On This Day in True Crime History – 23rd November

In our journey through True Crime History today, we spotlight November 23rd, a day steeped in intriguing occurrences. These moments encourage us to see every date as a potential story, rich with insights and waiting to be decoded.

1789: 🔒 Anne Davis, First Woman Hanged in Australia for Theft

On this day in 1789, Anne Davis met a grim fate as the first woman to be hanged in Australia.

Her tragic story began in 1786 England when she was indicted for stealing eight pairs of silk stockings valued at 8 shillings. Found guilty at the Old Bailey, she was sentenced to transportation for seven years and ultimately ended up at Sydney Cove.

In Sydney Cove, Anne Davis committed another theft, this time stealing various items from the house of convict Robert Sidaway and Mary Marshal. When she was caught with the stolen goods and found guilty, she attempted to avoid execution by claiming to be pregnant.

A jury of matrons was empanelled to examine her condition. An elderly matron of between sixty and seventy years old pronounced to the gentlemen of the court that the prisoner was as much with a child as herself, thus confirming the verdict would be carried out.

On November 23, 1789, Ann Davis faced the gallows, becoming the first woman in the colony to be executed. ⚖️🌏🔒

This Day in True Crime History

1859: 🤠 Birth of the Legendary Outlaw Billy the Kid

On this day in 1859, one of the Wild West’s most iconic figures, Billy the Kid, was born. Born as Henry McCarty but better known as Billy the Kid, he would go on to become an infamous outlaw and a central character in the history and folklore of the American West.

Billy the Kid’s life was marked by his involvement in the Lincoln County War, a violent conflict between rival factions in Lincoln County, New Mexico. During this time, he gained notoriety as a gunfighter and outlaw. His criminal activities, including cattle rustling and killings, made him a wanted man, and he became the focus of a manhunt.

The Kid’s elusive nature, daring escapes, and ability to evade capture only added to his legendary status. His life was cut short when he was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in 1881 at the age of 21. Despite his short life, Billy the Kid’s story has endured through countless books, films, and works of fiction, contributing to the enduring mystique of the American Wild West. 🌵🤠🔫

This Day in True Crime History

1910: ⚖️ Last Person Executed in Sweden with a Guillotine

On this day in 1910, Sweden witnessed a historic event that marked the end of a dark era in its judicial history.

Johan Alfred Ander, convicted of the brutal murder of Victoria Hellsten during a robbery, became the last person in Sweden to face execution by guillotine. His crime had rocked the nation, as he not only committed robbery but also beat the clerk, Victoria Hellsten, to death.

In his desperate bid to escape his financial woes, Ander had targeted a Currency Exchange Agency in Stockholm, making off with a substantial sum of money to the approximate value of $50000 in today’s value.

The aftermath of the robbery led to Ander’s arrest, as he exhibited peculiar behaviour at a nearby hotel, causing suspicions among staff members. They reported his unusual actions to the police, who soon realized that he was the prime suspect in the heinous crime. When they apprehended him, they discovered damning evidence in his hotel room, including the murder victim’s wallet and most of the stolen money, stained with blood. Additionally, an oblong package found on him contained the apparent murder weapon, a steelyard balance, further implicating him.

Throughout his trial, Ander adamantly denied his involvement in the crime, claiming that an unknown foreign man had given him the stolen money during his stay at a Stockholm hotel. Despite his protests of innocence, he was sentenced to death by all court instances. Ander chose not to appeal to the King for clemency, sealing his fate as Sweden’s last guillotine-executed criminal.

The execution occurred in Stockholm, where a guillotine imported from France was used. After his death, Ander’s body was donated to science, leading to a surprising discovery by doctors. They found evidence of tuberculosis, a disease that was almost always fatal at that time. ⚖️💀

This Day in True Crime History

1921: 🚫 Anti-Beer Bill Signed by President Warren G. Harding

On this day in 1921, President Warren G. Harding signed the Willis-Campbell Act, also known as the anti-beer bill, into law in the United States.

The anti-beer bill prohibited doctors from prescribing beer or liquor for medicinal purposes, addressing a practice that had been used by some physicians to provide patients with access to alcohol during the temperance movement.

This act was part of a broader shift towards stricter alcohol control and would eventually contribute to the temperance movement’s larger goal of nationwide prohibition, which was enacted in 1920 with the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. The Willis-Campbell Act represented an early step in the path toward Prohibition and the regulation of alcohol in the United States

The era of Prohibition, characterized by the ban on the production, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages, lasted until 1933. 🍺🚫🏥

This Day in True Crime History

1945: 🧟 Birth of a Serial Killer Dennis Nilsen

On this day in 1945, Dennis Nilsen, a Scottish-born serial killer was born. Nilsen’s case stands out in the annals of true crime, as there was little in his background to suggest the darkness that would later consume him.

