Historical Crimes

Aug 6, 2012
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Charles Ponzi Charles Ponzi, a poor immigrant from Lugo, Italy, pulled off an amazing investment scam in 1920 that defrauded U.S. investors of $20 million ($240 million in today’s money).  In the process, he perfected the infamous “Ponzi Scheme” that was taken to new...
Jul 9, 2012
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John Wesley Hardin John Wesley Hardin was one of the most violent and heartless gunslingers of the Old West. He was also a narcissistic braggart, a pathological liar, and an unrepentant racist. Most of all he was a coldblooded killer.  by Robert Walsh Texas. The Lone...
Jun 4, 2012
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John "Babbacombe" Lee After three attempts to hang John Lee at Exeter Prison in Devon, England, the hanging was called off. Years later he was paroled.   by Robert Walsh  It is February 23, 1885. The place is the coach house of Exeter Prison, Devon...
May 28, 2012
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George Metesky For six years during the early 1950s, “The Mad Bomber” terrorized New Yorkers by planting 32 pipe bombs all over Manhattan. Bombs were left at Grand Central Station, Penn Station, The Port Authority, at subway stations, at Radio City Music Hall, at Macy’s, at...
May 14, 2012
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Franklin Benjamin Gowen Patrick H. Campbell makes the case that the death of industrialist Franklin Gowen was a murder, not a suicide. His long investigation into this case was detailed in his book Who Killed Franklin Gowen?  Copies of that book may be purchased by...
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....

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