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Crime

The Theft Of The Hesse Crown Jewels

July 29, 2021

Recovery of jewels stolen from Kronberg Castle, Germany by Chicago police on June 12, 1946. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images) In 1944, Prince Wolfgang of th...

This Day In History: Herostratus And The Destruction Of...

July 21, 2021

The Temple of Artemis, Ephesus, Turkey, 1933-1934. From Wonders of the Past, volume II, 1933-1934. (The Print Collector/Getty Images) In 356 B.C.E., the ancie...

The Affair Of The Diamond Necklace, Or How A Queen Lost...

July 11, 2021

Marie Antoinette's execution on October 16, 1793. (Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons) The Affair of the Diamond Necklace reads more like a farce than a factual...

'The Scream:' Facts And Stories About Edvard Munch's Ic...

June 7, 2021

Munch made several versions of his famous painting, including this one in pastels. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) Norwegian artist Edvard Munch's most well-known p...

The History Of The Getaway Car And Where It Started

April 10, 2021

1912 Stanley steam car. (Stephen Foskett/Wikimedia Commons) Before the advent of the automobile, bank robbers, rustlers, and no-goodniks of all stripes fled the scen...

When A Shoemaker Convinced People To Kidnap A German Go...

March 10, 2021

German postage stamp commemorating Voigt released in 2006. (Carsten Wolff/Wikimedia Commons) There are people in the world who can convince anyone to do anyth...

Jesse James: Biography, Facts, & Things You Didn't Know...

February 13, 2021

American outlaw Jesse James, circa 1870. (MPI/Getty Images) Between 1866 and 1879, Jesse James terrorized the people and wallets of America. From Minnesota t...

Australia: History And Why It Was Founded As A Penal Co...

January 26, 2021

A kangaroo hops through the outback landscape June 7, 2005 near Marree, Australia. (Ian Waldie/Getty Images) While it stands today as one of the most diverse ...

The Toy Box Killer A.K.A. David Parker Ray: Serial Kill...

January 7, 2021

David Parker Ray was one of America's most prolific and grotesque serial killers despite the fact that he was never convicted of a single murder. We know he ...

The Crimes Of Christopher Columbus: Why He Was Brought ...

January 3, 2021

Posthumous portrait of Christopher Columbus by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1519. (Metropolitan Museum of Art/Wikimedia Commons) He's considered a hero by many for ...

Gavle Goat: The Swedish Traditional Display That Vandal...

December 20, 2020

(Stefan/Wikimedia Commons) Every year in Gävle, Sweden, the locals celebrate Christmas by erecting the Gävle Goat, a massive version of the Swedish yule goat....

Poachers Killed By The Animals They Were Hunting: A Lis...

December 3, 2020

(Claude Kleynhans/Instagram) It never feels good to celebrate the death of another human, but when a poacher is killed by an animal they're hunting, the irony...

"Dr. Satan"/Dr. Marcel Petiot: The Serial Killer Real-L...

November 30, 2020

Few people embodied the duality of man quite like Dr. Marcel Petiot, the French doctor who spent World War II robbing and murdering Jewish people under the a...

Albert Fish: Serial Killer Cannibal Who Ate Kids And Wr...

November 28, 2020

(Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons) Albert Fish was a gray man living in a gray world. Known as the Brooklyn Vampire, he was a cannibal, real-life Bluebeard, a...

Jeffrey Dahmer: Serial Killer Biography Of America's Mo...

November 27, 2020

Cannibal, killer, monster: Jeffrey Dahmer has rightfully earned his place among some of the most vicious serial killers in America, and his murders shined an...

Robert Hansen- The Serial Killer Who Hunted His Victims...

September 24, 2020

(Alaskan Police Department/Wikimedia Commons) Between 1971 and 1983, Alaskan baker Robert Hansen killed at least 17 women. Although he was only convicted of f...

The Menendez Brothers: What Did They Do And Who Killed ...

August 20, 2020

On August 20th, 1989, Lyle Menendez placed a frantic call to 911. He cried that “someone” had killed his parents as his brother Erik screamed in the background. T...

Lizzie Borden: 1892's Unsolved Axe Murder Mystery Case

August 4, 2020

We probably all remember the morbid schoolyard ditty about Lizzie Borden, in which we learned that she gave her parents 40–41 whacks with an ax. Officially, howe...

Pancho Villa: Mexico's Real-Life Robin Hood

July 24, 2020

(Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons) The name Pancho Villa resonates with Americans like a distant echo of history. We know he's an important Mexican revolutionary figure...

