Questions tagged [crime]

Refers to activity that violates a society's or international body's established legal codes. Such activity typically violates the community's social mores, and is undertaken in both opportunistic and organized fashions. Crime is typically subdivided into property crime (robbery, theft, fencing, fraud), sexual crime (rape, sexual assault, harassment), violent crime (assault, battery, homicide), and war crimes (genocide, slavery, treaty violation).

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Why was Hannah Ocuish believed to have been mentally disabled?

Hannah Ocuish was a 12 year old Native American girl who had the dubious honor in 1786 of being the youngest female to be legally executed in the United States, allegedly for murdering another girl ...
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Can anyone help me find out about a historic Department of Water and Power building, seemingly built in 1923?

I was reading an old newspaper about a stick-up crew. It described an area in Los Angeles, California that I believe I have located. The article describes an "alley running north and south from ...
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24 votes
2 answers
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What was the criminal charge of "pretending sodomy" in 1719 England?

In an old London, England newspaper called "The Post Boy", the edition of 19 May 1719, there is what I believe is an advertisement for a book that will be published the next day (it says). ...
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Can anyone find a copy of "Notes on secret societies" by C.T. Dobrée on the internet?

"Notes on secret societies, compiled by C.T. Dobrée, is a guide to Chinese triads or secret societies operating in Malaya in the post-war era, with information on the secret codes of language and ...
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4 votes
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Have any serial killers created puzzles that would free the victim if solved?

One of the most common movie tropes is that of the serial killer who creates some kind of puzzle, trials, or other challenge that would free the victim if completed. It makes for an instantly dramatic ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
212 views

How did cannibals in Jamestown obtain bodies for food? [closed]

This article said that it was probably because of lack of food (In the Jamestown Colony), but if it was then why didn't the teenager be cared for or left alone instead of being eaten. How did the ...
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How common was poisoning as tool of murder among common people in 19th and early 20th century Europe? [closed]

We all know famous people who were murdered by poisoning from ancient times till today. I am not interested in this, I am more interested in average people killing their spouses, relative (maybe ...
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49 votes
1 answer
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How did German unification affect existing sentences for criminal convicts?

The German reunification of 1990 was legally the annexation of West Berlin (a separately administered occupied territory) and East Germany (the German Democratic Republic, or GDR) by West Germany (the ...
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20 votes
1 answer
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When did one-way mirrors become widely used by police?

Watching the BBC TV series "Life on Mars", the premise of which is that a time-travelling cop from 2000s England is transported back in time to the 1970s, where he is continually confounded ...
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1 vote
0 answers
67 views

Any studies on how much crime was done during pandemic? How it affected society after

I would like to know during pandemics if any studies were done about crime before and after said pandemic? Did it go up did it go down? How did they deal with those they caught and did they put into ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Were there witch-hunts or witch-trials in China or Japan?

Witch trials in medieval and early modern Europe / America are well documented, well known. I am curious if similar existed outside of Christian countries, especially in China and Japan. Both China ...
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11 votes
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Where did tree spiking prevent the most logging?

Old growth trees can be very valuable as lumber. Tree spiking, a form of ecotage or monkeywrenching, is driving a metal or ceramic rod into a living tree. This discourages logging by marking trees or ...
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43 votes
2 answers
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Have American urban rioters ever looted residences?

The current (summer 2020) occurrences of looting and rioting are targeting stores and businesses, so I am wondering if houses and apartments might potentially become targets at some point. In previous ...
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1 vote
1 answer
153 views

Have people ever been deterred from reporting an event because the report might seem impossible? [closed]

I'm seeking occurrences in history where people or organizations did some activity, but witnesses who would speak about the activity, would be considered insane, because of the unlikely nature of the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
523 views

What did executioners do when not performing executions?

Almost all countries in the world had capital punishment at some point. I understand that in the military, the executioner/hangman would also be a soldier when he is not executing people, but what ...
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6 votes
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What did Moritz Ormai forge and what happened to him?

In October 1910, the Austro-Hungarian embassy requested that the United States extradite a certain Moritz Ormai, the charge being forgery. The request was granted, as noted in this letter to the US ...
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6 votes
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Which misdeeds of F. Reineke was J.B.B. de Lesseps "obliged to suppress"?

F. Reineke was commandant of Kamchatka from about 1780 to 1784. According to Витер's История символов как история административного деления государства he was responsible for moving the territorial ...
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3 votes
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Are there any examples of retrial for longer prison sentences?

Today I've read in 'Journey into the Whirlwind' by Eugenia Ginzburg, that prisoners in the USSR could be re-sentenced. They had been accused and found guilty of a crime (usually counter-revolutionary ...
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33 votes
2 answers
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Is this medieval picture of hanging 5 royals showing an historical event?

I was reading up on medieval hanging and came across this picture. It shows five royals (kings? princes?) being hanged from trees, but the articles I read don't mention any royal hangings. I had a ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Why did the Mafia respect Jimmy Hoffa so much? [closed]

The information that I have about Jimmy Hoffa has come (the impetus,I must say honestly, came from Scorsese's The Irishman) from here. Jimmy Hoffa was a man with wealth and political connections ...
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26 votes
2 answers
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Has chattel slavery ever been used as a criminal punishment in the USA since the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment?

The Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution provides (my emphasis): Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly ...
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1 answer
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Who were the victims of the 1907 Tiflis bank robbery?

According to Wikipedia's 1907 Tiflis bank robbery, there were 40 people killed during an armed robbery to get funds for the "Bolsheviks to fund their revolutionary activities." I have found it ...
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does it mean to "take the Cross"

I am reading Simon Schama's A History of Britain Volume I, which often makes reference to this form of punishment. For example, on p144: "The assassin's made for Yorkshire, where they lived ...
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1 vote
1 answer
340 views

How did one look for missing people in the 19th century?

