On this day in True Crime History, we revisit October 26th, a date filled with interesting times. Reflecting on these moments in time reminds us that each date holds a story waiting to be explored and understood.
1881: 🌵 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral 🔥
On this day in 1881, one of the most famous🔫 shootouts in history unfolded at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. Three Earp brothers – Wyatt, Morgan, and Virgil – along with the infamous Doc Holliday, faced off against the Clanton and McLaury families in one of the most legendary events of the American Wild West.
This intense confrontation, known as the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, was a pivotal moment in the ongoing feud between these two groups, resulting in the deaths of Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury, and Billy Clanton from the Clanton-McLaury faction. At the same time, Virgil and Morgan Earp were wounded but survived. 🔫💥🤠🏜️
1944: 🗳️ Harry S. Truman Denies Membership in Ku Klux Klan
On this day in 1944, Harry S. Truman, while campaigning as the Democratic vice presidential nominee, made a significant statement to reports to address serious rumours, allegations and innuendos. He emphatically declared, “I never was, am not, and never will be a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Truman would later serve as the 33rd President of the United States. 🗳️
1964: 🔪 Perth Serial Killer Eric Edgar Cooke Executed in Fremantle Prison
On this day in 1964, 🔪 Eric Edgar Cooke, one of Australia’s most infamous serial killers, faced execution. Cooke confessed to a string of crimes, including eight murders and fourteen attempted murders, showcasing an exceptional memory for the details of his offences. He even confessed to more than 250 burglaries, providing precise accounts of what he had stolen, including the coins’ number and denominations. 💼💰
Cooke was ultimately convicted on a charge of murdering John Lindsay Sturkey, one of the victims in his string of crimes, which included five Australia Day shooting victims. His confessions not only shed light on the gruesome nature of his crimes but also appeared to exculpate two men who had already been tried separately, convicted, and imprisoned for murder.
Despite initially pleading not guilty on the grounds of insanity during his trial, he was convicted, sentenced to death by hanging, and subsequently executed in Fremantle Prison, Western Australia. ⚖️🔒
1979: 🌍 South Korean President Park Chung-hee Assassinated 🔫
On this day in 1979, shockwaves went through the South Korean nation after a dinner gathering at the Blue House (South Korea’s Whitehouse). South Korean President Park Chung-hee was assassinated by Kim Jae-kyu, who had served as the head of the country’s Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA).
The assassination was in response to growing discontent, as President Park’s long-standing authoritarian rule had sparked widespread protests and allegations of corruption. Kim Jae-kyu’s was executed for this crime in 1982 along with several others involved in the assassination. 🍽️👥
1991: 🔪 Serial Killer Extradited – Discovery of Hostage Bunker
On this day in 1991, serial killer Charles Chitat Ng, was extradited to the United States. 📅 This case is particularly infamous as it involves one of the few instances where shoplifting 🛒 played a significant role in the downfall of both perpetrators.
Charles’s partner in crime, Leonard Lake, was arrested for shoplifting 🛒, which eventually led to his suicide. This event triggered a chain of events that uncovered the shocking truth: the existence of a ‘hostage bunker’ 🏢 in Calaveras County, California.
Inside the bunker, investigators found evidence of brutal murders 🔪 and torture, including victims of all ages. The discovery of this bunker and its gruesome contents sent shockwaves through law enforcement 🚔 and the public. 🕵️♂️
Following Lake’s suicide and the revelation of the bunker, Charles fled to Canada but, in an ironic twist, was apprehended after resisting arrest during a shoplifting incident 🏪.
2002: 🕊️ Russian Spetsnaz Ends Moscow Theatre Hostage Crisis
On this day in 2002, 🕊️ Russian Spetsnaz special forces stormed the Moscow Theatre, ending a harrowing hostage crisis that had gripped the city for three days. The crisis began when Chechen terrorists 🏴☠️🔫 had seized the theatre, taking both the audience and performers hostage.
The dramatic and high-stakes rescue operation resulted in a tragic loss of life. While the Spetsnaz successfully neutralized the terrorists, approximately 150 hostages 🙍♂️🙍♀️ lost their lives during the assault, mainly due to the effects of a narcotic gas ☠️ used by the Russian forces. Fifty of the terrorists were also killed during the operation.
That’s all for October 26th in history. What will happen to you on this day, Oct 26th, 2023? Hopefully, you might book in to go on a Dark Stories True Crime Tour soon!