Tag: crime

September 13, 1899 – First pedestrian killed by a car in the USA
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September 13, 1899 – First pedestrian killed by a car in the USA

On this day in 1899, as Henry Bliss exited a streetcar at West 74th Street and Central Park West in New York City an electric taxicab driven by Arthur Smith struck him. The vehicle crushed Bliss’ head and chest, causing him to die from his injuries the next morning. His passing marked the first time an automobile killed a human in the United States. Smith, who was ferrying Dr. David Edson, the son of former NYC mayor Franklin Edson, faced charges of manslaughter, but his case was later acquitted. On the 100th anniversary of the event a plaque was placed and dedicated at the intersection where the accident occurred. It reads, “Here at West 74th Street and Central Park West, Henry H. Bliss dismounted from a streetcar and was struck and knocked unconscious by an automobile on the e...
July 22, 1934 – Car loving crook John Dillinger shot dead in Chicago
This Day

July 22, 1934 – Car loving crook John Dillinger shot dead in Chicago

Public enemy number 1, John Dillinger, was shot and killed outside the Biograph Theather on this day in 1934. After an eight year stint behind bars, Dillinger spent the his last year on earth robbing banks, holding up restaurants and stealing fast cars. Dillinger often spoke of his love for fine automobiles, and when he wasn't stealing them, he had no problem laying down the cash for a top notch set of wheels. Dillinger, often given some sort of false Robin Hood label, was a star in the eye of the public despite his murderous crime spree. With so many infatuated with the fugitive, car companies were quick to capitalize on news of Dillinger's preference in certain automobiles. Above: The 1933 Essex Terraplane 8 purchased by John Dillinger in 1934 on display at the ACD museum. Photo ...
June 17, 1994 – OJ flees in a white Ford Bronco – 90 million watch live
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June 17, 1994 – OJ flees in a white Ford Bronco – 90 million watch live

It was this day in 1994 that a white, 1993 Ford Bronco went stampeding, rather slowly, down Interstate 405 in Los Angeles with Al Cowlings at the reigns and OJ Simpson riding along. More than 90 million people watched live on television as police gave chase. Simpson, wanted in connection with the June 13, 1994, murders of his wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, sent a suspected suicide note to his defense lawyers the day he was to turn himself in. This resulted in an all points bulletin being put out in order to bring Simpson in.  At about 6:20 that evening a motorist called police saying he saw Simpson riding in the white Bronco in Orange County. A responding officer made contact with the Bronco but Cowlings told the officer to back off because Simpson wa...
May 23, 1934 – Bonnie & Clyde are shot to death in a Ford V8
This Day

May 23, 1934 – Bonnie & Clyde are shot to death in a Ford V8

On this day in 1934 outlaws Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut “Champion” Barrow were shot to death in a police ambush while driving a stolen 1934 Ford V8 in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. The two had met in January 1930 at a mutual friend’s house and Bonnie was quickly smitten over Clyde. While she was married, her husband was also in and out of jail. Those two never crossed paths again after the fateful meeting of Bonnie and Clyde.  Above: Bonnie & Clyde just messin' around.Top: The 1934 Ford Deluxe V8 after it was ambushed. Clyde had a lengthy criminal history prior to meeting Bonnie. He had been arrested for stealing cars, cracking safes, and robberies of various businesses. While in jail he killed a fellow inmate for sexually harassing him, his first murder. Over...
January 28, 1896 – The first speeding ticket
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January 28, 1896 – The first speeding ticket

In early 1896 the speed limit in London was a blazing 2 mph (3 km). With the car being so new, every motorist taking to the streets had to have a flag waver walk in front of them to alert people an automobile was coming through. God forbid you scare the horses! So when Walter Arnold raced through the streets of Paddock Wood, Kent on this day in 1896 in his new automobile at an astonishing 8 mph with no flag waver, bystanders were absolutely flabbergasted. A local constable was quick to give chase to bring this heinous crime to an end. The officer jumped on his bicycle and pedaled for 5 miles before catching the driver. Mr. Arnold’s terror through town would earn him a spot in the record books, for he was issued the world’s first recorded speeding ticket for an automobile. The penalty fo...
December 11, 1978 – Mafia men use Ford Econoline to steal $5.8m in heist
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December 11, 1978 – Mafia men use Ford Econoline to steal $5.8m in heist

At about 3 a.m. on this day in 1978, six men began what would become the largest heist in US history to date. Though the group expected a haul of about $2 million, the 64 minute Lufthansa heist at JKF International Airport levied a score of nearly $6 million in cash and jewels. The mobsters stuffed the goods in a Ford Econoline van and tore off into the night in it and a Buick. Parnell "Stacks" Edwards had the job of disposing of the van once they transferred the loot to two new vehicles. He decided parking at his girlfriends house was as good a hiding place as any. Hint, it wasn't. Jimmy the Gent The stolen Econoline became the centerpiece of the investigation after its discovery two days later. Feds were able to lift prints from several of the suspected perpetrators. Investigators...
September 10, 1897 – The first DUI arrest
This Day

September 10, 1897 – The first DUI arrest

Any unlucky passenger riding in 25 year old George Smith’s London cab on this day in 1897 may not have received the safe transport they were looking for. Instead, they may have witnessed the first arrest for driving an automobile drunk. It wasn’t difficult for police officers to identify their suspect, as Smith had done a bit more than just swerve over the yellow line. Police arrived to find that he had smashed his cab into the side of a building. Smith was arrested and ultimately pled guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol. He was fined 25 shillings. There is no record of him operating an unregistered taxi cab, as it wasn't until December 6, 1897, that London became the first city in the world to introduce licensed cabs. While Smith admitted his guilt, it wasn’t until 1931 t...