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Murder

1859 – Billy the Kid, American criminal, born (alternative date)

On This Day – 23 November 1859

Henry McCarty (17 Sept 1859 – 14 July 1881), better known under the pseudonyms of Billy the Kid and William H. Bonney, was a 19th-century gunman who participated in the Lincoln County War and became a frontier outlaw in the American Old West. Continue reading “1859 – Billy the Kid, American criminal, born (alternative date)”

AD 126 The Roman Emperor Pertinax was born

On this day – 1 August

Pertinax the 19th emperor of the Roman Empire was born. Pertinax was the son of a freed slave yet managed to rise to the highest available position in the Empire, albeit for a very short time.

Continue reading “AD 126 The Roman Emperor Pertinax was born”

1943 – The Rayleigh bath chair murder

23 July

The Rayleigh bath chair murder occurred in Rayleigh, Essex, England in 1943 when  Archibald Brown, aged 47 was blown apart by an explosion. Continue reading “1943 – The Rayleigh bath chair murder”

1934 – The Night of the Long Knives

30 June

Adolf Hitler’s violent purge of his political rivals in Germany, begins on this day in 1934. Continue reading “1934 – The Night of the Long Knives”

1893 – Lizzie Borden is acquitted of murder

20 June

Lizzie Andrew Borden (19 July, 1860 – 1 June, 1927) was an American woman who gained infamy for being tried and acquitted for the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Continue reading “1893 – Lizzie Borden is acquitted of murder”

1915 – The Armenian Genocide begins

24 April

The Armenian Genocide was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects inside their historic homeland, which lies within the present-day Republic of Turkey. Continue reading “1915 – The Armenian Genocide begins”

1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. assassination

4 April

Martin Luther King, Jr. (15 January 1929 – 4 April 1968) was assassinated on this day in 1968, he was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. Continue reading “1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. assassination”

1968 – James Earl Ray assassinates Martin Luther King Jr.

4 April

James Earl Ray (10 March 1928 – 23 April 1998) was an American convicted of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Ray was convicted on his 41st birthday after entering a guilty plea to forgo a jury trial. Had he been found guilty by jury trial, he would have been eligible for the death penalty. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He later recanted his confession and tried unsuccessfully to gain access to a retrial. In 1998, Ray died in prison of complications due to chronic hepatitis C infection. Continue reading “1968 – James Earl Ray assassinates Martin Luther King Jr.”

1882 – Jesse James is killed by Robert Ford

3 April

Jesse Woodson James (5 September 1847 – 3 April 1882) was an American outlaw, guerilla, gang leader, bank robber, train robber, and murderer from the state of Missouri and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang. Jesse and his brother Frank James were Confederate guerrillas or Bushwhackers during the Civil War. They were accused of participating in atrocities committed against Union soldiers, including the Centralia Massacre. After the war, as members of various gangs of outlaws, they robbed banks, stagecoaches, and trains. The James brothers were most active as members of their own gang from about 1866 until 1876, when as a result of their attempted robbery of a bank in Northfield, Minnesota, several members of the gang were captured or killed. They continued in crime for several years, recruiting new members, but were under increasing pressure from law enforcement. Continue reading “1882 – Jesse James is killed by Robert Ford”

1985 – Serial killer Richard Ramirez, commits his first two murders

17 March

Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez, known as Richard Ramirez (29 February 1960 – 7 June 2013), was an American serial killer, rapist, and burglar. His highly publicized home invasion crime spree terrorized the residents of the greater Los Angeles area, and later the residents of the San Francisco area, from June 1984 until August 1985. Continue reading “1985 – Serial killer Richard Ramirez, commits his first two murders”

1968 – Vietnam War: The My Lai Massacre

16 March

The Mỹ Lai Massacre was the Vietnam War mass killing of between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam on this day in 1968. It was committed by U.S. Army soldiers from the Company C of the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade of the 23rd (Americal) Infantry Division. Victims included men, women, children, and infants. Some of the women were gang-raped and their bodies mutilated. Twenty-six soldiers were charged with criminal offences, but only Lieutenant William Calley Jr., a platoon leader in C Company, was convicted. Found guilty of killing 22 villagers, he was originally given a life sentence, but served only three and a half years under house arrest. Continue reading “1968 – Vietnam War: The My Lai Massacre”

1757 – Admiral Sir John Byng is executed by firing squad

14 March

Admiral John Byng (baptised 29 October 1704 – 14 March 1757) was a Royal Navy officer. After joining the navy at the age of thirteen, he participated at the Battle of Cape Passaro in 1718. Over the next thirty years he built up a reputation as a solid naval officer and received promotion to vice-admiral in 1747. Byng is best known for failing to relieve a besieged British garrison during the Battle of Minorca at the beginning of the Seven Years’ War. Byng had sailed for Minorca at the head of a hastily assembled fleet of vessels, some of which were in poor condition. He fought an inconclusive engagement with a French fleet off the Minorca coast, and then elected to return to Gibraltar to repair his ships. Byng was subsequently court-martialled and found guilty of failing to “do his utmost” to prevent Minorca falling to the French. He was sentenced to death and shot by firing squad on 14 March 1757. Continue reading “1757 – Admiral Sir John Byng is executed by firing squad”

1782 – Gnadenhutten massacre

8 March

The Gnadenhutten massacre, was the killing of 96 Christian Lenape (Delaware) by colonial American militia from Pennsylvania on this day in 1782 at the Moravian missionary village of Gnadenhutten, Ohio during the American Revolutionary War. Continue reading “1782 – Gnadenhutten massacre”

1975 – The Zapruder film is shown to a national TV audience

6 March

The Zapruder film is a silent, colour motion picture sequence shot by private citizen Abraham Zapruder with a home-movie camera, as U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas on 22 November, 1963, thereby unexpectedly capturing the President’s assassination.

On this day in 1975, the ABC late-night television show Good Night America (hosted by Geraldo Rivera), assassination researchers Robert Groden and Dick Gregory presented the first-ever network television showing of the Zapruder home movie. The public’s response and outrage to that television showing quickly led to the forming of the Hart-Schweiker investigation, contributed to the Church Committee Investigation on Intelligence Activities by the United States, and resulted in the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation. Continue reading “1975 – The Zapruder film is shown to a national TV audience”

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