Unlike some other notorious killers, Nilsen didn’t have a history of head injuries, childhood abuse, or cross-dressing tendencies. He appeared to be an unassuming and lonely individual. However, beneath this facade lurked a monstrous side.

Nilsen’s crimes involved the murder of multiple victims, with a chilling motive. He killed so that he could keep the corpses as companions.

The murders were first uncovered due to a seemingly routine plumbing issue. In February 1983, a local plumber responding to complaints at Cranley Gardens where Nilsen lived made a horrifying discovery. He found a drain clogged with a substance resembling flesh and small bones of unknown origin.

Further investigation revealed the pipe connected to Nilsen’s top-floor flat. These remains appeared to be human, and a pathologist confirmed their origin. Nilsen was confronted when he returned home from work. Nilsen would be found guilty of 6 counts of murder and 2 counts of attempted murder, lifting the lid on one of the darkest chapters in the UK’s criminal history.

This Day in True Crime History

1996: 😢 Tragic Hijacking Leads to Airliner’s Crash in the Sea

On this day in 1996, a devastating aviation tragedy occurred as Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961, a Boeing 767 aircraft, was hijacked during its journey from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Nairobi, Kenya.

The hijackers, seeking political asylum in Australia, took control of the plane and demanded to be flown to their desired destination.

As the flight crew cooperated with the hijackers and changed the aircraft’s course, they soon realized that there wasn’t enough fuel to reach Australia safely. Negotiations with the hijackers failed, leading to the aircraft running out of fuel over the Indian Ocean near the Comoros Islands.

The pilots, harassed by the hijackers, struggled to control the descent, with the plane tragically crashing into the sea. This heartbreaking incident resulted in the loss of 125 lives(including the hijackers), with 50 survivors amongst the passengers and crew including, Captain Leul Abate, who retired from flying in 2019. 🙏✈️😢

This Day in True Crime History

2009: 📰 A Dark Day in Philippine History

On this day in 2009, a horrifying and tragic event unfolded in the southern Philippines, forever etching its place in history as one of the worst attacks on journalists ever recorded. The incident shocked the world as 57 innocent citizens, including 34 journalists, were brutally killed.

The victims were en route to register voters in support of Esmael Mangudadatu’s candidacy for the upcoming gubernatorial elections in the province of Maguindanao. As they embarked on this important civic duty, their convoy was ambushed by gunmen.

In a merciless act of violence, these assailants took the lives of not only politicians and their supporters but also 34 journalists who were present to cover the event. 😢

This Day in True Crime History

And that wraps up our historical journey for November 23rd. Remember, the events of today might just become the stories of tomorrow. Don’t forget to reserve your spot on a Dark Stories True Crime Tour soon!

On This Day in True Crime History – 9th November

On this day in True Crime History, the 9th of November, we encounter a tapestry of executions in Australian history, plus the kidnapping and ransom ordeal of a beer magnate – Alfred Heineken!

1854: ⚖️ The First and Only Public Execution in Gallows Flat, Geelong

On this day in 1854, the enigmatic John Gunn, known as “Crankie Gunn” for his impolite and reckless reputation, met his grim fate.

His execution came as a result of the murder of Samuel Harris in Warrnambool with a cane sword.

This was the sole public execution ever conducted in Geelong, held at the infamous Gallows Flat and witnessed by a crowd of 2,000 people.

This Day in True Crime History

1888: ⚖️ Execution of George Syme for the Murder of his Mother-in-Law

On this day in 1888, George Syme was hanged for the shooting murder of his mother-in-law. In the peaceful town of Lilydale, Syme, a blacksmith, believed that his mother-in-law had meddled excessively in his life, and years of tension and excessive drinking had only worsened the situation.

Although some jurors had pleaded for mercy, Syme was found guilty of murder. A local reverend also appealed for clemency, pointing out the inopportune timing of an execution during Australia’s centenary celebration.

Separated from his wife, Syme penned a remorseful letter on the eve of his execution, seeking forgiveness for the family rift he had caused before facing his execution with stoic resolve. ⚖️🔒

This Day in True Crime History

1888: ☠️ Jack the Ripper Claims His Final Victim – Mary Kelly

On this day in 1888, the infamous serial killer known as Jack the Ripper claimed what is considered to be his fifth and final victim, Mary Kelly(also known as Marie Jeanette Kelly, Fair Emma, Ginger, Dark Mary and Black Mary).

