Carl Switzer as Alfalfa in the Our Gang Serial
On January 21, 1959, Carl Dean Switzer, the actor who as a child played "Alfalfa" in the Our Gang comedy film series, dies at age 31 in a fight, allegedly about money, in a Mission Hills, California, home. Alfalfa, the freckle-faced boy with a warbling singing voice and a cowlick protruding from the top of his head, was Switzer's best-known role.
Jan. 20, 2013 Reuters
SANTA FE, New Mexico - A teenage boy with several weapons including an assault rifle shot and killed five people, three of them children, at a house in Albuquerque, New Mexico, authorities said on Sunday.
The boy, whose exact age had yet to be determined, was arrested and charged with the killings which took place late Saturday night, said Aaron Williamson, a Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department deputy.
"The victims all had multiple gunshot wounds, and there appeared to be multiple weapons, including an assault type weapon," Williamson said.
The children appeared to be "elementary- to middle-school age," Williamson said. The boy was charged with two counts of murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death, he said.
He said it had not been determined whether the weapons were from inside the house or brought from somewhere else.
It also was not yet clear whether the five people killed were related or what the relationship was between the teen and the victims.
On the morning of January 20, 1867, Julia Bulette's partially nude body was found by her maid in her bedroom of her Virginia City brothel. She had been strangled and bludgeoned to death, and robbed of her valuable jewel collection, clothing, and furs. Julia Bulette was an English-born American prostitute and madam in Virginia City, Nevada. After her violent death, she was described as proprietor of the most elegant and prosperous brothel in the City and various films and books took inspiration of her real or purported biography.
Dennis Rader aka The BTK Strangler
On January 15, 1974, the BTK Strangler struck for the first time, when he murdered four members of the Otero family. Six more victims, all female, followed, the last one in 1991. Throughout the 1970s, the BTK killer, or BTK strangler, as he was also known, sent letters to the media in which he claimed knowledge of the crimes.
Jan. 18, 2013 Mercury News
SAN JOSE -- Supporters rallied Friday to urge prosecutors to drop a murder charge against a San Jose man who shot and killed an alleged burglar in a vigilante act that made him a folk hero to residents frustrated with a shrinking police response to lower-level crimes.
A Change.org petition was launched by family and friends of Luis Ricardo Hernandez, 26, who is being held in Santa Clara County Jail on $1 million bail in the death of 36-year-old Christopher Soriano of San Jose.
Hernandez was a maintenance worker at the Summer Breeze apartments when on Dec. 31 he and a supervisor reportedly tried to perform a citizen's arrest on Soriano, who they suspected of burglarizing cars
at the complex. In an ensuing physical confrontation, police said, Hernandez shot Soriano, who later died.
The online petition garnered more than 500 signatures as of Friday. Family spokesman Gina Gates said the defendant, who on Friday postponed a plea entry, was trying to thwart a series of crimes given short shrift by a budget-starved police force. He is due back in court Feb. 15.
"Ricardo is not the pebble in the pond. He's part of the wave it caused," Gates said.
Authorities see things much differently, with police admonishing vigilantism even in lean staffing times and prosecutors filing a murder charge.
"We acknowledge that it may take us a while to get to a property crime like an auto burglary depending on what else is going on in the city," said outgoing police Chief Chris Moore in a recent interview. "I'm somewhat disappointed that people are treating this person as a folk hero. In my opinion, he's not. I understand the frustration. But that doesn't give someone the right to take a gun out and take the law into their own hands."
On January 18, 1990, Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry is arrested and charged with drug possession and the use of crack cocaine. Barry was caught at the Vista International Hotel in downtown Washington smoking the substance on camera with Rahsheeda Moore, a woman who had agreed to set up Barry in exchange for a reduced sentence in an earlier drug conviction.
Jan. 18, 2013 Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA — A man has been arrested on charges he grabbed a woman by the feet and threw her onto the tracks at a Philadelphia subway station, police said. The woman got off the tracks on her own and suffered only minor injuries.
Police announced the arrest Thursday, more than two days after the woman was assaulted around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at a subway station in the city's Chinatown neighborhood. The victim had been sitting on a bench when the man asked her what time the train was coming and requested a light for his cigarette, according to investigators. After she obliged and put the lighter back in her coat pocket, police said, the man grabbed her by the neck and began punching her.
In the assault, which was caught on surveillance video, the man can be seen grabbing the victim by her feet, dragging her along the platform and then throwing her on the tracks as she screamed. The suspect walked away with her cellphone, police said, but the woman was able to get back up onto the platform with only bruises and cuts.
With the purpose of writing about true crime in an authoritative, fact-based manner, veteran journalists J. J. Maloney and J. Patrick O’Connor launched Crime Magazine in November of 1998.
Their goal was to cover all aspects of true crime: from organized crime to serial killers, from capital punishment to prisons, from historical crimes to celebrity crime, from assassinations to government corruption, from justice issues to innocent cases, from crime films to books about crime. Read More