Historical Crimes

Nov 14, 2011
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Marie Besnard In France, in the 17th Century, alchemists became wealthy grinding arsenic rock into a colorless and odorless powder and selling the powder to their countrymen who wanted to do away with a wealthy old parent, grandparent, uncle or aunt. There was even an “...
Mar 6, 2011
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Mata Hari To protect its deep infiltration into French intelligence during World War I, German intelligence conned the British and French into believing that Mata Hari was its superspy.   by Robert Walsh Dawn, Vincennes Barracks, October 15 1917. Brought from her...
Sep 23, 2010
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William Hare and William Burke William Burke and William Hare are the most famous grave robbers of 19th century Scotland, but none of the 16 fresh corpses they turned over for dissection in the anatomy classroom of Dr. Robert Knox at 10 Surgeon Square in Edinburg, came from...
Jun 25, 2010
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Dick Turpin Dick Turpin’s romanticized image as the famed “Highwayman” of English lore was built on the big lie about his one-night ride from York to London on his faithful steed, Black Bess. Nor was he in any way a latter-day Robin Hood. by Mark Pulham “Stand and deliver...
Oct 13, 2009
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January 15, 2006 Photo credit: New York World-Telegram and Sun archives, Library of Congress. Long before 9/11 became the date most identified with terrorism, New York's Wall Street District suffered through a massive bombing on September 16, 1920 that shocked the world....
Oct 13, 2009
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Victims attributed to Jack the Ripper (L-R): Mary Ann Nicholls, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catharine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly. Jack the Ripper lives in lore, an icon of butchery, the most infamous murderer in history. But what of his hapless victims? Who were they...
Oct 13, 2009
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Helen JewettHelen Jewett was famous in 1830s New York. Elegant and strikingly dressed, she was known to every pedestrian along Broadway. Young Richard P. Robinson, one of her regular clients at the brothel, became infamous by murdering her in bed and getting away with it. by...
Oct 13, 2009
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Ozark Mountains John Avy, the "Phantom of the Ozarks," was a "godfather" a century before his time. His criminal exploits in the 1830s – wholesale thievery, counterfeiting, murder-for-hire and the political corruption to make it all possible – marked the most lawless period...
Oct 13, 2009
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Big Harp Little Harp Sign The first known serial killers in American history were the Harp boys. During the years of the Revolutionary War, the two cousins went on an indiscriminate killing rampage, killing anyone who got in their way. They killed infants, including their...
Oct 9, 2009
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Lt. Charles S. Becker The shocking story of a corrupt New York City police lieutenant who was sent to the electric chair by a politically ambitious prosecuting attorney.  The story of Lt. Charles S. Becker is a compelling story of corruption and betrayal, ambition and...

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