In a departure from his previous street killings, Mary Kelly met her gruesome end within the confines of her lodgings. Like the others, she was a prostitute and struggling with alcoholism.

The extent of mutilation inflicted upon Mary Kelly was so extreme that her physical appearance before the attack remains a mystery. To this day, the identity of her merciless killer remains unknown, shrouded in the shadows of one of history’s most infamous unsolved mysteries. ☠️🕵️‍♂️🔪

This Day in True Crime History

1942: 🩸 Melbourne’s Brownout Strangler – Eddie Leonski – Executed

On this day in 1942, Eddie Leonski, the perpetrator of the Brownout Murders in Melbourne, Australia, was executed for his gruesome crimes.

The Brownout Murders sent shockwaves through Melbourne during the tumultuous period of World War II. These gruesome killings were perpetrated by Eddie Leonski, an American soldier stationed in Melbourne. The chilling series of murders primarily targeted women. They occurred under the cover of darkness, coinciding with the wartime practice of “brownouts,” which involved dimming streetlights to reduce the risk of enemy bombings.

Leonski’s choice of victims and the horrific nature of his crimes created an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty in the city. As mounting evidence pointed to his guilt, he was apprehended and brought to trial. Ultimately, Eddie Leonski was convicted and sentenced to death. ⚖️🌃🔪

This Day in True Crime History

1965: 🔥 Protestor Roger Allen LaPorte’s Self-Immolates in front of the United Nations

On this day in 1965, Roger Allen LaPorte, a 22-year-old former seminarian and member of the Catholic Worker Movement, carried out a harrowing act of protest against the Vietnam War.

He immolated himself at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, using self-immolation as a desperate and shocking gesture to draw attention to the conflict and the human toll it was taking.

LaPorte would survive for one more day. Despite his burns, he remained conscious and able to speak. When asked why he had burned himself, he replied, “I’m a Catholic Worker. I’m against war, all wars. I did this as a religious action.”

The Vietnam War would end 10 years later in 1975. 🕊️🔥🌐

This Day in True Crime History

1983: 🍺 Tragedy Strikes with Beer Magnate Alfred Heineken’s Kidnapping

On November 9, 1983, Alfred Heineken, the renowned beer brewer from Amsterdam, found himself at the centre of a meticulously planned and audacious kidnapping that would captivate the world.

Heineken, a member of the prominent Heineken brewing family, was abducted along with his chauffeur, Ab Doderer, and held hostage for a staggering ransom of more than $10 million.

Remarkably, several attempts to kidnap Freddy Heineken and his driver Ab Doderer at Heineken’s home in Noordwijk had failed earlier when Heineken and Doderer did not show up, illustrating the kidnappers’ determination.

The kidnappers, who had been meticulously preparing for this operation for two long years, executed their plot with chilling precision. This audacious crime sent shockwaves through the Netherlands and beyond as authorities and the Heineken family raced against time to secure the safe release of the two men.

After enduring three harrowing weeks in captivity, Heineken and Doderer were finally freed, marking the end of a high-profile kidnapping that had gripped the world’s attention.

The dramatic resolution of this ordeal would later become the subject of books, films, and documentaries, forever etching the name Heineken into the annals of beer and criminal history. 🚗💰🕵️‍♂️

This Day in True Crime History

1998: 💰 Record $1.3 Billion Settlement in NASDAQ Price Fixing Case

On this day in 1998, a significant legal milestone was reached as 37 brokerage houses were ordered to pay a historic $1.3 billion civil settlement. This ruling marked the largest civil settlement in U.S. history up to that point. The settlement responded to allegations of price fixing in the NASDAQ stock market.

The case centred around claims that brokerage firms had engaged in unfair and anti-competitive practices that harmed NASDAQ investors. As a result of this landmark settlement, these brokerage houses were required to compensate NASDAQ investors for the damages caused by the alleged price fixing.

The true crime here is that this incident serves as another example of white-collar finance industry law-breaking, and the consequent destruction of people’s lives, being treated as a civil matter instead of a criminal matter. No one went to jail. 💰⚖️📈

This Day in True Crime History

That’s all for the 9th November in history. May all your crimes be considered white-collar civil matters that don’t require prison time. May you be guilty of nothing more serious than the kidnapping of many more beers in the years to come.

In the meantime, consider joining us on a Dark Stories True Crime Tour soon!