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Leopold and Loeb murder case 1924 One of the most despicable murder cases in the twentieth century was that of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, residents of suburban Chicago, who murdered 14-year-old Bobby Franks in 1924. Their motive: They wanted to kill for the thrill of it and commit the perfect crime. Both Leopold, age 20, and Loeb, age 19, were exceptionally brilliant students who considered themselves intellectual supermen. On May 21, 1924 they lured Bobby Franks (a distant relative of Loeb) into a rented car. Franks was bludgeoned with a chisel and suffocated with a sock. His body was dumped into a culvert in Gary, Indiana and doused with acid to make identification difficult. The culprits mailed a typed ransom note to Franks' parents indicating that Bobby had been kidnapped. However, Franks' body was found before any ransom could be paid. Also found near the body were a pair of eye glasses that fell from Loeb's pocket during the crime. The glasses were almost unique--only three pairs had been made by a certain optician--and they led the police to Loeb. The two young men, who were reputedly homosexual lovers, were questioned and their alibis discredited. Each eventually confessed his involvement in the crime, but insisted the other was responsible for the actual murder. They were brought to trial for murder and kidnapping. Their lawyer, the famous Clarence Darrow, entered pleas of guilty in order to avoid a jury deciding the twosome's fate--which likely would have been a death sentence. Instead Darrow argued with a judge to spare his guilty clients from the death penalty. Darrow gave a rousing 12-hour oration that spared his clients' lives. Instead Leopold and Loeb were each given life sentences plus 99 years. Loeb was murdered in prison in 1936. Leopold was pardoned in 1958 and died of a heart attack in 1971. Bobby Franks, often forgotten by history, remains 14 years old forever.
Tags: Leopold  Loeb  Franks 
Added: 16th November 2007
Views: 2583
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Posted By: Lava1964
Was Dorothy Kilgallen Murdered Here's one for you conspiracy theorists to ponder: Was newspaper columnist Dorothy Kilgallen murdered? Famous for her role as a permanent panelist on the CBS show What's My Line? and for her Voice of Broadway entertainment/gossip column in the New York Journal American, Kilgallen often covered major news events--especially murder trials. She reported on the Sam Sheppard murder trial and the Lindbergh kidnapping case, among others. She also expressed serious doubts about the Warren Commission's investigation of JFK's murder. Kilgallen interviewed Jack Ruby in prison shortly before her death on November 8, 1965. Just hours after she had appeared live and quite chipper on What's My Line? from 10:30 to 11 p.m., the 52-year-old Kilgallen was found dead in her Manhattan home, fully clothed, sitting up on a bed in which she did not sleep still wearing the makeup and false eyelashes she had on the previous night. (Dorothy always removed her false eyelashes before retiring for the night.) A book she had finished reading months ago was on her bed. She needed glasses to read but her spectacles were nowhere near her. Although alcohol and barbiturates were found in her blood stream and a mysterious pink liquid in her stomach, Kilgallen's official cause of death was listed as undetermined. At least three different people in the household claim to have been the first to discover Dorothy dead on the bed: Her secretary, her hairdresser, and her maid. Reports of the time when Dorothy's body was discovered vary wildly--anywhere from about 10:30 a.m. to about 3 p.m. The coroner who did the paperwork was responsible for autopsies in Brooklyn--not Manhattan. Kilgallen's notes from her interview with Jack Ruby were never found--leading conspiracy theorists to wonder whether she had been silenced.
Tags: Dorothy  Kilgallen  death  conspiracy 
Added: 17th November 2007
Views: 2726
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Posted By: Lava1964
Lindbergh Kidnapping Case 1932 One of the most famous criminal cases in American history was the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh, Jr., son of the famous aviator. On March 1, 1932, sometime between 8 and 10 p.m., the toddler was snatched from his upstairs nursery at the Lindberghs' still-under-construction retreat home near Hopewell, New Jersey. A note in badly written English was found on the window sill. It demanded $50,000 in ransom for the safe return of the child. A crude homemade ladder was also found leaning against the house. There were few other clues. The case took an odd turn when a 72-year-old good samaritan named John F. Condon took out a newspaper ad volunteering to act as an intermediary to negotiate with the kidnappers. His offer was accepted but neither Lindbergh nor Condon immediately informed the police for fear of putting the child's life in danger. Eventually the money--much of it in rare gold certificates--was paid to a man in a cemetery but the child was not returned. Shortly afterward a child's body was found in a wooded area not far from the Lindbergh home. It was badly decomposed and was identified as the Lindbergh child based on a slight deformity on its right foot. The child had died from a severe skull fracture. Eventually Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a German immigrant with a criminal record in his homeland, was tracked down for spending one of the gold certificates at a gas station. About $15,000 in ransom money was found in his house. Planks from his garage matched the wood used to make the crude ladder. Hauptmann proclaimed his innocence, claiming he was only holding the money for a man named Isador Fisch who had returned to Germany and died there. Hauptmann said he only began spending the money after learning of Fisch's death. Hauptmann was tried, found guilty, and executed in 1936. There is little doubt that Hauptmann was somehow connected with the kidnapping, but there are lingering suspicions that he was assisted by someone who knew the routine and the goings-on at the Lindbergh household. The Lindberghs were not even supposed to be at their Hopewell home on the night of the kidnapping. The kidnapper(s) also had to know precisely when and where the boy would be left unattended.
