Monday, August 29, 2016

This Day in Crime History: AUGUST 29, 2007 : HERO SECURITY GUARD WRONGLY ACCUSED AS BOMBING SUSPECT DIES



Richard Jewell, the hero security guard turned Olympic bombing suspect, dies at age 44 of natural causes at his Georgia home.


On July 27, 1996, during the Summer Games in Atlanta, a pipe bomb with nails went off in crowded Centennial Olympic Park, killing one woman and injuring 111 other people. Shortly before the explosion, Richard Jewell, who was working as a temporary security guard in the area, discovered a suspicious-looking backpack abandoned beneath a park bench. Jewell alerted police to the backpack, which held a bomb, and moved people out of harm’s way before it exploded. In the aftermath of the bombing, Jewell was praised as a hero for his actions. However, three days later, the media reported that Jewell was being investigated as a suspect in the case. Although he was never arrested or charged with any crime, for the next three months, Jewell faced intense scrutiny from both law enforcement officials and the media, who combed through his background and tracked his movements. Even after the Justice Department officially cleared Jewell of any involvement in the bombing in late October 1996, some people still viewed him with suspicion.




Jewell later filed libel lawsuits against several major media companies and reached settlements with CNN and NBC, among others. Before his death on August 29, 2007, Jewell, who suffered from diabetes and other health problems, worked as a sheriff’s deputy in Georgia. In 2006, during the 10-year anniversary of the Atlanta Olympics, Georgia governor Sonny Perdue publicly commended Jewell for saving lives at Centennial Park.



In May 2003, police in North Carolina captured Eric Rudolph, the real person responsible for the Olympic bombing, as well as the bombings of several abortion clinics and a gay bar. Rudolph, who eluded law enforcement authorities for years by living in the Appalachian wilderness, eventually pled guilty to his crimes and was sentenced to life in prison.



Article Details:

August 29, 2007 : Hero security guard wrongly accused as bombing suspect dies

  • Author

    History.com Staff
  • Website Name

    History.com
  • Year Published

    2009
  • Title

    August 29, 2007 : Hero security guard wrongly accused as bombing suspect dies
  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/hero-security-guard-wrongly-accused-as-bombing-suspect-dies
  • Access Date

    August 29, 2016
  • Publisher

    A+E Networks

Monday, August 1, 2016

This Day in Crime History: AUGUST 01, 1966 : AN EX-MARINE GOES ON A KILLING SPREE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS


Charles Whitman takes a stockpile of guns and ammunition to the observatory platform atop a 300-foot tower at the University of Texas and proceeds to shoot 46 people, killing 14 people and wounding 31. A fifteenth died in 2001 because of his injuries. Whitman, who had killed both his wife and mother the night before, was eventually shot to death after courageous Austin police officers, including Ramiro Martinez, charged up the stairs of the tower to subdue the attacker.



Whitman, a former Eagle Scout and Marine, began to suffer serious mental problems after his mother left his father inMarch 1966. On March 29, he told a psychiatrist that he was having uncontrollable fits of anger. He purportedly even told this doctor that he was thinking about going up to the tower with a rifle and shooting people. Unfortunately, the doctor didn’t follow up on this red flag.


On July 31, Whitman wrote a note about his violent impulses, saying, “After my death, I wish an autopsy on me be performed to see if there’s any mental disorders.” The note then described his hatred for his family and his intent to kill them. That night, Whitman went to his mother’s home, where he stabbed and shot her. Upon returning to his own home, he then stabbed his wife to death.



The following morning, Whitman headed for the tower with several pistols and a rifle after stopping off at a gun store to buy boxes of ammunition and a carbine. Packing food and other supplies, he proceeded to the observation platform, killing the receptionist and two tourists before unpacking his rifle and telescope and hunting the people below.



An expert marksman, Whitman was able to hit people as far away as 500 yards. For 90 minutes, he continued firing while officers searched for a chance to get a shot at him. By the end of his rampage, 16 people were dead and another 30 were injured.




The University of Texas tower remained closed for 25 years before reopening in 1999.




Article Details:

August 01, 1966 : An ex-Marine goes on a killing spree at the University of Texas

  • Author

    History.com Staff
  • Website Name

    History.com
  • Year Published

    2009
  • Title

    August 01, 1966 : An ex-Marine goes on a killing spree at the University of Texas
  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/an-ex-marine-goes-on-a-killing-spree-at-the-university-of-texas
  • Access Date

    August 01, 2016
  • Publisher

    A+E Networks

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

This Day in Crime History: JULY 06, 1946 : GEORGE “BUGS” MORAN IS ARRESTED



FBI agents arrest George “Bugs” Moran, along with fellow crooks Virgil Summers and Albert Fouts, in Kentucky. Once one of the biggest organized crime figures in America, Moran had been reduced to small bank robberies by this time. He died in prison 11 years later.



Bugs Moran’s criminal career took an abrupt downturn after the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929, in which his top gunmen were slaughtered by rival Al Capone’s henchmen. (A lasting feud had been established after Capone’s men killed Moran’s friend and mentor, Deanie O’Banion, in 1924.) Moran, who just missed the massacre by a couple of minutes, was visibly shaken when reporters talked to him days later. He shouted at them, “Only Capone kills like that!”




Al “Scarface” Capone established his alibi by vacationing in Florida at the time of the Valentine’s Day murders. Sitting poolside, he mocked Moran, chuckling as he told reporters, “The only man who kills like that is Bugs Moran.” Later, while Capone was serving time for tax evasion, Moran may have earned a measure of revenge by killing Jack McGurn, one of the men who had carried out the massacre.






A bank robbery charge conviction eventually landed Moran in Leavenworth federal prison. Hewas releasedin 1956, but was then re-arrested for an earlier bank robbery. He died in prison of lung cancer on February 2, 1957.




Article Details:

July 06, 1946 : George “Bugs” Moran is arrested

  • Author

    History.com Staff
  • Website Name

    History.com
  • Year Published

    2009
  • Title

    July 06, 1946 : George “Bugs” Moran is arrested
  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/george-bugs-moran-is-arrested
  • Access Date

    July 06, 2016
  • Publisher

    A+E Networks