1881 – Albert Soleilland – Albert Soleilland was born on January 2, 1881, in Nevers, France. He worked as a cabinetmaker. On January 30, 1907, Soleilland went to the home of his friends, the Erblingers. He took their 11-year-old daughter, Marthe Erbelding, under the pretense of going to a show. However, he strangled and abused the girl at his home when she resisted his attempt to rape her. He then dismembered her body and left it at the Gare de l’Est. Soleilland was sentenced to death on July 24, 1907, for his heinous crime. However, his sentence was commuted to life in prison on September 13, 1907. While in prison, he revealed his homosexuality and attempted to strangle a young convict who rejected him in September 1912. The other prisoners despised him due to his crimes. Soleilland contracted tuberculosis and died alone in May 1920 at the hospital of Kourou.
1938 – Ian Brady – Ian Brady, also known as the “Moors Murderer”, was a notorious serial killer born on January 2, 1938, in a Glasgow, Scotland slum to single mother Peggy Stuart. Brady had a troubled childhood and served prison time as a teenager for burglary and petty crime. In partnership with his girlfriend Myra Hindley, Brady kidnapped, tortured, sexually assaulted, and murdered five children in northwest England over a period of 18 months in the 1960s. The victims were Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey, and Edward Evans—aged between 10 and 17. At least four of the victims were sexually assaulted. The bodies of two of the victims were discovered in 1965, in graves dug on Saddleworth Moor; a third grave was discovered there in 1987. Bennett’s body is also thought to be buried there, but despite repeated searches, it remains undiscovered. Brady and Hindley were arrested and convicted in the 1960s. Brady was jailed in 1966 for three counts of murder. The real number of victims was higher than the three counts of murder for which he was convicted. In 1985 he also admitted to the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett. Brady was diagnosed as a psychopath in 1985 and confined in the high-security Ashworth Hospital. He made it clear that he wished to never be released and repeatedly asked to be allowed to die. He died on May 15, 2017, at Ashworth Hospital, aged 79, having served 51 years.
1942 – Juraj Luptak – Juraj Lupták was born on January 2, 1942, in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. He was brought up in an orphanage and from an early age liked to spend time in the mountains. As a young man, he graduated from a mining school but never worked in this profession. When he was 17, he fell into alcoholism and had many problems with the law, being punished for theft and lewd deeds. Lupták was known as “The Strangler from Banská Bystrica”. From May 1978 to July 1982, he raped and murdered three young women. His first victim was 20-year-old Elena Adamová whom he attacked while working as a shepherd. He hit her head with a stone, raped her, and then strangled her. The murder took place on May 6, 1978, and the victim’s body was found only a year later. Shortly after the murder, Lupták was arrested for tax crimes and imprisoned for several years. In 1982, after being released from prison, he committed two more murders. On June 2, he noticed 15-year-old Lýdia Rydlová returning from school. He raped and subsequently strangled her, burying her in a shallow grave. During the autopsy, it was revealed that Rydlová had been buried alive. Just a few days after the discovery of the second victim, on July 18, Lupták attacked another 15-year-old, Ivana Turová, this time in the center of Banská Bystrica. He hit the girl with a stone on the head, and while she was unconscious, he ripped off her clothes. However, he did not rape her because she was menstruating. When the girl regained consciousness, she begged him to spare her life, but Lupták beat and then strangled her. These crimes caused mass panic in Banská Bystrica and women were afraid to go out alone on the street. A search for the murderer began in the city. Seeing this, Lupták stayed in the mountains for the following days where he felt safe. Exhausted from hiding, he decided to break into a house and was arrested by the militia for the break-in. Lupták was executed by hanging on July 16, 1987.
1967 – Marcelo Costa de Andrade – Marcelo Costa de Andrade, also known as “The Vampire of Niterói”, was born on January 2, 1967, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a troubled childhood and adolescence, marked by abuse and violence from his family and others. He lived for a part of his childhood in Rocinha, a favela in Rio de Janeiro. His mother was a maid who was abused by her husband. After being sent to live with his grandparents in Ceará for some time, he returned to Rio de Janeiro where he was mistreated by his parents’ new companions. Andrade was sexually abused by an older man during this time. He was then admitted to a boys’ school but did not perform well in class and was bullied by his classmates. When he was 14, he left the boarding school and began to prostitute himself. He tried to commit suicide during this period but failed. At the age of 16, he went to live with another man, Antônio Batista Freire, who began supporting Andrade and introduced him to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. Despite this support, Andrade continued to prostitute himself until he finally separated from Freire and returned to his family’s home. From there, he abandoned prostitution and began to work formally, helping the family with bills and household chores. Andrade attended the Kingdom of God’s services for about ten years at the time. However, he developed a twisted belief that children go to heaven when they die, which sparked an interest in killing children. From April to December 1991, Andrade murdered 14 boys in the vicinity of Itaboraí, about 30 kilometers from Niterói, Rio de Janeiro. He would stalk and rape his victims before strangling them to death. He also confessed to committing acts of necrophilia with at least one of his victims’ bodies. Andrade was apprehended on December 18, 1991. Due to his crimes, he is known as one of Brazil’s most notorious serial killers.