Tags: Lindbergh  kidnapping 
Added: 14th December 2007
Views: 1584
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Posted By: Lava1964
Rock n Rollen Rollen Frederick Stewart, also known as Rock 'n' Rollen and Rainbow Man, was a fixture in American sports culture for about a decade. He became famous for wearing a rainbow-colored afro-style wig and, later, for holding up signs reading "John 3:16" at sporting events around the United States and overseas in the 1970s and 1980s. Stewart, a born-again Christian, was determined to "get the message out" via television. He figured televised sporting events provided the best opportunities. Stewart would strategically position himself for key shots of plays or athletes. Stewart's first major appearance was at the 1977 NBA Finals where he seemed to constantly be on camera. By the time of the 1979 MLB All-Star Game, broadcasters were actively trying to avoid showing him. Undaunted, Stewart appeared behind NFL goalposts, near Olympic medal stands, and even at the Augusta National Golf Club. At the 1982 Indianapolis 500, he was behind the pits of race winner Gordon Johncock. Stewart's fame led to a Budweiser beer commercial and a Saturday Night Live parody sketch. Stewart was briefly jailed by Moscow police at the 1980 Summer Olympics for wearing a red, white, and blue afro wig. By the mid-1980s Stewart's began exhibiting irrational behavior. In the late 1980s, he began a string of stink bomb attacks. His targets included the Orange County Register, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, and a Christian bookstore. The stated intent of an attempted attack at the American Music Awards was to show the public that "God thinks this stinks." Stewart is currently serving three consecutive life sentences for a orchestrating a hostage-taking and attempted kidnapping at a California hotel in 1992. Reportedly, Stewart believed that the Rapture was due to arrive in six days. During the standoff, he threatened to shoot at airplanes taking off from nearby Los Angeles International Airport and covered his hotel room windows with "John 3:16" placards. His next parole hearing is in 2017.
Tags: Rollen  Stewart  Rock  n  Rollen 
Added: 17th February 2014
Views: 2548
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Posted By: Lava1964
Marion Parker Murder - 1927 Fair warning: This story is unsettling. One of the most brutal crimes in American history was the kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old schoolgirl Marion Parker. On Thursday, December 15, 1927 a young man appeared at Mount Vernon Junior High School in Los Angeles claiming to be an associate of Perry Parker, a prominent local banker. The man coolly told the school's registrar that the banker had been seriously injured in a car accident and had requested to speak to his daughter. There were actually twin Parker sisters enrolled in the school--Marion and Marjorie. By chance the registrar fetched Marion who rode off with the man. He was later identified as 19-year-old William Edward Hickman. The Parker family became alarmed when Marion did not return from school. Shortly thereafter they received a ransom note and phone calls from the kidnapper asking for $1500 in gold certificates in exchange for Marion's safe return. One attempt by Marion's father to pay the ransom was thwarted when Hickman spotted police detectives lurking nearby. Another meeting time was secretly arranged by Hickman and Marion's father on December 17 where the money was given to a man in a parked car. Perry Parker saw his daughter wrapped in a blanket slumped in the back seat with her eyes open. At gunpoint the ransom was paid and the driver pushed the girl onto the street and drove away. Marion's father was horrified to find that his daughter was dead. Her eyelids had been sewn open to give the illusion that she was alive. Worse, her head had been severed, her arms and legs had been cut off and she had been disemboweled. (The missing limbs were found the next day in a city park.) The ghastly crime spawned the largest manhunt in southern California's history, one that included 20,000 volunteers. A reward of $100,000 was offered for the capture of the culprit. Several clues, including the discovery of the stolen car used on the night of the money exchange, led to Hickman being named as the key suspect. He was eventually arrested in Echo, OR after spending some of the gold certificates there. Hickman had been a former employee at Parker's bank and had been fired for embezzlement in a forged check scam. He served prison time for the crime. The fingerprint records from the embezzlement charge were used to match those found on the stolen car from the kidnapping. Hickman willingly told police in graphic detail that he had decided to kill Marion because she had discovered his name. She had only been dead about 12 hours before the money exchange. Hickman said he had choked her with a towel to make her unconscious and then began his dismemberment while she was still alive. Hickman--who said he intended to use the $1500 to pay his tuition to attend a bible college!--hoped to avoid the gallows by claiming insanity. He was one of the first defendants in California to try that ploy after it had become an acceptable legal defense. It failed when a fellow prisoner claimed Hickman had asked his advice on how to appear crazy. A jury rejected Hickman's insanity defense in February 1928. Hickman was executed at San Quentin Prison eight months later on October 19. His hand-written confession is on display at the Los Angeles Police Museum. Marion Parker's ghost is said to occupy her former house.