John Dillinger: Escape Plans, Bank Robberies, And Every...

July 22, 2020

During the Great Depression, there were no superheroes, but there was a very real Robin Hood. John Dillinger was a bank robber who led the FBI on a year-long...

Assata Shakur: Black Panther, Black Liberation Army Mem...

July 10, 2020

Tupac Shakur, the king of '90s West Coast hip-hop, had a reputation for skirting the law. Perhaps he got his rebel attitude from his godmother, JoAnne Debora...

The Panama Papers: How The Ultra Rich Got Caught Hiding...

July 8, 2020

In 2016, the Panama Papers were on the cover of every newspaper, and it felt like something big was about to happen. Just as quickly as the leak was exposed,...

The Grim Sleeper: A Serial Killer Who Was Caught By A S...

June 23, 2020

Beginning in the 1980s, a serial killer stalked the women of South-Central Los Angeles for nearly two decades. The Grim Sleeper, known as Lonnie Franklin to ...

Marquis De Sade: The Father Of Sadism, Explained

June 22, 2020

Poet, playwright, rebel, and seeker of erotic pleasure through all of its nuanced and varied means, the Marquis de Sade literally embodied sadism. This libidinous Fren...

Mississippi Burning Murders: The KKK And Local Sheriff ...

June 21, 2020

Missing persons poster created by the FBI in 1964, signed by Director J. Edgar Hoover. (Federal Bureau of Investigation/Wikimedia Commons) On June 21, 1964, t...

The History Of Miranda Rights: How The Supreme Court Pa...

June 13, 2020

If you're a fan of TV crime dramas, you probably have the Miranda Rights memorized. Anytime a suspect is taken into custody, the arresting officer(s) must in...

1979: The First Ever Missing Child Appears On A Milk Ca...

May 25, 2020

May 25 is National Missing Children's Day, an occasion for various organizations like the Center for Missing and Exploited Children to raise awareness of the...

Elizabeth Báthory: The West's Most Legendary Serial Kil...

May 15, 2020

One of the most prolific alleged serial killers who's ever lived, Elizabeth Báthory, had the perks of timing and aristocracy on her side. This Hungarian nob...

Why Is It Called The Roaring '20s?

May 12, 2020

Magazine illustration of a roaring '20s party, New York , New York, 1926. (Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images) From provocative jazz music and scandalous flappers to snazzy bootleg...

The Crimes Of Warren Jeffs: "President/Prophet" Of The ...

May 10, 2020

In 2002, polygamous priest and former member of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List Warren Jeffs rose to top of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latte...

The Hitler Diaries Hoax: How Germans Faked Something Ev...

May 9, 2020

On April 25, 1983, Stern magazine, Germany’s version of Life, announced to the world that they'd come into possession of Adolf Hitler's diaries. It was an as...

The 21st Amendment: All The Craziest Things That Happen...

April 27, 2020

Prohibition was an era unlike anything America had ever experienced. This 13-year period of nationwide state control over the brewing, transportation, and sa...

Guillotine: History Of The French Invention That Made D...

April 25, 2020

Today marks the 228th anniversary of the guillotine, which sliced its way onto the capital punishment scene on April 25, 1792 with the execution of French cr...

Queen Elizabeth II: Things You Didn't Know About Her Ma...

April 21, 2020

On this day 94 years ago, the longest reigning monarch in British history was born. Although no one could have known it when she slid into the world on April...

The Mad Bomber: George Metesky's Bombs Terrorized New Y...

March 30, 2020

As millions of people file for unemployment and still more lack health insurance, it's easy to understand, here in 2020, why someone might get salty with an ...

Charles 'Pretty Boy' Floyd: The Depression-Era Robin Ho...

March 28, 2020

One of the most colorful Depression-era criminals was the cherub-faced, Robin Hood–esque Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd. Floyd's love for his machine gun and hab...

Gary M. Heidnik: The Real-Life 'Buffalo Bill' Who Kept ...

March 27, 2020

Buffalo Bill—the unhinged villain of Silence Of The Lambs, not the greatest showman of the wild west—feels too evil to be real. However, the most frightening thin...

The History Of The FBI's 'Ten Most Wanted' List

March 14, 2020

For the last 70 years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list has put the fates of some of the most hardened and dangerous criminals in th...

The Notorious B.I.G.: Theories And What Really Happened

March 9, 2020

American rapper Notorious B.I.G. attends the 1995 Billboard Music Awards, New York, New York, December 6, 1995. (Larry Busacca/WireImage/Getty Images) In the ear...

