International Historic Crimes

The History of Handcuffs

History of the Death Penalty -- Since the Ancient Laws of China, the death penalty has been established as a punishment for crimes. In the 18th Century BC, the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes, murder was not one of them. The first death sentence recorded occurred in 16th Century BC Egypt where the wrongdoer, a member of nobility, was accused of magic, and ordered to take his own life. Non nobility was usually killed with an ax.

The Murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1170 - A sword extinguished the life of Thomas Becket, on the steps of his altar. Public opinion has laid the blame for the murder at the feet of Becket's former close personal friend, King Henry II. "The Murder of Thomas Becket, 1170"

Genghis Khan - Genghis Khan lived in the 12th and 13th centuries. Genghis's eyes grace Mongolian money, and his people still cherish the legend that the great ruler will come again. Genghis's dominion stretched from Central Asia's Aral Sea to the Yellow Sea of China. After his death, in 1227, his descendants pressed farther reaching the Volga, clutching the Black Sea in their embrace, and unifying China. National Geographic Society

Elizabeth Bathory -- "The Blood Countess of Transylvania"-- 1560: Elizabeth Bathory is born into one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Transylvania. Her family had many powerful relatives -- a cardinal, princes, and a cousin who was prime minister of Hungary are among these relatives. The most famous relative was Istvan (ISHT-vahn) Bathory (1533-86). Istvan was prince of Transylvania and king of Poland from 1575-86. It has been said that At around the age of 4 or 5, Elizabeth had violent seizures. These may have been caused by epilepsy or another neurological disorder and may have something to do with her "psychotic" behavior later in life. The Countess Elizabeth Bathory was the terror of Transylvania and most notorious vampiresses in world history. Countess Elizabeth Bathory perpetrated incredible cruelties upon pretty servant and peasant girls. Csejthe Castle, a massive mountain top fortress, was the site of Elizabeth's blood orgies and became known as the castle of vampires and the 'Blood Countess.' The Bloody Countess: The Crimes of Elizabeth Bathory (True Crime Series) by Valentine Penrose, Alexander Trocchi (Translator

In 1594 Roderigo Lopez was hung, drawn and quartered for trying to poison Queen Elizabeth I. Historians have argued that he was framed but David Katz finds him guilty.

Joan of Arc: At Rouen in English-controlled Normandy, Joan of Arc, the peasant girl who became the savior of France, is burned at the stake for heresy.

William Dampier "... a doubloon-stealing, knife-flashing, boat-nabbing outlaw who preyed on Spanish frigates, who pillaged, robbed and behaved very, very badly."

The London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century by Peter Linebaugh -- An inescapable part of understanding the rise of capitalism. In 18th-century London the spectacle of a hanging served the purpose of forcing the poor population of London to accept the criminalization of customary rights and new forms of private property. Linebaugh reinforces his arguments with detailed responses to his critics based on an array of historical sources.

Wrong man was hanged for 1752 clan killing -- A descendent of a Scottish clan linked to a 250-year-old murder said that she has decided to break her silence on the killer's identity, a secret passed down the generations. The Appin murder formed a crucial element of Robert Louis Stevenson's book, Kidnapped, which began with the killing of Colin Campbell of Glenure by a member of the Stewart clan in Argyll and Bute.

Artful Dodgers: Youth and Crime in Early Nineteenth-Century London
by Heather Shore -- The early 19th century witnessed an increasing concern about the incidence of juvenile crime. Youthful delinquency was not new, but it was not until then that the foundations were laid for a juvenile justice system which would serve, with amendments, for the next century and more. Separate trial, separate penal provision, and an emphasis on reform rather than punishment were enshrined in the new legislation. At the heart of this study is critical consideration of the lives of young offenders. Dr Shore examines the process of offending, from the initial foray into crime, through apprehension and passage through the judicial system, to punishment and experience of penal and reform measures: prison, houses of correction, transportation and colonial emigration.

All judicial executions in the UK in the last century and details of thousands of other executions going back hundreds of years. The site is useful for genealogists, historians and true crime fans as well as the plain curious.

William Burke and William Hare hard-working Catholics who came to Scotland for work murdered 16 victims in 1829.

Madeline Smith's poisonous 1857 love affair with Emile L’Angelier

James Aitken the 1775 arsonist wannabe terrorist

Charles Peace was executed in Armley Prison, February 25th, 1879, age 47 -- "For that I don but never Intended."

