February 4 – What happened today?

Births

Albert Martinez Carreon

1946Yves Trudeau – also known as “Apache” and “The Mad Bomber”, was a Canadian outlaw biker, gangster, and contract killer. He was born on February 4, 1946, in Quebec, Canada, and passed away in July 2008.  Trudeau was a former member of the Hells Angels North chapter in Laval, Quebec, where he served as the club’s leading assassin. He was a major participant in multiple biker conflicts throughout Canadian history, including the Popeyes–Devils Disciples War, the Satan’s Choice–Popeyes War, and the First Biker War.  Frustrated by cocaine addiction and his suspicion that his fellow gang members wanted him dead, Trudeau became a Crown witness after the Lennoxville massacre. In exchange, he received a lenient sentence – life in prison but eligible for parole after seven years – for the killing of 43 people from September 1973 to July 1985.  Trudeau was granted parole in 1994 and given the new identity of Denis Côté. He was arrested in March 2004 for sexually assaulting a young boy and received four more years’ imprisonment. In 2007, Trudeau learned he had cancer and was transferred from Archambault Penitentiary to a medical center, where he died in 2008. He was one of Canada’s most notorious and prolific serial killers.

1951Thomas Knight – was an American fugitive who was executed in Florida for murder. In 1974, Knight forced a Miami couple to withdraw $50,000 from a bank and subsequently murdered them. While awaiting trial for these murders, Knight and ten other inmates escaped from jail and went on a crime spree, during which he murdered a store clerk in an armed robbery. He was added to the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list on December 12, 1974, and was captured on December 31, 1974. Knight was sentenced to death in 1975 for the Miami murders. While on death row, he committed a fourth murder, in which he fatally stabbed a corrections officer. After spending thirty-nine years on death row, Knight was executed on January 7, 2014. Knight was once described as a poster boy for the death penalty and his case has been referenced by supporters of capital punishment.

1952Thomas Silverstein – also known as “Terrible Tom” and “Tommy”, was an American criminal who spent the last 42 years of his life in prison after being convicted of four separate murders while imprisoned for armed robbery, one of which was overturned.  Silverstein was raised in a working-class neighborhood where he was frequently bullied, and often mistaken for being Jewish. His mother, Virginia Conway, had divorced his father and married Thomas Conway when he was born. She divorced again in 1956 to marry Sid Silverstein, who legally adopted her son. Silverstein always thought of Conway as his father.  At the age of 14, Silverstein was sentenced to a California Youth Authority reformatory where he learned to respond violently to stand his ground. In 1971, at age 19, he was sent to San Quentin Prison in California for armed robbery. Four years later, he was paroled, but he was arrested soon after along with his father, Thomas Conway, and his cousin, Gerald Hoff, for three armed robberies. Their take was less than $11,000. In 1977, Silverstein was sentenced to fifteen years for armed robbery, to be served at the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas.  Silverstein was a former leader of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang. He was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of robbery. He spent the last 36 years of his life in solitary confinement for killing Corrections Officer Merle Clutts at the Marion Penitentiary in Illinois. Prison authorities described him as a brutal killer. Silverstein maintained that the dehumanizing conditions inside the prison system contributed to the three murders he committed.  He was held in a specially designed cell in what is called “Range 13” at ADX Florence Federal Penitentiary in Colorado. He was the longest-held prisoner in solitary confinement within the Bureau of Prisons at the time of his death. Correctional officers refused to talk to Silverstein out of respect for Clutts.  Silverstein passed away on May 11, 2019, in Lakewood, Colorado. His life and crimes have been the subject of much debate and analysis regarding the conditions and effects of long-term solitary confinement.

1959Gary Richard Whitton – was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of James Mauldin on October 10, 1990.  In March 1989, Whitton and Mauldin met at a Pensacola halfway house where they were both undergoing alcohol treatment. Their interactions continued at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings after leaving the halfway house.  On October 7, 1990, Mauldin, intoxicated, stayed overnight at Whitton’s home. The next day, they drove to Destin for Mauldin to withdraw money from his bank. Unable to do so, they returned on October 8. Mauldin closed his account, with Whitton assisting due to Mauldin’s intoxication, leaving the bank with $1,135.88 in cash.  They checked into a Destin hotel where Whitton provided false license plate information on the forms. Despite Whitton’s claim of not returning after leaving at noon, the hotel clerk noted his return at around 10:30 p.m. and departure at approximately 12:30 a.m. The clerk discovered Mauldin’s body the next day.  Mauldin had sustained severe injuries, including a fractured skull and stab wounds to various body parts. His blood alcohol level was 0.34, and records indicated he had minimal money on him.  Whitton, initially denying a return to the hotel, later admitted to briefly going back but claimed Mauldin was already dead. The hotel clerk contradicted this, reporting Whitton’s return and departure times.  Prompted by the hotel clerk’s information, police questioned Whitton on October 11, 1990. A search of his home uncovered blood-stained boots matching Mauldin’s blood type. Whitton’s car revealed bloodstains matching Mauldin’s blood type.  While awaiting trial in jail, Whitton confessed to an inmate, overheard by another, admitting he returned to the hotel to steal Mauldin’s money, fearing Mauldin’s testimony in a parole violation hearing related to the robbery. Both inmates provided statements attesting to this information.