Grave Robbers Exhumed And Held Charlie Chaplin's Body F...

March 1, 2020

As a performer and director, Charlie Chaplin revolutionized filmmaking. He was one of the few people who successfully transitioned from vaudeville to silent films...

This 1990s LSD Lab Built Inside An Underground Missile ...

February 28, 2020

From the outside, it's just a slate gray, Cold War–era missile silo, but the inside is a different story. No one can agree on exactly what happened on there, but ...

The Impeachment Of Andrew Johnson: Why His Impeachment ...

February 24, 2020

No matter what side of the political aisle you fall on, an impeachment is never good news. In the four instances where impeachment has been levied against a presi...

Delphine LaLaurie: New Orleans's Famously Sadistic Slav...

February 9, 2020

New Orleans is full of ghost stories, but the most haunting tale is that of Delphine LaLaurie, a mad slave owner who tortured the men and women in her employ. Sto...

Mary Queen of Scots: Stories, Trivia, And A Botched Beh...

February 8, 2020

When King James V of Scotland died at the ripe age of 30 (hey, it was ripe for medieval times), his kingdom was in a bit of a pickle. His only surviving legi...

Vlad The Impaler: Real-Life Dracula's Most Monstrous Ac...

February 3, 2020

You could say Vlad the Imapler was a bad guy. After all, you don't get to be immortalized as a bloodthirsty monster if you're Mr. Congeniality. Not only did Vlad ...

Brink's Building Robbery: The Heist That Tore A Gang Ap...

January 17, 2020

The Brink's building heist of 1950 is one of the most daring robberies of the 20th century. Like something from a movie, the robbery itself went off without a hit...

Emmett Till: The Memorial That Was Vandalized Until The...

January 14, 2020

The legacy of Emmett Till is one of anger and brutality. His death at the hands of two white men in the Mississippi Delta was one of the major sparks of the Civil...

The Boston Strangler: Why Did He Matter So Much, Histor...

January 4, 2020

Between June 14, 1962 and January 4, 1964, women in the Boston, Massachusetts area were on edge with reports that a serial killer was stalking the streets of the ...

D.B. Cooper Hijacked A Plane, Jumped Into A Storm Witho...

November 24, 2019

There are few modern American mysteries that are as arresting as the identity of D.B. Cooper, the man who skyjacked a Boeing jet in 1971 before diving from the p...

Billy The Kid Stories You've Never Heard Before

November 23, 2019

Youthful Old West outlaw Billy the Kid would be celebrating his 160th birthday today, November 23, if he had not been killed at the tender age of 21 (and, you know, if ...

Blackbeard: Myths About The Infamous Pirate Who Was (Al...

November 22, 2019

Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, was one of the most feared reavers in the Caribbean and east coast of North America during the golden age of piracy...

Ed Gein: Stories, Trivia, And Facts You Didn't Know Unt...

November 16, 2019

Ed Gein: The Wisconsin cannibal. The hungriest mama's boy of the 20th century. He's long-held a strange place in Americana, but no one living in Plainfield, Wisco...

Edward Paisnel: A Masked Sex Offender Known As 'The Bea...

November 9, 2019

When you live in an isolated area, you have to find your own ways to entertain yourself. You could go with something harmlessly mild, like erecting the world...

Georgia Tann Abducted Children And Sold Them To Celebri...

November 8, 2019

Have you ever wondered why someone would get it into their head to steal babies and flip them like so many houses? Well, you're in luck, friend. Buckle up, a...

Nuremberg Trials: Sentencing, Trivia, Criminals, And Af...

November 1, 2019

The Nuremberg trials of 1946 were some of the most controversial and difficult legal proceedings of the 20th century. Over the course of five years, 13 trials we...

Carl Tanzler's Obsession With Elena de Hoyos Went Way T...

October 27, 2019

True love---or at least, true obsession---conquers all. In this case, it even conquered death. In 1933, Carl Tanzler was so head over heels for 21-year-old Elena ...

Samuel Little: The Most Prolific Serial Killer In U.S. ...

October 23, 2019

Samuel Little, Maybe The Most Prolific Serial Killer In American History (Photo by Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) Serial killers hold a st...

Rolex Murder: How A Dead Man's Fancy Watch Led To His M...

October 17, 2019

A Rolex watch helped to solve a crime and bring Canada’s most water criminal to justice. Source: (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic/Getty Images) Albert John...