Arizona · Female Killers

Woman strangles baby she was babysitting

January 1, 1963 Phoenix, Arizona Betty Smithey (20) strangles the 15-month-old baby she was babysitting Four years before the murder, Smithey (then 16) kidnapped a child she was babysitting. She took 18-month-old Mitchell Johnson from his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, hitchhiking or taking buses along the way. She and the toddler were found in… Continue reading Woman strangles baby she was babysitting

California · Newspaper clippings

Man kills 6 children in murder-suicide

December 19, 1968 Napa, California A man kills 6 of his 7 children, sets his house on fire, and kills himself The motive behind Charles Coatney Bray’s murder-suicide was marital discord, as his wife had recently filed for divorce. He left a suicide note addressed to his wife, though the contents were not released to… Continue reading Man kills 6 children in murder-suicide

Georgia · Newspaper clippings

Woman kidnapped, buried alive for 83 hours during ransom

December 17, 1968 Decatur, Georgia 20-year-old Barbara Mackle is abducted and buried alive in a ransom attempt Barbara was chosen because her father, Robert Mackle, was a wealthy land developer. A little before 4 a.m., Gary Stephen Krist and Ruth Eisemann-Schier knocked on the motel door belonging to Barbara and her mother Jane Braznell Mackle.… Continue reading Woman kidnapped, buried alive for 83 hours during ransom

Disasters · New York · Newspaper clippings

Two airplanes collide mid-air

December 16, 1960 New York, New York Two airplanes collide mid-air, killing 136 One of the planes, whose destination was Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy International), was in a holding pattern waiting for permission to land. The second plane, flying into LaGuardia Airport, miscalculated the other plane’s path and ran into the first. The… Continue reading Two airplanes collide mid-air

California

Musician and inmate serving life for killing wife dies after singing at sheriffs benefit concert

November 23, 1969 Oakland, California Musician “Spade” Cooley dies of a heart attack after singing “It’s Time to Live, It’s Time to Die” at a benefit show for the Deputy Sheriffs Association of Alameda County At the time of his death, Cooley, known as the “King of Western Swing,” was on 72-hour leave prison to… Continue reading Musician and inmate serving life for killing wife dies after singing at sheriffs benefit concert