this day in crime history: october 26, 1881

The graves of Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers in Boot Hill Cemetery.

On this date in 1881, the feud that had been brewing between the Earps and the Cowboys came to a head in Tombstone, AZ. Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp, along with their friend Doc Holliday, confronted Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McClaury, and Billy Claiborne in a lot next to the OK Corral. Ike Clanton (who was unarmed) and Billy Claiborne fled the scene unscathed. Billy Clanton and the McClaury brothers stayed and shot it out with Holliday and the Earps. The gunfight lasted maybe 30 seconds, and when it was over, two of the Earps (Morgan and Virgil) and Doc Holliday were wounded, and Billy Clanton and the McClaury brothers were dead.

Further reading:

My 2007 blog post on the gunfight (with pictures from my trips to Tombstone)

The Notorious Clanton Gang

Wikipedia: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

OK Corral Famous Gunfight Site

Wyatt Earp’s Testimony Re: The Gunfight at the OK Corral 

this day in crime history: june 29, 1978

Hogan

On this date in 1978, actor Bob Crane (Hogan’s Heroes) was found murdered in a hotel room in Scottsdale, AZ. His head had been bashed in and a VCR cord was tied around his neck. Cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. Police suspected Crane’s friend John Carpenter (no relation to the film director). He was finally arrested and tried for Crane’s murder in 1992. The jury found him not guilty. He died of a heart attack in 1998, so whatever secrets Carpenter knew about the murder went to the grave with him.

Further reading:

Wikipedia – Bob Crane

findadeath.com – Bob’s Cranium

this day in crime history: may 31, 1964


On this date in 1964, Charles Schimd, the “Pied Piper of Tucson,” murdered fifteen year old Alleen Rowe. The 23 year old Schmid–so self-conscious about his small stature that he would put crushed beer cans and rags in his boots to make himself look taller–managed to convince several local teenagers to help him set up Alleen to be killed, and then dispose of her body. His motive: he wanted to see what it felt like to kill someone. Schmid went on to murder two more teenage girls when they threatened to expose him.

Charles Schmid was arrested in November 1965. He was convicted and sentenced to death. His sentence was eventually commuted to life in prison, thanks to our ever-compassionate justice system. In 1975, his death sentence was carried out anyway, compliments of some never-compassionate inmates in the Arizona State Prison yard. They shanked the little psycho (a few dozen times) and left him in a pool of his own blood. Schmid’s family refused to claim his remains. He was buried in the prison cemetery.

Schmid was the inspiration for the short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates. If you’ve never read it, the full text is posted on her website here. Great story.

Murderpedia – Charles Howard Schmid

Wikipedia – Charles Schmid

this day in crime history: october 26, 1881

The graves of Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers in Boot Hill Cemetery.

On this date in 1881, the feud that had been brewing between the Earps and the Cowboys came to a head in Tombstone, AZ. Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp, along with their friend Doc Holliday, confronted Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McClaury, and Billy Claiborne in a lot next to the OK Corral. Ike Clanton (who was unarmed) and Billy Claiborne fled the scene unscathed. Billy Clanton and the McClaury brothers stayed and shot it out with Holliday and the Earps. The gunfight lasted maybe 30 seconds, and when it was over, two of the Earps (Morgan and Virgil) and Doc Holliday were wounded, and Billy Clanton and the McClaury brothers were dead.

Further reading:

My 2007 blog post on the gunfight (with pictures from my trips to Tombstone)

The Notorious Clanton Gang

Wikipedia: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

OK Corral Famous Gunfight Site

Wyatt Earp’s Testimony Re: The Gunfight at the OK Corral 

this day in crime history: june 29, 1978

Hogan

On this date in 1978, actor Bob Crane (Hogan’s Heroes) was found murdered in a hotel room in Scottsdale, AZ. His head had been bashed in and a VCR cord was tied around his neck. Cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. Police suspected Crane’s friend John Carpenter (no relation to the film director). He was finally arrested and tried for Crane’s murder in 1992. The jury found him not guilty. He died of a heart attack in 1998, so whatever secrets Carpenter knew about the murder went to the grave with him.

Further reading:

Wikipedia – Bob Crane

findadeath.com – Bob’s Cranium

this day in crime history: october 26, 1881

The graves of Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers in Boot Hill Cemetery.

On this date in 1881, the feud that had been brewing between the Earps and the Cowboys came to a head in Tombstone, AZ. Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp, along with their friend Doc Holliday, confronted Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McClaury, and Billy Claiborne in a lot next to the OK Corral. Ike Clanton (who was unarmed) and Billy Claiborne fled the scene unscathed. Billy Clanton and the McClaury brothers stayed and shot it out with Holliday and the Earps. The gunfight lasted maybe 30 seconds, and when it was over, two of the Earps (Morgan and Virgil) and Doc Holliday were wounded, and Billy Clanton and the McClaury brothers were dead.

Further reading:

My 2007 blog post on the gunfight (with pictures from my trips to Tombstone)

The Notorious Clanton Gang

Wikipedia: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

OK Corral Famous Gunfight Site

Wyatt Earp’s Testimony Re: The Gunfight at the OK Corral 

this day in crime history: june 29, 1978

Hogan

On this date in 1978, actor Bob Crane (Hogan’s Heroes) was found murdered in a hotel room in Scottsdale, AZ. His head had been bashed in and a VCR cord was tied around his neck. Cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. Police suspected Crane’s friend John Carpenter (no relation to the film director). He was finally arrested and tried for Crane’s murder in 1992. The jury found him not guilty. He died of a heart attack in 1998, so whatever secrets Carpenter knew about the murder went to the grave with him.

Further reading:

Wikipedia – Bob Crane

findadeath.com – Bob’s Cranium