Scotsman, John Laurie, was convicted of killing Edwin Rose on the isle of Arran's Goatfell peak in July 1889, a deadly serious controversy still surrounds a case of "murder in the mountains", a violent death and possible miscarriage of justice

The True Crime Files of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephan Hines Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, after creating Sherlock Holmes, started to believe that he could solve real-life crimes. Doyle was sometimes successful. Doyle's association as a student with Joseph Bell- a medical professor through close observation, could deduce information from his patients gave him a model for Holmes and forensic methodology. The True Crime Files focuses on a couple British cases, involving men Doyle believed innocent. The first drew Doyle's attention in 1906, a shy half-British, half-Indian lawyer named George Edalji, who'd allegedly penned threatening letters and mutilated animals. The second case examined Oscar Slater, a German Jew and gambling-den operator convicted of bludgeoning an 82-year-old woman in 1908. Doyle's passionate writings about criminal probes, missives to the press and other background material.

The Career of Robert Butler

The murder of Vice Consul Robert Imbie in Tihran on July 18, 1924 msu.edu

Christine and Lea Papin -- In February, 1933, France was horrified by a savage double murder in the town of Le Mans. Two women, mother and daughter, were murdered by their maids, 2 sisters who lived in the house. The maids had gouged their eyes out with their fingers while alive, and then used a hammer and knife to reduce them to a bloody pulp. The full force of the attack was directed at the heads and the victims.

The Kirov Murder - Soviet history occurred when a young party functionary allegedly fired a round from his Nagan revolver into the back of the neck of Sergei Kirov. Kirov was a rising star in the Communist Party of the 1930's. Although he was no capitalist, he opposed the extreme measures Stalin was forcing upon the Soviet peoples. Murdered 1934.

Josef Mengele, aka Auschwitz's "Angel of Death," Auschwitz's senior "physician" conducted "genetic experiments" on nearly 1500 sets of twins between 1943 and 1944, with Otmar Von Verscher at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin because they share an identical gene pool. Twins were kept separate from others and better fed than other prisoners, by guards who might be blamed if they died. Most received routine blood and x-ray tests, daily. Of 3000 twins, only 200 survived. He had a special lab to perform autopsies on twins located next to the crematorium. Mengele used midgets, dwarfs, and hunchbacks. Mengele's experiments included, surgeries without anesthesia, transfusions, isolation endurance, injections with lethal germs, sex change operations, the removal of organs and limbs, and incestuous impregnation.

Children of the Flames: Dr. Josef Mengele and the Untold Story of the Twins of Auschwitz
by Lucette Matalon Lagnado, Sheila Cohn Dekel
Biography - Josef Mengele

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Stalin's Last Crime: The Plot Against the Jewish Doctors, 1948-1953 by Jonathan Brent, Vladimir Naumov A new investigation, based on previously unseen KGB documents, reveals the truth behind Stalin's last great conspiracy. January 13, 1953, a stunned world learned that a vast conspiracy had been unmasked among Jewish doctors in the USSR to murder Kremlin leaders.The Doctors' Plot, as this alleged scheme came to be called, was Stalin's last crime. In the 50 years since Stalin's death many myths have grown up about the Doctors' Plot. Did Stalin invent the conspiracy against the Jewish doctors or was it engineered by subordinates who wished to eliminate Kremlin rivals? Did Stalin intend a purge of all Jews which might lead to a Soviet Holocaust? How was this plot related to the cold war dividing Europe, and the hot war in Korea? Was the Doctors' Plot connected with Stalin's fortuitous death? Brent and Naumov explore previously unknown, top-secret documents from the KGB, the presidential archives, state and party archives to probe Stalin's intrigues.

Gin: The Much Lamented Death of Madam Geneva by Patrick Dillon "When a man is tired of London," said Samuel Johnson in 1750, "he is tired of life." The London of Johnson and Boswell, of Henry Fielding and William Hogarth, was bursting with energy, enterprise and risk. It was also deeply mired in one of direst drug epidemics the world has ever seen. A fascinating chronicle of a time when the social, economic, and political machinery of Britain was kept lubricated by this cheap, plentiful, and often deadly elixir. Brilliantly researched, with far reaching implications for the drug wars of our time, a fast-paced chronicle of the making, selling, and regulating of a powerful intoxicant, and of its disastrous effects on ordinary people.

