Gang. Still, the majority of the Dalton boys became law-abiding citizens, and one of the older brothers, Frank, served as a deputy U.S. marshal.
On February 5, 1988, federal grand juries in Florida announce indictments of Panama military strongman General Manuel Noriega and 16 associates on drug smuggling and money laundering charges. Noriega, the de facto dictator of Panama since 1983, was charged with smuggling marijuana into the United States, laundering millions of U.S. dollars, and assisting Colombia's Medellin drug cartel in trafficking cocaine to America. The Panamanian leader denied the charges and threatened expulsion of the 10,000 U.S. service personnel and their families stationed around the Panama Canal.
On February 4, 1974, Patricia Hearst, the 19-year-old granddaughter of publishing icon William Randolph Hearst, is kidnapped from her Berkeley, California apartment. Stephen Weed, Hearst's fiancé, was beaten unconscious by the two abductors. Soon, a ransom demand came from the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), a radical activist group led by Donald DeFreeze.
On February 3, 1889, outlaw Belle Starr is killed when an unknown assailant fatally shoots the infamous "Bandit Queen" with two shotgun blasts from behind. As with the lives of other famous outlaws like Billy the Kid and Jesse James, fanciful accounts printed in newspapers and dime novels made Belle Starr's harsh and violent life appear far more romantic than it actually was.
On February 1, 1908, King Carlos I of Portugal and his eldest son, Luis Filipe, are assassinated by revolutionaries while riding in an open carriage through the streets of Lisbon. Carlos ascended to the Portuguese throne in 1889 after the death of his father, King Louis I.