1970 – Robert John Bardo – Robert John Bardo, born on January 2, 1970, is an American man currently serving life imprisonment without parole. He was convicted in October 1991 for the murder of American actress and model Rebecca Schaeffer, whom he had stalked for three years. Bardo was the youngest of seven children, born to a Korean mother and an American father who served as a non-commissioned officer in the United States Air Force. The family moved frequently and eventually settled in Tucson, Arizona, in 1983. Bardo reportedly had a troubled childhood. He was abused by one of his siblings and placed in foster care after he threatened to commit suicide. His family had a history of mental illness, and he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. At the age of 15, he was institutionalized for a month to treat emotional problems. Bardo dropped out of Pueblo Magnet High School in the ninth grade and began working as a janitor at Jack in the Box. In the 18 months prior to Schaeffer’s murder, Bardo had been arrested three times on charges that included domestic violence and disorderly conduct. Bardo’s neighbors also said that he had exhibited unexplained strange and threatening behavior toward them. Before developing an obsession with Schaeffer, Bardo had stalked child peace activist Samantha Smith. These attempts had ultimately failed to establish any contact with Smith. Smith’s return home from the USSR had inspired Bardo to travel to Maine to meet her, but a run-in with state police over a traffic offense had caused him such concern that he was drawing attention to himself that he was sufficiently discouraged to return home. Bardo had crafted future plans to stalk Smith until her death in a 1985 plane crash. After writing numerous letters to Schaeffer, Bardo attempted to gain access to the set of the CBS television series My Sister Sam, in which Schaeffer played a starring role. He was denied entrance by security, who encouraged him to return home. Ultimately, he obtained her home address via a detective agency, which in turn tracked it via California Department of Motor Vehicles records. On July 18, 1989, Bardo confronted Schaeffer at her home, angry that she had appeared in a sex scene in the film Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills; in his eyes, she had “lost her innocence” and become “another Hollywood whore”.
1975 – Scott Dawn Carpenter – Scott Dawn Carpenter was born on January 2, 1975, and was a convicted American murderer. At the age of 22, he was the youngest person to be executed in the United States after capital punishment was reinstated by the United States Supreme Court by a 7–2 decision in the Gregg v. Georgia case. On February 6, 1994, Carpenter filled his pickup truck with $37 worth of gasoline, then went into a convenience store, where he placed a sandwich, soft drink, and chewing tobacco near the cash register. He then proceeded to stab the store owner, 56-year-old A.J. Kelley, in the neck. Kelley’s body was found in the minnow room of the convenience store, which was located near Lake Eufaula in eastern Oklahoma. Investigators speculated Carpenter said he wanted to buy some bait, then followed Kelley to the room and murdered him. He was interrupted as two men, one of them a retired Oklahoma City police detective, entered the store. They gave chase out of the store, then wrote down the car’s license tag number as Carpenter drove away. He was apprehended one hour later. Carpenter pleaded no contest to one charge of first-degree murder and asked for the death penalty, stating that he saw no future in spending the “next 60 or 70 years of my life behind bars.” Carpenter had no prior criminal record and was subsequently sentenced to death by lethal injection. He did not appeal his sentence. Before his execution, Carpenter talked to his mother for 80 minutes. His last meal consisted of barbecued beef ribs, corn on the cob, baked beans, potato salad, hot rolls, sweetened lemonade, and pecan pie with whipped topping. Before being put to death, he made a final statement: “I tell the young and old, do not stray onto the wrong path in life as I did. I speak from experience when I say it’s a long and bumpy road, with a lot of regret and few second chances.” In a separate letter, he also apologized to the family of the victim. Carpenter was pronounced dead some 11 minutes after the lethal injection was administered. As the drugs took effect, Carpenter began to gasp and shake. This was followed by a guttural sound, multiple spasms, and gasps for air until his body stopped moving three minutes later.
