By GENE JOHNSON | Associated Press – Nov. 5, 2012
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. (AP) — The caped figure on the surveillance video came running out of the darkness to the edge of a remote Army outpost in southern Afghanistan. Blood was smeared on his face, prosecutors said, and soaked into his clothes.
Less than a mile away, 16 Afghans, including nine children, were dead, some of their bodies on fire in two villages.
As fellow soldiers stopped him at the base's gate, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was incredulous, prosecutors said. Then, as he was taken into custody, Bales said, "I thought I was doing the right thing."
The details, from a prosecutor as well as Bales' comrades, emerged Monday as a preliminary hearing in his case opened, offering the clearest picture yet of one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Nov. 5, 2012
Major Nidal Hasan
On this date in 2009, army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan kills 13 people and wounds 32 in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood. Early in the afternoon of November 5, Major Hasan, armed with two pistols, allegedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for “God is great”) and then opened fire at a crowd inside a Fort Hood processing center where soldiers who were about to be deployed overseas or were returning from deployment received medical screenings. The massacre, which left 12 service members and one Department of Defense employee dead, lasted approximately 10 minutes before Hasan was shot by civilian police and taken into custody.
Nov. 4, 2012
On this date in 1928, notorious gambler Arnold Rothstein is shot and killed during a poker game at the Park Central Hotel in Manhattan. After finding Rothstein bleeding profusely at the service entrance of the hotel, police followed his trail of blood back to a suite where a group of men were playing cards. Reportedly, Rothstein had nothing good in his final hand. From an early age, Rothstein had a talent for playing numbers. As a teenager, he built a small fortune gambling in craps and poker games, and by age 20 he owned and operated his own casino. Rothstein became a legendary figure in New York because of his unparalleled winning streak in bets and card games. However, it is believed that he usually won by fixing the events. The most famous instance of this was in 1919 when the World Series was fixed. Abe Attell, a friend and employee of Rothstein, paid some of the key players on the Chicago White Sox to throw the games. When the scandal was uncovered, Rothstein fiercely denied any involvement to a grand jury and escaped indictment. In private, however, Rothstein never denied his role, preferring to enjoy the outlaw image. In the 1920's, Rothstein began purchasing nightclubs, racehorses, and brothels. He had such a formidable presence in the criminal underworld that he was reportedly once paid half a million dollars to mediate a gang war. As Rothstein's fortune grew to an estimated $50 million, he became a high-level loan shark, liberally padding the pockets of police and judges to evade the law. He is fabled to have carried around $200,000 in pocket money at all times. Rothstein's luck finally ran out in 1928 when he encountered an unprecedented losing streak. At a poker game in September, Rothstein lost $320,000 and then refused to pay on the grounds that the game had been rigged. Two months later, he was invited to play what would be his final poker game. Asked who had shot him before dying, Rothstein reportedly put his finger to his lips, keeping the gangsters' code of silence.
Nov. 3, 2012
Charles E. Boles AKA "Black Bart"
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.
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