1962Albert Martinez Carreon – also known as a member of the New Mexican Mafia, was involved in a revenge murder that took place on January 23, 2001, which resulted in him being sentenced to death by lethal injection on May 1, 2003.  On the day of the crime, a man described as being 6 feet 1 inch tall, wearing a long black jacket, tan pants, black shoes, and a blue baseball cap entered the residence shared by Armando Hernandez and Christina Aragon. The intruder shot both victims multiple times. Armando Hernandez was found dead upon the arrival of the police, having suffered gunshot wounds to his left leg, thigh, and head. Christina Aragon was found conscious with gunshot wounds to her abdomen, back, right shoulder, and neck, as well as lacerations to the forehead and back of her head. She was flown to Scottsdale Memorial Hospital and recovered from her wounds. At the time of the shooting, Christina Aragon’s two small sons were sleeping in the apartment.  During the investigation, it was discovered that the suspect who entered the residence and shot the victims was Albert Martinez Carreon. It was also discovered that all parties had been prior acquaintances. In addition to the murder charge, Carreon was also convicted of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, two counts of endangerment, and misconduct involving weapons.

1962Doris Ann Carlson – On the night of October 24/25, 1996, Doris Carlson chauffeured John McReaken and Scott Smith, tenants in her home, to the nursing facility where Doris’s elderly mother-in-law, Lynne Carlson, lived. Acting as a lookout, Smith stood guard while McReaken entered the premises. In a botched attempt to end Lynne’s life, McReaken repeatedly stabbed her, causing significant suffering. Despite the severity of her injuries, Lynne did not succumb to the fatal wounds until approximately six months later.  The plot to kill Lynne was premeditated by Doris Carlson, with the consent of her husband, David Carlson, who was Lynne’s son. Facing financial difficulties, Doris and David anticipated that David would inherit and receive life insurance proceeds upon Lynne’s death.  In exchange for carrying out the murder, Doris Carlson promised McReaken and Smith $20,000 from the inheritance and insurance funds.

1963 – Garcia Glen White – 

1973Dale Hausner – He, along with Samuel John Dieteman, were a duo of serial killers who committed several drive-by shootings and arsons in Phoenix, Arizona, between May 2005 and August 2006. They targeted random pedestrians and animals, mostly doing so while under the influence of methamphetamine, and also set fire to multiple objects.  Hausner and Dieteman were found guilty of 80 of 88 felony charges in one single trial including murder, attempted murder, arson, animal cruelty, and drive-by-shootings. Hausner was sentenced to death six times and later killed himself in prison. Dieteman was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Investigators believe they were responsible for eight murders and at least 29 other shootings. Hausner’s brother Jeff had assisted in some of the shootings, and he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.  Hausner died on June 19, 2013, at the age of 40 in Florence State Prison, Arizona. His crimes and subsequent trial left a significant impact, with Hausner himself drawing comparisons between his name and that of the infamous criminal Charles Manson.

1988Tiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha – He is a former security guard and serial killer who claimed to have killed 39 people. His crimes spanned from 2011 to 2014, primarily in the state of Goiás.  Gomes da Rocha approached his victims on a motorbike and shouted “robbery” before shooting them. However, he never took anything from his victims. He targeted homeless people, women, and homosexuals. His youngest victim was a 14-year-old girl, and 16 of his victims were women.  He was arrested in October 2014 after being caught riding a motorbike with a fake plate. Police had previously noticed him when they discovered that he was facing trial for stealing the number plate off a motorbike at a supermarket in Goiania in January 2014. A motorbike, stolen plates, and the suspected murder weapon, a .38 revolver, were retrieved from a home he shared with his mother.  Gomes da Rocha attempted suicide in his prison cell on October 16, 2014, by slashing his wrists with a smashed light bulb. He claimed to have gained murderous urges after being sexually abused by his neighbor at age 11.  In May 2016, he was convicted of 11 murders and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Despite his conviction for 11 murders, he claimed to have committed 39 killings.