Tags: Marion  Parker  murder  kidnapping  1927 
Added: 13th April 2015
Views: 1210
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Posted By: Lava1964
Time Cover - Lindbergh Baby Charles A. Lindbergh Jr., who was famously abducted on March 1, 1932, was on the cover of Time magazine two months later on May 2. Ten days later the decomposed remains of the toddler were discovered in a woods not far from the house where he was taken.
Tags: Lindbergh  baby  kidnapping  Time  magazine 
Added: 3rd September 2009
Views: 1120
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Posted By: Lava1964
The Kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr Frank Sinatra Jr. was kidnapped from the Harrah's Lodge at South Lake Tahoe December 8, 1963. Frank Sinatra Sr. paid a $240,000 ransom for the return of his son. With little to go on the FBI made three arrests. The denied it was a publicity stunt for Sinatra.
Tags: The  Kidnapping  of  Frank  Sinatra  Jr 
Added: 9th December 2014
Views: 824
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Posted By: Cathy
Florence Sally Horner Abduction Case Florence Horner was the victim of a little-known case of child abduction from the 1940s. Had it happened today, it would surely be a media sensation. In 1948, as part of a club initiation, 11-year-old Florence Sally Horner stole a five-cent notebook from a dime store in Camden, NJ. Frank La Salle, a 50-year-old mechanic, witnessed the theft and saw a perverted opportunity: He told Horner he was an FBI agent, and threatened to send her to 'a place for girls like you' if she didn't co-operate with him. La Salle abducted Horner and spent 21 months travelling with her through different American states all the while using Horner as his sex slave. LaSalle posed as Horner's father on their travels, even going as far as enrolling Horner in local schools. While attending school in Dallas, she confided her situation to a classmate. Later she escaped from La Salle and phoned her sister at home, asking her to 'send the FBI.' La Salle was arrested at a California motor court but claimed he was Florence's father. However, an FBI investigation found that Horner's true father had died seven years previously. La Salle was sentenced under the Mann Act to 30 to 35 years in prison. Literary scholars believe the Horner case at least partially inspired Vladimir Nabokov's famous novel Lolita. In fact, there is a reference to the Horner case in Part II, Chapter 33 of the novel. Nabokov also uses the adjective 'Florentine' to describe Lolita--likely an allusion to Florence Horner. Like the fictional Lolita, Florence Horner died young: She was killed in a car accident near Woodbine, New York, on August 18, 1952. Two days later the Associated Press reported, 'Florence Sally Horner, a 15-year-old Camden, N.J., girl who spent 21 months as the captive of a middle-aged morals offender a few years ago, was killed in a highway accident when the car in which she was riding plowed into the rear of a parked truck.'
