this day in crime history: november 26, 1933

On this date in 1933, the people of San Jose, CA decided to take the law into their own hands. Thomas Thurmond and John Holmes were being held in connection with the kidnapping and murder of 22 year old department store heir Brooke Hart. The townsfolk, already enraged by the nature of the crime, whipped themselves into a frenzy when rumor spread that the two men were going to try an insanity defense. On the night of November 26th, they stormed the jail, broke down the door, and took the two men. The crowd brought them to a nearby park, where they hung each man from a tree. No one was ever prosecuted for the lynching. In fact, California Governor James Rolph, who had refused the Sheriff’s request for National Guard troops to hold off the mob, praised the action and promised to pardon anyone charged with the lynching.

Further reading:

Wikipedia: Brooke Hart

San Jose PBA: The Hart Murder and Lynching

8 thoughts on “this day in crime history: november 26, 1933

  1. John D.:
    Ah, for those good old days when the (now) Socialist Republik of Kalifornia was a LOT LESS LIBERAL.
    And they knew what REAL justice was.

    Hell, those people probably SAVED the taxpayers a TON of money, and Geico wasn’t even around (at least for another 3 years)..

    Good story.

    Have yourselves a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING out there.

    Roll safe.


    • Thurmond and Holmes certainly earned their fates, but I have to agree with Marie-Jacqueline on the way it went down. There was plenty of evidence of their guilt, but it should have been presented in a court of law. They’d have likely received a death sentence anyway, just like Bruno Hauptmann did in the Lindbergh case.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, that is what I mean! I am Dutch, before reading this I knew nothing about this case, neither if they did what they were accused of. But the law of the land is that a trial should prove beyond reasonable doubt their guilt or innocence!


  2. So much for law and order. Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Lynching is the ‘law’ of a mob. This lynching is a plain murder. What makes it even worse is the condoning of it by the highest authority of the state, the governor. Hypocrites, criminals by condoning lawlessness!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s