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Black Bart robs his last stagecoach - 1883
Sat, 11/03/2012 - 09:42, - 0 Comments

Nov. 3, 2012

black bart

Charles E. Boles AKA "Black Bart"

by Michael Thomas Barry

On this date in 1883, notorious bandit Black Bart robs his last stagecoach. He was born Charles E. Boles around 1830 in New York. As a young man, he abandoned his family for the gold fields of California, but failed to strike it rich as a miner and turned to a life of crime. By the mid-1850s, stagecoaches and Wells Fargo wagons transported much of the huge output of gold from California. Often traveling in isolated areas, the Wells Fargo wagons and stagecoaches quickly became favorite targets for bandits; over the course of about 15 years, the company lost more than $415,000 in gold to outlaw robbers. It is believed that Boles committed his first stagecoach robbery in July 1875. Wearing a flour sack over his head with holes cut for his eyes and a fancy gentleman's black derby, he intercepted a stage near the California mining city of Copperopolis. When guards spotted gun barrels sticking out of nearby bushes, they handed over their strong box to Boles. He cracked open the box with an axe and escaped on foot with the gold, though his "gang" of camouflaged gunmen stayed behind. When the guards returned to pick up the box, they discovered that the "rifle barrels" were just sticks tied to branches. During the course of his criminal career he never shot anyone nor robbed a single stage passenger; he gained fame for his daring style and the occasional short poems he left behind, signed by "Black Bart, the Po-8." Wells Fargo, however, was not amused and the company ordered its private police force to capture the bandit, dead or alive and after several years of searching Wells Fargo detectives finally located Boles in San Francisco. Arrested and tried, Boles pleaded guilty and received a sentence of six years in San Quentin prison. He served just over four years. After his release from prison in 1888, Boles disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again. 

Many death row inmates oppose bid to halt executions
Fri, 11/02/2012 - 11:34, - 0 Comments

If Proposition 34 passed, such prisoners would be given less legal assistance than they have no

South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem is assassinated - 1963
Fri, 11/02/2012 - 08:38, - 0 Comments

Nov. 2, 2012

diem

South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem
by Michael Thomas Barry

On this date in 1963, South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother are captured and killed by a group of soldiers. The death of Diem caused celebration among many people in South Vietnam, but also leads to political chaos in the nation. The United States subsequently became more heavily involved in Vietnam as it tried to stabilize the South Vietnamese government and beat back the communist rebels that were becoming an increasingly powerful threat. While the United States publicly disclaimed any knowledge of or participation in the planning of the coup that overthrew Diem, it was later revealed that American officials met with the generals who organized the plot and gave them encouragement to go through with their plans. Quite simply, Diem was perceived as an impediment to the accomplishment of U.S. goals in Southeast Asia. His increasingly dictatorial rule only succeeded in alienating most of the South Vietnamese people, and his brutal repression of protests led by Buddhist monks during the summer of 1963 convinced many American officials that the time had come for Diem to go. Three weeks later, an assassin shot President Kennedy. By then, the United States was more heavily involved in the South Vietnamese quagmire than ever. Its participation in the overthrow of the Diem regime signaled a growing impatience with South Vietnamese management of the war. From this point on, the United States moved step by step to become more directly and heavily involved in the fight against the communist rebels.

Naperville baby sitter charged with killing 2 children
Thu, 11/01/2012 - 12:44, - 0 Comments

A Naperville mother who left her daughter in the care of a baby sitter while she went to work learned after a frantic search Tuesday night that her little girl had been slain by the caretaker, who also killed her own son, officials said.

The baby sitter, Elzbieta M. Plackowska, 40, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder Wednesday night, DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said. Sources said the woman had given various explanations for what happened, including hearing demonic voices that led her to stab the children to death.

The bodies of the children — identified by sources as Olivia Dworakowski, 5, and Justin Plackowska, 7 or 8 — were discovered by police in a bedroom of the girl's town home in the western suburb, officials said.


Legendary Old West Lawman Bill Tilghman is Murdered - 1924
Thu, 11/01/2012 - 11:26, - 0 Comments

Nov. 1, 2012   

William Tilghman

by Michael Thomas Barry

On this date in 1924, legendary old west lawman, William Tilghman is murderedKnown to both friends and enemies as "Uncle Billy," Tilghman was one of the most honest and effective lawmen of his day. Born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, in 1854, Tilghman moved west when he was only 16 years old. Once there, he flirted with a life of crime after falling in with a crowd of disreputable young men who stole horses from Indians. After several narrow escapes with angry Indians, Tilghman decided that rustling was too dangerous and settled in Dodge City, Kansas, where he briefly served as a deputy marshal before opening a saloon. He was arrested twice for alleged train robbery and rustling, but the charges did not stick. Despite this shaky start, Tilghman gradually built a reputation as an honest and respectable young man in Dodge City. He became the deputy sheriff of Ford County, Kansas, and later, the marshal of Dodge City. Tilghman was one of the first men into the territory when Oklahoma opened to settlement in 1889, and he became a deputy U.S. marshal for the region in 1891. 

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