Tags: kidnapping  Lolita  Florence  Sally  Horner 
Added: 11th May 2011
Views: 4154
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Posted By: Lava1964
1927 Snyder-Judd Murder Case It is barely known today, but in 1927 the public was fascinated with the Snyder-Judd murder case. It was unsurpassed in media coverage until the 1936 trial of Bruno Hauptmann for the Lindbergh baby's kidnapping and murder. In 1925, Ruth Snyder, an unhappy housewife from Queens Village in New York City, began an affair with Henry Judd Gray, a married corset salesman. Stuck in a loveless marriage, Snyder began to plan the murder of her husband, Albert, enlisting the help of her new lover, though he appeared to be very reluctant. (Ruth's distaste for her husband apparently began two days after their marriage when he insisted on hanging a picture of his late fiancée, Jessie Guishard, on the wall of their first home. He also named his boat after her!) Ruth Snyder persuaded her husband to purchase an insurance policy that paid double indemnity if an unexpected act of violence killed him. According to Judd Gray, Ruth had earlier made at least seven attempts to kill her husband, all of which he survived. The culprits were not exactly criminal masterminds. On March 20, 1927, the couple garrotted Albert Snyder in his bed and stuffed his nose full of chloroform-soaked rags, then clumsily staged his death as part of a burglary. Detectives at the scene noted that the burglar left little evidence of breaking into the house. The behavior of Mrs. Snyder was wholly inconsistent with her story of a terrorized wife witnessing her husband being killed. Police quickly found the property Ruth claimed had been stolen hidden under the mattress of her own bed. A breakthrough came when a detective found a paper with the letters "J.G." on it. (It was a memento Albert Snyder had kept from former love Jessie Guishard.) They asked Ruth about it. Flustered, Ruth's mind immediately turned to her own lover, whose initials were also "J.G.," and asked the detective what "Judd Gray had to do with this." It was the first time Gray had been mentioned, and the police were instantly suspicious. Gray was located in Syracuse, NY. He claimed he had been there all night, but eventually it turned out a friend of his had created an alibi, setting up Gray's room at a hotel. Gray proved far more forthcoming than Ruth about his actions. He was arrested because his railroad ticket stub was found in his hotel wastebasket! Furthermore, Gray had escaped the murder scene by taking a taxi from Manhattan to Long Island. The cabbie easily remembered Gray because he had only tipped the driver a nickel on a $3.50 fare. He was charged with first-degree murder along with Ruth Snyder. Snyder and Gray blamed each other for plotting the murder. Both were convicted and died in Sing Sing prison's electric chair on January 12, 1928. Snyder was the first woman executed in New York state since 1899. This photo, illegally snapped by a New York Daily News photographer with a hidden camera, was taken at the moment when Snyder was jolted by the electric charge. The Snyder-Judd murder case inspired at least one play and two Hollywood movies: The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity.
Tags: murder  Snyder-Judd  case 
Added: 26th November 2013
Views: 1663
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Posted By: Lava1964
Charley Ross Abduction Case - 1874 The first prominent child abduction in American history was the Charley Ross case. On July 1, 1874, four-year-old Charley Ross was playing with his five-year-old brother Walter in the front yard of their home in the affluent Germantown section of Philadelphia. Two men pulled up in a horse-drawn carriage. They offered the two brothers candy and fireworks if they would take a ride into town with them. The naive youngsters agreed. After a short ride, the carriage stopped in front of a store. Walter was given a quarter to buy fireworks. When he came out of the store, the carriage was gone. A sobbing Walter was found by a policeman. Walter explained what had happened. He described one of the men as having "a monkey nose." Not long afterward, ransom demands were mailed to Charley's father, Christian Ross, from various post offices in and around Philadelphia. The notes demanded the enormous sum of $20,000 for the boy's safe return. Christian was heavily in debt following the 1873 stock market crash and could not afford to play the ransom. The Pinkerton Detective Agency circulated thousands of handbills with an artist's drawing of Charley's face which made the case national news. Attempts to meet with the kidnappers on several occasions failed when the abductors never showed up. There were no significant developments in the case until December 1874 when two career criminals were shot while attempting to burglarize a judge's home in Long Island. One intruder, Bill Mosher, died instantly. The other, Joe Douglas, was mortally wounded. Before he died, Douglas confessed that he and Mosher had kidnapped Charley Ross in July. Contradictory statements were given as to whether the boy was still alive. Walter was taken to Long Island to identify the dead twosome. He agreed they were the men who had taken him for the carriage ride in July. Mosher was easily identified because of his deformed "monkey nose." The Ross family resolutely continued to pursue leads for Charley well into the 1930s. Hundreds of would-be Charley Rosses were investigated. None could be proven as legitimate. It is believed the admonition, "Don't take candy from strangers" was inspired by the Charley Ross kidnapping.
Tags: Charley  Ross  kidnapping  child  abduction 
Added: 17th July 2014
Views: 1638
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Posted By: Lava1964

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