this day in crime history: december 30, 1905

On this date in 1905, former Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg was killed by a bomb that was rigged to a gate at his home. While in office, Steunenberg took a tough stand against the Western Federation of Miners during a period of labor unrest. Former WFM member Albert Horsley (a/k/a Harry Orchard) was arrested for the crime. Legendary Pinkerton detective James McParland headed up the investigation. McParland pressured Horsley into implicating three high-ranking WFM officials as co-conspirators. Horsley was ultimately convicted of Steunenberg’s murder, but his testimony against the other men was discredited. Two of them were acquitted at trial, and charges were dropped against the third. Albert Horsley was sentenced to death by the court, but the sentence was later commuted to life in prison. He died in prison in 1954 at the age of 87.

Further reading:

Wikipedia – Frank Steunenberg

Wikipedia – Albert Horsley

Find a Grave – Frank Steunenberg

Idaho Meanderings: Steunenberg, Trial of the Century, Labor, Legal, Political History

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3 thoughts on “this day in crime history: december 30, 1905

  1. John D.:
    Wouldn’t think of this as something to come out of IDAHO…
    One could think it might happen in Chicago, NYC, or even the mining areas of Pennsy.

    The death sentence wa COMMUTED – the start of a “kinder, gentler” society, hmm?
    And we all know how well that’s worked out for the REST of us, hmm?

    Good story.
    Roll safe out there.

    Like

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