1883 – Louisa Jane Taylor – was born in 1846 and was an English woman convicted of murder. After her husband’s death in March 1882, she moved in with the elderly couple William and Mary Ann Tregellis, offering to nurse the 82-year-old Mary Ann in exchange for board. However, she used this opportunity to slowly poison Mrs. Tregellis with sugar of lead (lead acetate). Louisa Jane Taylor’s crime was discovered, and she was convicted of poisoning Mary Ann Tregellis, who was 81 years old at the time of her death. Taylor was subsequently sentenced to death for her crime. She was executed by hanging at Maidstone Prison on January 2, 1883. Her case is notable as it highlights the dangers of poisoning as a method of murder, and the importance of trust in caregiving relationships. It also underscores the severity of punishment for such crimes during that period in history.
1953 – John James Alcott – was a 23-year-old railway fireman from Hither Green, London. He is known for the murder of Geoffrey Charles Dean, a 28-year-old booking clerk, at Ash Vale station in 1952. Alcott had meticulously planned the murder, making several visits to the Ash Vale booking office and observing the movements of the staff. On the night of the murder, Alcott remained in the booking office until he committed the crime at approximately 8.45pm. He stabbed Dean 20 times for a sum of £160. Before this incident, Alcott had nearly been executed a few years prior while he was in the Army and stationed in Germany at the age of 17. After his crime at Ash Vale station, Alcott was executed on January 2, 1953, at Wandsworth by hanging.
1971 – Marguerite Alibert – also known as Maggie Meller, Marguerite Laurent, and Princess Fahmy, was a French socialite born on December 9, 1890, in Paris. She started her career as a prostitute and later became a courtesan in Paris. From 1917 to 1918, she had an affair with the Prince of Wales, who later became Edward VIII. Alibert was born to Firmin Alibert, a coachman, and Marie Aurand, a housekeeper. At age 16, she gave birth to a daughter named Raymonde. In the following years, Alibert led a nomadic life until she met Mme Denant, who ran a Maison de Rendezvous, a brothel catering to high society clientele. Under Denant’s tutelage, Alibert became a high-class prostitute. In April 1917, Alibert met Edward, Prince of Wales, at the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. Edward was in France at the time as an officer of the Grenadier Guards on the Western Front during World War I. Their affair was intense but ended by the conclusion of the war. Alibert later married Egyptian aristocrat Ali Kamel Fahmy Bey and was frequently referred to as “princess” by the media of the time. However, their marriage was short-lived. On July 10, 1923, following an argument at the Savoy Hotel in London where they were staying for their holidays, Alibert shot her husband repeatedly from behind with a .32 caliber semi-automatic Browning pistol. She was eventually acquitted of the murder charge after a trial at the Old Bailey. Marguerite Marie Alibert passed away on January 2, 1971.
1971 – Harold Jones – was a British child murderer who committed his crimes in Monmouthshire, Wales, in 1921, when he was just 15 years old. Born in the Welsh colliery town of Abertillery, Monmouthshire, in January 1906, Jones was the eldest of four children born into a poor family. His father worked as a coal miner and his mother was a housewife. Jones and his siblings attended a local council school where he was regarded as a popular and exemplary pupil, showing a particular flair for sports. He left school at age 14 to obtain employment—largely as a means of supplementing his family’s income. Jones’ first victim was eight-year-old Freda Burnell. He was acquitted of her murder at Monmouthshire Assizes on 21 June 1921. Seventeen days later, he murdered an 11-year-old neighbor named Florence Little. Jones pleaded guilty to Little’s murder and also confessed to having murdered Burnell at his second trial. Owing to his being under 16 at the time he committed the murders, Jones escaped execution for his crimes; instead being sentenced to be detained at His Majesty’s pleasure on 1 November 1921. He was released from prison in 1941, later marrying and fathering a child. Jones died of bone cancer in 1971 at the age of 64.
1923 – The Ku Klux Klan carried out a surprise attack on a black residential area in Rosewood, Florida with 8 people being killed
1932 – The Young brothers take part in a gun battle with law enforcement in Brookline, Missouri ending with the death of 6 law enforcement officers, the worst single killing of US law enforcement in the 20th Century.
1935 – Bruno Hauptmann’s trial begins for the kidnap and murder of Charles Lindbergh’s baby son
1979 – The trial of Sex Pistols frontman Sid Vicious for the murder of his girlfriend begins in New York
1981 – Peter Sutcliffe who became known as the Yorkshire Ripper was captured