Crime

Dmitry The Undead

Three imposters claimed to be the assassinated son of Ivan the Terrible, Prince Dmitry – but the first of the fraudsters got the furthest, actually being crowned Tzar on 10th June, 1605, and reigning over Russia for almost a year. His name was Grigory Otrepiev – now more often known as ‘False Dmitry I’ – […]

Dmitry The Undead Read More »

RETRO

Three imposters claimed to be the assassinated son of Ivan the Terrible, Prince Dmitry – but the first of the fraudsters got the furthest, actually being crowned Tzar on 10th June, 1605, and reigning over Russia for almost a year. His name was Grigory Otrepiev – now more often known as ‘False Dmitry I’ –

Killing Lincoln’s Killer

John Wilkes Booth was on the run for twelve days before being tracked down to a tobacco barn at Garrett’s Farm in Port Royal, Virginia, and shot in the neck. He died of his injuries on 26th April, 1865 – after several agonising hours bleeding out.  Despite numerous witnesses to his death, it continued to

Killing Lincoln’s Killer Read More »

RETRO

John Wilkes Booth was on the run for twelve days before being tracked down to a tobacco barn at Garrett’s Farm in Port Royal, Virginia, and shot in the neck. He died of his injuries on 26th April, 1865 – after several agonising hours bleeding out.  Despite numerous witnesses to his death, it continued to

Murder at the Masked Ball

Gustav III was shot, in the back and at close range, at Stockholm’s Royal Opera House on 16th March, 1792. But he didn’t die for another two weeks. Which made things rather difficult for the conspirators who had assassinated him. During his two decades on the throne, Sweden’s ‘Culture King’ had increased religious freedom, widened

Murder at the Masked Ball Read More »

RETRO

Gustav III was shot, in the back and at close range, at Stockholm’s Royal Opera House on 16th March, 1792. But he didn’t die for another two weeks. Which made things rather difficult for the conspirators who had assassinated him. During his two decades on the throne, Sweden’s ‘Culture King’ had increased religious freedom, widened

Eva Tanguay: Cyclonic Comedienne

Eva Tanguay, vaudeville megastar, was arrested in Louisville, Kentucky on 1st March, 1910 after stabbing a stagehand three times with a hat pin. At the police station, she reportedly produced a roll of bills and cried, “take it all. And let me go, for it’s now my dinner time.” It was neither the first violent

Eva Tanguay: Cyclonic Comedienne Read More »

RETRO

Eva Tanguay, vaudeville megastar, was arrested in Louisville, Kentucky on 1st March, 1910 after stabbing a stagehand three times with a hat pin. At the police station, she reportedly produced a roll of bills and cried, “take it all. And let me go, for it’s now my dinner time.” It was neither the first violent

The Lonely Hearts Serial Killer

Henri Landru, known as ‘Bluebeard’ to the French public, was executed by guillotine on 25th February, 1922, having murdered at least ten women he dated during the First World War. He continued to protest his innocence throughout his sensational trial – despite having drawn a detailed doodle of the oven he had used to burn

The Lonely Hearts Serial Killer Read More »

RETRO

Henri Landru, known as ‘Bluebeard’ to the French public, was executed by guillotine on 25th February, 1922, having murdered at least ten women he dated during the First World War. He continued to protest his innocence throughout his sensational trial – despite having drawn a detailed doodle of the oven he had used to burn

The First Hijack

Pan-Am pilot Byron Rickards was surrounded by soldiers and told he had become the prisoner of a revolutionary organisation shortly after landing in Arequipa, Peru on 21 February 1931 – the first recorded aircraft hijack in history. Rickards refused to drop pro-rebel propaganda, leading to a stand-off – although, astonishingly, it wasn’t the only time

The First Hijack Read More »

RETRO

Pan-Am pilot Byron Rickards was surrounded by soldiers and told he had become the prisoner of a revolutionary organisation shortly after landing in Arequipa, Peru on 21 February 1931 – the first recorded aircraft hijack in history. Rickards refused to drop pro-rebel propaganda, leading to a stand-off – although, astonishingly, it wasn’t the only time

The Prince Who Drowned in Wine

Sentenced to death for treason against his brother King Edward IV, George, Duke of Clarence was executed on 18th February, 1478 – and, according to legend, chose to be drowned in a butt of his  favorite tipple: malmsey wine.  It was apt punishment for years of plotting against his brother alongside his father-in-law, the Earl

The Prince Who Drowned in Wine Read More »

RETRO

Sentenced to death for treason against his brother King Edward IV, George, Duke of Clarence was executed on 18th February, 1478 – and, according to legend, chose to be drowned in a butt of his  favorite tipple: malmsey wine.  It was apt punishment for years of plotting against his brother alongside his father-in-law, the Earl

The Chastity Belt and the Frenchman

Henri Littière and his adulterous wife Suzanne thought they’d come up with a novel way to combat her philandering – by commissioning a custom-made chastity belt. But on 21st January, 1934, Littière was sentenced to three months in prison for cruelty to his spouse. It’s a strange story, but not half as weird as how

The Chastity Belt and the Frenchman Read More »

RETRO

Henri Littière and his adulterous wife Suzanne thought they’d come up with a novel way to combat her philandering – by commissioning a custom-made chastity belt. But on 21st January, 1934, Littière was sentenced to three months in prison for cruelty to his spouse. It’s a strange story, but not half as weird as how

Arriving At Botany Bay

‘The First Fleet’ – the eleven ships carrying around 1400 people from Britain, most of whom were convicted criminals – landed in New South Wales on 18th January, 1788. Australia had been home to indigenous people for at least 50,000 years – but was a barren and shocking destination for ‘the poms’, who’d endured an

Arriving At Botany Bay Read More »

RETRO

‘The First Fleet’ – the eleven ships carrying around 1400 people from Britain, most of whom were convicted criminals – landed in New South Wales on 18th January, 1788. Australia had been home to indigenous people for at least 50,000 years – but was a barren and shocking destination for ‘the poms’, who’d endured an

The Krays in Soho

The Hideaway Club, now part of London’s Chinatown, opened on 16th December, 1964. Ronnie and Reggie Kray didn’t turn up for the big night, even though they had booked a table. It was an opening gambit in a war of intimidation against the manager of the club, Huw Cargill McCowan – to whom the gangsters

The Krays in Soho Read More »

RETRO

The Hideaway Club, now part of London’s Chinatown, opened on 16th December, 1964. Ronnie and Reggie Kray didn’t turn up for the big night, even though they had booked a table. It was an opening gambit in a war of intimidation against the manager of the club, Huw Cargill McCowan – to whom the gangsters