 

Deaths

Kate Leigh

1880James Donnelly – was the patriarch of the “Black Donnellys”, an Irish immigrant family who settled in Biddulph township, Upper Canada in the 19th century. The family became notorious due to a series of personal and business disputes which frequently escalated to violence, culminating in the 1880 burning of the family home by an armed vigilante mob, resulting in the deaths of five family members.  James Donnelly was born in 1816 and married Johannah Magee in Ireland in 1840. They had their first son, James Jr, in Moneygall, Co Tipperary in 1841. The couple sailed to Upper Canada in 1842, where they built a home on Lot 18, Concession 6 in Biddulph, a lot owned by John Grace, in 1845. They had several more children in Upper Canada.  In 1857, during a logging bee at a neighbor’s farm, James Donnelly Sr killed Patrick Farrell with a handspike. Donnelly went into hiding and a $400 reward was offered for his capture. In 1858, he turned himself in and was convicted of the murder of Patrick Farrell and sentenced to death. His wife, Johannah, and others in the community petitioned for his sentence to be commuted. His sentence was reduced to seven years in Kingston Penitentiary.  James Donnelly died in 1880 when an armed vigilante mob burned down the family home. This event marked the end of the violent saga of the Black Donnellys.

1964Kate Leigh – born Kathleen Mary Josephine Beahan on March 10, 1881, was a notorious figure in the Australian underworld. She rose to prominence as a madam, an illegal trader of alcohol and cocaine, and for running betting/gambling syndicates from her home in Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia during the first half of the twentieth century. Leigh was a leading figure in the notorious Sydney razor gang wars. She was known for her continuing feud with fellow vice-regal underworld figure Tilly Devine, a madam based at Woolloomooloo. She was also known for her acts of generosity for the unemployed during a repressive era and her wartime patriotism.  Leigh was born in Dubbo, New South Wales, the eighth child of Roman Catholic parents Timothy Beahan, a bootmaker, and his wife Charlotte. Her childhood and teenage years included childhood neglect, time in a girls’ home at age 12, and an out-of-wedlock pregnancy; her daughter Eileen May Beahan was born in 1900.  Leigh married James Ernest (Jack) Lee in 1902. They separated in 1905 when Lee was imprisoned for assault and robbery. Following his trial, Kate Leigh was convicted of perjury and for being an accomplice to the assault, after being accused of lying under oath to protect her husband; her conviction was overturned on appeal. The marriage broke up soon after the trial, though they were not divorced until 1921. Kate anglicized her part-Asian surname from Lee to Leigh, and she was mostly known by that name for the rest of her life, regardless of future marriages. Kate’s daughter Eileen also used the name ‘Leigh’ until she married in 1920.  Kate married for the second time on September 26, 1922, to a Western Australian-born musician Edward Joseph ‘Teddy’ Barry, a sly grog dealer and small-time criminal. The marriage only lasted for a few years, after which she reverted to using her previous surname of ‘Leigh’. Though long separated, he died in Kate’s home at 2 Lansdowne Street, Surry Hills on June 26, 1948, and was buried at Botany Cemetery three days later.  Kate Leigh died on February 4, 1964, at the age of 82 in St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney.

1984Richard “Richie” DiNome – was born on September 7, 1954, in Pigtown, Brooklyn, United States. He was an alleged member of the DeMeo crew under the Gambino crime family and the younger brother of Gambino associate and government informant Frederick DiNome.  DiNome was involved in stealing cars and worked at a chop shop in Staten Island, stripping cars for automobile parts. On an average day, DiNome stole 6-7 cars from the rich neighborhoods in Brooklyn. He was known among criminal associates as an expert auto mechanic. He professed pure happiness when he was asked to work with his brother Frederick in his stolen car ring.  In the late 1970s and early 1980s, DiNome started adopting a wardrobe that consisted of New York City Police Department-style shirts, gold chains around his neck, and a dungaree jacket. While attaching a silencer to a loaded automatic handgun in preparation for the murder of business associate Khaled Fahd Darwish Daoud, he accidentally shot himself in the hand.  He followed his brother into organized crime and became a key member of the DeMeo crew headed by Mafia capo Roy DeMeo; a dangerous group linked to hundreds of murders. In Murder Machine, authors Jerry Capeci and Gene Mustain described him as a “stumblebum”. He did not suffer from dyslexia like his older brother but was thought to be considerably less acute.  DiNome died on February 4, 1984, in Gravesend, Brooklyn, at the age of 29.

1999Sean Richard Sellers – was an American who became one of the youngest individuals in the U.S. to be sentenced to death and executed for crimes committed as a minor. Born on May 18, 1969, in Corcoran, California, Sellers was convicted of murdering his mother, stepfather, and a convenience store clerk in Oklahoma City. His case gained international attention due to his age at the time of the crimes, his conversion to Christianity while in prison, and his claims of demonic possession. Sellers was executed on February 4, 1999.

 

Events

Manuel Noriega

1880 – The Black Donnelly massacre in Biddulph, Ontario, Canada

1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnap Patty Hearst

1985 – Twenty countries (but not the United States) sign a US treaty outlawing torture

1988 – Panamanian general Manuel Noriega was indicted by a US Federal grand jury for drug trafficking and racketeering

1997 – OJ Simpson was found liable in the deaths of Ron Goldman & Nicole Simpson in a civil court action

1999 – Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo is shot dead by 4 plainclothes

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