Strange But True Facts About True Crime

True Crime Trivia and Short Stories
by Kim Cantrell

Throughout history there has been some strange and interesting crimes and criminals.

The following is a list of little known true crime facts:

  1. A Tennessee court once sentenced an elephant to hang for killing her keeper. ( Five-ton Mary was executed September 13, 1916).

  2. The Texas legislature once passed a resolution honoring The Boston Strangler.

  3. Ten days after the biggest bank heist – $5.4 million – in Japanese history, the Kobe branch of Fukutoku Bank received a letter of gratitude, presumably from the robbers.  “Thank you very much for the bonus,” the letter read.  “We can live on this loot for life.” 

  4. In a French Court, a cow was convicted of murder.  The punishment?  To be hanged and burned at the stake. 

  5. Charlie Chaplin’s remains were stolen from the cemetary and held for ransom.

  6. Professional burglars often use obituararies and engagement announcements to choose their next targets.  Dates of funerals and weddings, respectively, are good indicators of when no one will be home.

  7. In 1965,, Gila County, Arizona resident fifteen-year-old Gerald Gault was arrested and convicted of making obscene telephone calls, along with a friend, to his neighbor.   His sentence was six years, which he spent in reform school until his 21st birthday.

  8. A Muskegon Heights, Michigan woman who dropped a purse she had just stolen during a police pursuit was arrested when she appeared at the police station the following day to see if it had been turned in.

  9. In November 1986, three drug dealers aided cops in their arrest when one of them accidentally dialed 911.  When police responded to the hang-up call, they discovered 1.25 pounds of cocaine, 500+ grams of crack, and over $12,000 in cash.

  10. In 2005, a Romanian prisoner serving 20 years for murder, sued God, founding his claim in contract.   He argued that his baptism was an agreement between him and God under which, in exchange for value such as prayer, God would keep him out of trouble.

  11. In 1874, Magistrate Francis Evans Cornish of Winnipeg, Canada, had to try himself on a charge of being drunk in public.  He convicted and fined himself five dollars with costs. But then he stated for the record: “Francis Evans Cornish, taking into consideration past good behaviour, your fine is remitted.”

  12. Lawmen Wyatt Earp was banned from California for stealing horses.  Although arrested for the crime, Earp made bail and fled before his trial.

  13. In 1994, an Oklahoma City judge sentenced child-rapist Charles Scott Robinson to a total of 30,000 years in prison; 5,000 years for each of the six counts for which he was convicted.  

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