this day in crime history: august 25, 1967

A Mauser C96 pistol similar to the one used to kill George Lincoln Rockwell in 1967.
A Mauser C96 pistol similar to the one used to kill George Lincoln Rockwell in 1967.

On this date in 1967, George Lincoln Rockwell, founder and head of the American Nazi Party, was shot and killed while leaving a shopping center parking lot in Arlington, VA. John Patler, 29, a former member of Rockwell’s organization was arrested at a bus stop half a mile from the scene of the crime. He had discarded the gun in a nearby creek. Patler had been expelled by the Nazis several months earlier. He was tried and convicted of the murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was paroled in 1975.

Further reading:

BBC – ‘American Hitler’ shot dead

Wikipedia – George Lincoln Rockwell

The Free Lance Star: December 16, 1967 – Patler Convicted, Faces 20 Years

this day in crime history: august 23, 1927

On this date in 1927, Ferdinando Nicola Sacco (above right) and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (above left) were executed in the Massachusetts electric chair for an armed robbery that resulted in the deaths of a paymaster and a security guard. Controversy still rages to this day as to the guilt of the men, but their convictions have yet to be overturned.

Further reading:

The Sacco-Vanzetti Case

Wikipedia – Sacco and Vanzetti

this day in crime history: august 20, 1986

USPSmemorial
Memorial to the incident in Edmond, OK

On this date in 1986, Postal Service employee Patrick Sherrill went on a shooting spree in a post office in Edmonds, OK. Twenty people were shot, leaving fourteen dead and six injured. At the conclusion of his rampage, Sherrill turned the gun on himself and committed suicide. It is believed that the shooting may have been motivated by a reprimand that Sherrill had received the day before. The incident is often credited with inspiring the phrase “going postal.”

Further reading:

Murderpedia – Patrick Henry Sherrill

Wikipedia – Patrick Sherrill

Time“Crazy Pat’s” Revenge

friday movie quote

George C Scott Angus

“Superman isn’t brave… He’s smart, handsome, even decent. But he’s not brave. No, listen to me. Superman is indestructible, and you can’t be brave if you’re indestructible. It’s people like you and your mother. People who are different, and can be crushed and know it. Yet they keep on going out there every time.”

-Grandpa Ivan (George C. Scott), Angus (1995)

this day in crime history: august 19, 1895

JWH-DOA

On this date in 1895, notorious gunman John Wesley Hardin, was shot and killed in El Paso, TX. Hardin was shot in the back of the head while playing dice. The shooter, John Selman, Sr, was a local constable.  The shooting was believed to have been motivated by an argument the two had earlier regarding the arrest of one of Hardin’s friends by Selman’s son.

Selman was arrested and charged with murder. The trial resulted in a hung jury. The matter was scheduled for retrial, but Selman died before that could happen. He was shot and killed during a dispute over a card game.

Further reading:

Murderpedia – John Wesley Hardin

Find a Grave – John Wesley Hardin

Wikipedia – John Wesley Hardin

this day in crime history: august 15, 1914

JulianCarlton

On this date in 1914, Julian Carlton (pictured above) murdered seven people on the estate of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Carlton, a native of Barbados, was employed as a servant at Taliesin, Wright’s estate near Spring Green, WI. Wright was out of town on the day of the murders. Carlton struck during lunch. Several estate employees were in the dining room, Wright’s mistress and two children on a nearby screened in porch. Carlton bolted all but one of the dining room doors shut. He poured gas under the doors and started a fire. After starting the fire, he ran to the screened-in porch and murdered Martha “Mamah” Borthwick and her two children with an ax. He then waited outside the dining room and attacked the employees as they tried to escape the fire. Three employees and the thirteen year old son of the estate’s head carpenter were killed. Only two of the dining room’s occupants survived.

After the fire was under control, Wright’s neighbors went looking for Carlton. They found him hiding in the basement furnace room. He had attempted unsuccessfully to commit suicide by drinking muriatic acid. Carlton was brought to the local jail, and later made several court appearances. He died of starvation before coming to trial. He never gave a reason for the attack. Calrton’s wife Gertrude, who worked at the estate as a cook, claimed she did not know why her husband committed the murders.

Further reading:

Provedentia – The Taliesin Murders

Wikipedia – Frank Lloyd Wright

this day in crime history: august 14, 1936

On this date in 1936, convicted rapist Rainey Bethea was executed by hanging in Owensboro, KY. In addition to the rape, Bethea also confessed to robbing and murdering his victim, 70 year old Lischia Edwards, but was never tried on those charges. A crowd of 20,000 people were on hand to witness the hanging. His hanging was the last public execution in the United States.

Further reading:

Wikipedia – Rainey Bethea

Murderpedia – Rainey Bethea