Mutiny on the Globe by Thomas Farel Heffernan19th-century psychopath on the high seas. In 1824, to satisfy a long-held dream of creating a desert island kingdom, Samuel Comstock, of Nantucket and New York City, led a ghastly mutiny aboard a whaler in the South Seas. Within days, Comstock, who had begun establishing his monarchy in the Marshall Islands, was murdered by his fellow mutineers. Some of the remaining seamen returned to America; others were butchered by Marshallese, and two were held in benign captivity by the natives for 21 months. The bulk of his narrative traces Comstock's inexplicably bizarre pre-mutiny life and the post-mutiny existence of the two marooned sailors. The book does contain some haunting and macabre moments.

Jack the Ripper's Black Magic Rituals by Ivor J. Edwards -- Satanism, black magic, serial murder: a startling new study of Jack the Ripper that maintains that the man behind the crimes was Dr. Robert Donston Stephenson, an army surgeon, occultist, and magician, who may have also murdered and dismembered his own wife before his terrible spree in Whitechapel began. Black Magic Rituals takes the reader through the events at the center of the Ripper's reign of terror, uncovering a twisted mlange of murder and black magic.

The True Crime Files of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephan Hines Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, after creating Sherlock Holmes, started to believe that he could solve real-life crimes. Doyle was sometimes successful. Doyle's association as a student with Joseph Bell- a medical professor through close observation, could deduce information from his patients gave him a model for Holmes and forensic methodology. The True Crime Files focuses on a couple British cases, involving men Doyle believed innocent. The first drew Doyle's attention in 1906, a shy half-British, half-Indian lawyer named George Edalji, who'd allegedly penned threatening letters and mutilated animals. The second case examined Oscar Slater, a German Jew and gambling-den operator convicted of bludgeoning an 82-year-old woman in 1908. Doyle's passionate writings about criminal probes, missives to the press and other background material.

Elusive Justice: War Crimes and the Buchenwald Trials by David A. Hackett The first book to detail the postwar trials of the guards and administrators of the infamous Buchenwald concentration camp, most of whom received appallingly light punishments. With questions of accountability for war crimes arising once again in Europe.

Biography - Joseph Stalin VHS

Biography - Fidel Castro VHS (1996)

Rosenbergs -- It was dubbed the "espionage trial of the century." Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, accused of passing American A-bomb secrets to the Soviets, were found guilty and sentenced to death. Their execution in the electric chair at New York's Sing Sing prison on June 19, 1953, divided the nation and sparked controversy that remains to this day. See footage of their arrest and courtroom ordeal, and hear interviews with their son. Relive the trial through interviews with attorneys from both the prosecution and the defense, and hear commentary from leading historians. Finally, see a mock trial staged by the American Bar Association on the 40th anniversary of the Rosenbergs' sentencing.

The Nazi and the Psychiatrist -- An in ncarcerated Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering and an American discuss responsibility, allegiance and the nature of evil.

Crime, Justice and Discretion in England 1740-1820
by Peter King The criminal law has often been seen as central to the rule of the 18th-century landed elite in England. This work presents a detailed analysis of the judicial process - of victims' reactions, pre-trial practices, policing, magistrates hearings, trials, sentencing, pardoning and punishment - using property offenders as its main focus. The period 1740-1820 - the final era before the coming of the modern police and the repeal of the capital code - emerges as the great age of discretionary justice, and the book explores the impact of the vast discretionary powers held by many social groups. It reassesses both the relationship between crime rates and the economic deprivation, and the many ways that vulnerability to prosecution varied widely across the lifecycle, in the light of the highly selective nature of pretrial negotiations. More centrally, by asking at every stage - who used the law, for what purposes, in whose interests and with what social effects - it opens up a number of new perspectives on the role of the law in 18th-century social relations.

Crime, Punishment, and Reform in Europe
by Louis A. Knafla --
This volume contains essays on the history of crime, punishment, and reform in Europe from the 18th century onward. It also contains two long book review essays, and 22 book reviews on major works that have appeared in the subject from the mid-1990s.

The Degaev Affair: Terror and Treason in Tsarist Russia
by Richard Pipes
Sergei Degaev (1857-1921), a political terrorist in tsarist Russia, disappeared after participating in the assassination of the chief of Russia's security organization in 1883. Those who later knew and admired the quietly brilliant Professor Alexander Pell at the University of South Dakota never guessed this was actually Degaev, who had triple-crossed friends and associates while entangled in the revolutionary movement of his homeland. Pipes uses previously unexplored Russian archives to draw a psychological, political, and sociological portrait of Degaev. A cunning conspirator, Degaev went on to reinvent himself in the US as a beloved mathematics professor.

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