The now-famous Roswell UFO is found

July 7, 1947 Roswell, New Mexico A flying saucer is discovered on a ranch (Sources vary as to which exact day the disc was found, citing the 6th through the 8th.) The craft was officially recognized as a weather balloon by the United States military, though allegedly the device was made for the purpose of…

The “Toy Box Killer” dies in prison of natural causes

May 28, 2002 Hobbs, New Mexico David Parker Ray, the "Toy Box Killer," dies in prison Ray had devised a torture chamber in a soundproof truck trailer equipped with whips, syringes, clamps, chains, pulleys, leg spreader bars, straps, saws, and blades. He installed a gynecologist-style table with leg stirrups under a ceiling mirror to allow…

The only man executed for train robbery

April 26, 1901 Clayton, New Mexico territory Thomas "Black Jack" Ketchum is hanged for train robbery, the only person executed for this crime Ketchum admitted he modeled his style after the infamous criminal Black Jack, but claimed he was not the real one. When he was sentenced to hang, he reinforced his innocence of the…

The Las Cruces bowling alley massacre

February 10, 1990 Las Cruces, New Mexico Two robbers gun down 7 at a bowling alley, killing 4 The robbery happened at the beginning of the day as manager Stephanie Senac was preparing to open. Her daughter Melissa Repass and her daughter's friend Amy Houser were also at the alley planning to help supervise the…

New Mexico State Penitentiary Riot

February 3, 1980 Santa Fe, New Mexico The New Mexico State Penitentiary Riot ends on the second day The riot was sparked by guards encouraging inmates to turn into informants leading to the "snitches" being targeted in the prison, inadequate conditions -- including overpopulation (at the time of the incident 1,136 prisoners were housed in…