1949 – Howard Arthur Allen – was a known serial killer from Indianapolis, Indiana. His criminal record includes convictions for murder, voluntary manslaughter, robbery with serious bodily injury, and theft. He is also known to have committed assault, burglary, and arson. Allen was one of eight children raised by a single mother living in poverty. He was known to steal food for his family. Despite being enrolled in special education classes for mentally disabled children, he was only reading at a second-grade level when he left elementary school. In August 1974, Allen was convicted of beating 85-year-old Opal Cooper during a burglary. He was sentenced to 2-21 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter and was paroled in 1985. On June 11, 1988, Allen was sentenced to death for the murder of Ernestine Griffin. In addition, he received a concurrent 50-year sentence for robbery with serious bodily injury and a consecutive 38-year sentence for theft. After several unsuccessful attempts to prove that he was mentally disabled and thus ineligible for execution, one of Allen’s appeals was successful. He was resentenced to 60 years in prison for the murder. The Indiana Department of Correction had listed his release date as April 23, 2035. Allen passed away on June 5, 2020, at the age of 71.
1959 – Charlie Mason Alston Jr – was sentenced to death on November 3, 1992, for the murder of Pamela Renee Perry. Perry was found dead by her mother on December 1, 1990, with severe facial injuries. The autopsy revealed blunt-force injuries likely caused by a hammer found at the scene, but the cause of death was asphyxiation. Alston and Perry had been in a relationship, but problems had arisen, with Alston making threatening calls to Perry. After Perry’s death, a jar containing over $100 in quarters from Perry’s waitressing tips was found empty. Alston was seen buying items with quarters and purchasing crack cocaine with change around the time of the murder. Previously, Alston had been found guilty of assaulting Perry and was on probation at the time of her death.
1964 – Robert Anthony Carter – He grew up in extreme poverty and neglect, and was one of six children. His childhood was marked by brutal abuse from his mother and stepfather, who whipped and beat their children with wooden switches, belts, and electric cords. Carter dropped out of high school and, at the age of 17, committed a crime that would change his life forever. He was convicted for the shooting death of Sylvia Reyes, an 18-year-old manager of a Conoco service station in Houston, during a robbery. Reyes was shot once in the chest with a .38 caliber revolver as she attempted to stop Carter from taking money from the cash register. Reyes died at a Houston hospital about an hour after the incident. Carter spent nearly half of his life on death row for this crime. He was executed by lethal injection in Texas on May 18, 1998. In his last statement, Carter expressed love for all and hoped that the victim’s family would forgive him. He maintained that he didn’t mean to hurt or kill anyone. Despite the severity of his actions, Carter’s case raised concerns about the application of the death penalty, particularly for juvenile offenders and individuals with mental health issues. His case continues to be a point of discussion in debates about criminal justice reform and the death penalty.
1964 – Mir Aimai Kansi – He entered the United States in 1991, bringing with him a substantial sum of cash he had inherited upon the death of his father in 1989. He traveled on forged papers he had purchased in Karachi, Pakistan, altering his last name to “Kansi”, and later bought a fake green card in Miami. He stayed with a Kashmiri friend, Zahed Mir, in his Reston, Virginia, apartment, and invested in a courier firm for which he also worked as a driver. On January 25, 1993, Kansi stopped a borrowed brown Datsun station wagon behind a number of vehicles waiting at a red traffic light on the eastbound side of Route 123, Fairfax County. The vehicles were waiting to make a left turn into the main entrance of CIA headquarters. Kansi emerged from his vehicle with an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle and proceeded to move among the lines of vehicles, firing a total of 10 rounds into them, killing Lansing H. Bennett, 66, and Frank Darling, 28. Three others were left with gunshot wounds. Kansi fled the country and was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, sparking a four-year international law enforcement search. He was captured by a joint FBI –CIA/ Inter-Services Intelligence task force in Pakistan in 1997 and rendered to the United States to stand trial. He denied shooting the victims but was found guilty of capital and first-degree murder, and was executed by lethal injection in 2002.
1975 – Amber Frey – She is an author and was a key figure in a high-profile murder case. Amber came into the limelight when she worked with the police to arrest her then-boyfriend, Scott Peterson, who was convicted of the murder of his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson. Amber and Scott had a short-term relationship that started in November 2002. Scott had told Amber that he was a widower, which was later found to be untrue. After discovering that Scott’s wife was missing, Amber reported their relationship to the police and helped prosecutors charge and convict Scott. She recorded 29 hours of her phone calls with Scott, providing crucial evidence for the case. Professionally, Amber is a massage therapist and was previously an entrepreneur. She owned a day spa in California named Euphoria Day Spa, which unfortunately went bankrupt in 2015. Amber has also written a book titled “Witness: For the Prosecution of Scott Peterson”, which details her involvement in the arrest and conviction of Scott Peterson. Despite the turmoil and media attention brought on by the case, Amber has managed to lead a normal life. She is a mother of two and continues to work as a massage therapist in California.
