this day in crime history: december 25, 1974

1600PennAve

On this date in 1974, Marshall Fields crashed his Chevy Impala through the Northwest gate of the White House in Washington, DC. Fields, who was dressed in Arab clothing, claimed he was the Messiah. He displayed what appeared to be a bomb strapped to his body and threatened to detonate it. After a four hour standoff with police, Fields surrendered. After his surrender, police discovered that his bomb was really made up of common road flares. They also discovered he was not really the Messiah. I guess you just can’t believe a raving lunatic. Not even on Christmas.

Further reading:

Wikipedia – List of White House security breaches

Yonkers, NY Herald Statesman“Break-in sparks review”

History.com – A History of White House Attacks

true crime stocking stuffer

HollywoodontheSpot

Looking for last-minute gifts for that true crime fan on your Christmas list? Here’s an idea, check out Patrick Downey’s Hollywood on the Spot: Crimes Against the Early Movie Stars.

The lives of Hollywood’s early movie stars have become the stuff of legend; the glitz and the glamour, the conspicuous consumption, the never ending carousel of parties and premieres. Rarely discussed is the dark side of their stardom; the constant fear that at any time they could become victims of gunmen, kidnappers, or extortionists. In these pages are the stories that normally get left out of the Hollywood history books: the armed robberies, home invasions and the threats of abduction, maiming, and murder that plagued Tinseltown throughout the early years. Whether it was “America’s Sweetheart” Mary Pickford or sex siren Mae West – no star was immune. Hollywood on the Spot brings to light the nightmares inside the Dream Factory.

Hollywood on the Spot is available as a trade paperback from Amazon.