1722 – Bartholomew Roberts – born John Roberts, was a Welsh pirate who was, measured by vessels captured, the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy. During his piratical career, he took over 470 prize ships. Roberts raided ships off the Americas and the West African coast between 1719 and 1722; he is also noted for creating his own pirate code, and adopting an early variant of the Skull and Crossbones flag. Roberts’s infamy and success saw him become known as The Great Pyrate and eventually as Black Bart (Welsh: Barti Ddu), and made him a popular subject for writers of both fiction and non-fiction. To this day, Roberts continues to feature in popular culture and has inspired fictional characters (such as the Dread Pirate Roberts)
1854 – John Tapner – born on March 8, 1823, was an Englishman from Woolwich, London. He became infamous as a convicted murderer and was the last person to be executed by Guernsey. In 1853, Tapner was living in St Martin when a 74-year-old woman named Elizabeth Saujon was murdered in her home in St Peter Port. Saujon had been knocked unconscious and left to die in her burning house. Tapner was arrested and tried for the murder of Saujon. It was revealed during the trial that Tapner’s mistress, who was also his wife’s sister, lived with Saujon. Some of Saujon’s belongings were reportedly discovered near Tapner’s house in St Martin. While Tapner admitted to being in St Peter Port on the evening of the murder, he denied any involvement in the fire or Saujon’s death. The motive for Tapner to kill Saujon and burn down her house was never clear. Despite this, Tapner was convicted of murder by the Jurats and sentenced to death by hanging. Notable author Victor Hugo, who would later move to Guernsey, and 600 residents petitioned the Home Secretary of the United Kingdom, Lord Palmerston, to commute Tapner’s sentence. However, Lord Palmerston refused, and Tapner was hanged on February 10, 1854, in St Peter Port. His execution was performed by non-professionals, and Tapner died from strangulation. Following Tapner’s execution, no one else was executed by Guernsey. The death penalty was abolished in Guernsey in 2003. Tapner’s story remains a significant part of Guernsey’s history.
1956 – Elifasi Msomi – was a South African serial killer who was convicted in 1955 of 15 murders and sentenced to death by hanging. His victims all came from the Umkomaas and Umzimkulu valleys of KwaZulu-Natal. Msomi was an unsuccessful young sangoma (shaman) who claimed that he was co-opted by an evil spirit, a tokoloshe. In August 1953, under the instruction of the tokoloshe, Msomi began an 18-month killing spree in the southern KwaZulu-Natal valleys of South Africa. Msomi initially raped and murdered a young woman in the presence of his mistress, keeping her blood in a bottle. During his trial, Msomi claimed that he was merely a conduit for the evil tokoloshe. Two psychologists disagreed, stating that Msomi was in fact of much higher than average intelligence and further that he derived sexual pleasure from inflicting pain. Whether he gained further satisfaction from revisiting his crime scenes or felt diminished responsibility in light of the tokoloshe’s influence is unclear.
1977 – Frank “Bomp” Bompensiero – was a Sicilian-American mobster and a longtime caporegime in the Los Angeles crime family. He was notorious for his many killings on the orders of his superiors. Bompensiero was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and his family immigrated to the United States from Porticello, Sicily. He moved to San Diego in the mid-1920s and began his career in organized crime by bootlegging alcohol coming over the border from Tijuana. In 1956, following the death of boss Jack Dragna, Bompensiero was demoted to the rank of soldier by the new boss, Frank DeSimone. He also served as a confidential informant for the FBI for at least ten years. His life came to an end in 1977 when he was assassinated.
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
1306 – In front of the high altar of Greyfriars Church in Dumfries, Robert the Bruce murders John Comyn, sparking the revolution in the wars of Scottish independence
1567 – Lord Darnley, 2nd husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, is found strangled following an explosion at the Kirk O’ Field House in Edinburgh, Scotland
1842 – Moreton Bay penal colony is abolished and opened for free settlement, this would become the modern city of Brisbane, Australia
1946 – Charles “Lucky” Luciano is deported to Italy and would never return to the United States
1992 – Boxer Mike Tyson is convicted of raping Desiree Washington
1997 – Lemrick Nelson is found guilty in the fatal stabbing of Hasidic Jew Yankel Rosenbaum in Crown Heights, Brooklyn
2019 – A sexual abuse investigation into the US Southern Baptist churches reveals 400 church members implicated with over 700 victims according to the Houston Chronicle & San Antonio Express News
2019 – The number of women alleging sexual assault by former Costa Rica president Oscar Arias Sanchez grows to nine