I was curious to know how a missing person might have been looked for in the 19th century or early 20th century - 1890s-1930s - as they didn’t have things like news broadcasts and such. Any ideas?
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2 votes
1 answer
295 views

In medieval England was heresy dealt with in the king's courts or church courts?

In medieval England was heresy dealt with in the kings courts or church courts? Clearly heresy was a crime against the church but the punishment was death so presumably it must have been dealt with ...
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1 answer
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Who was the last person "Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered" under British jurisdiction?

Every year on Nov. 5 English speaking people are reminded of the punishment meted out to Guy Fawkes for his unsuccessful gunpowder plot. The penalty for treason at the time was to be hung, drawn, and ...
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3 votes
0 answers
313 views

What were common outcomes for white 17 year olds charged with attempted rape around 1982? [closed]

When United States Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh was publicly accused of a 1982 attempted rape at age 17, his defenders noted that the accuser Dr. Blasey Ford had not obtained redress by pressing ...
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1 vote
3 answers
557 views

Murder–suicide by sinking the ship

Humankind has a sad, horrible history of intentional mass murder and murder–suicide by airplane and road vehicle. Are there known cases of a sailor or an officer on a ship trying to kill himself and ...
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15 votes
3 answers
2k views

From 1936-45 what was the prescribed punishment in Nazi Germany for failing to join or participate in the Hitler Youth?

Hitler reviewing members of the Hitlerjugend Question I know all other youth programs were abolished in the early or mid 30's, and then membership in the Hitler Youth was mandatory for "aryans" by ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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First California murder case under U.S

In 1846-47 the United States conquered Mexican California, gradually imposing its legal system. Bancroft says the "first jury empanelled" in California was in Monterey in the case of Graham v. ...
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6 votes
1 answer
469 views

Is this 60's Atlanta airport security picture geniuine, and if so, what is happening here?

Following the advice I got from the user Semaphore I would like to split my original airport security question into separate parts and go into a bit more detail in regards to what I would like to know ...
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4 votes
0 answers
123 views

What was this security screening process in Swiss airports, circa 1970?

Following the advice I got from the user Semaphore I would like to split my original airport security question into separate parts and go into a bit more detail in regards to what I would like to know ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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Did airports have security checks before the 1970s?

I just accidentally discovered a few pictures on the web, that seem to imply, that there were some sort of airport security checks on passengers all the way back in the 1960s. It was always my general ...
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1 vote
1 answer
172 views

What periods and locations in early European history had evidence based criminal trials?

What periods and locations in European history had evidence based criminal trials? I'm interested in creating a medieval role playing setting and some fictional narratives involving crime ...
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2 votes
2 answers
204 views

Was Canónigo Fernández a traitor to Mexico?

Agustín Fernández de San Vicente was the canon priest of the Cathedral of Durango and the Vicar-General of New Mexico. In between these church posts, at the time of Mexican Independence, he traveled ...
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11 votes
3 answers
5k views

Was rape common in Europe during the Middle Ages?

I recently read an article (in Norwegian) claiming that rape was much less common in the Middle Ages than what is commonly believed and, more specifically, that it was much less common than what is ...
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8 votes
0 answers
316 views

How did the Romans remove graffiti?

There is plenty of evidence that people painted or etched graffiti in Ancient Rome. I was curious whether and how the authorities removed the graffiti, did they paint over it or wash it off (and ...
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3 votes
1 answer
460 views

In England in 1700, would defending property with lethal force be illegal at all?

My limited understanding is that without an extensive police force and good communications, much of what modern people would leave to police was handled directly. If so, were any questions asked of a ...
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10 votes
4 answers
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Why did the Nazis guillotine criminals but mostly hang political enemies, and why were the White Rose group an exception?

Both the methods used and the range of crimes 'meriting' execution changed under the Nazis. Dark History says: When Hitler came to total power, he decided that criminals and enemies of the state ...
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3 votes
0 answers
183 views

How many criminal exiles were sent to Kamchatka?

Exile in Siberia was a well-known punishment for criminals in Imperial (and Soviet) Russia. Exiles, who could be common criminals or political prisoners, were forced to walk in irons to their new job ...
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11 votes
1 answer
500 views

What is this crime, "F and A", from the 1890's US?

What was the crime of "F and A" in North Carolina in the United States in the 1890's? My wife saw that one of her female ancestors was arrested and served 6 months in jail for this crime in the 1890'...
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3 votes
1 answer
297 views

Thought Crimes in History? [closed]

Has there ever been anywhere at any point in history a law criminalizing certain thoughts? I mean a law that says that the thinking of certain thoughts is illegal. I don't mean a law that says that ...
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1 vote
1 answer
417 views

Who was responsible for the murder of Elizabeth Short, AKA the Black Dahlia? Was it a doctor who was formerly married to a police captain's daughter? [closed]

I read there was a fairly good case for such a doctor by the name of *Patrick S. O'Reilly, *who had strong sadistic tendencies, and a missing pectoral, which fitted the lacerations on her body, and ...
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2 votes
1 answer
350 views

How common was training with swords and other weapons at Newton's time in England?

I read in Levenson's book Newton and the Counterfeiter that when Newton was traveling to London from Cambridge, he stopped at an inn along the way to wait for other travelers so that they all could ...
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3 votes
1 answer
305 views

How did a criminal trial in the Soviet Union work after World War 2?

There are many historical accounts of "trials" in the Soviet Union. However, they tend to center around trials which are political trials. For example, a government agent accused of treason. How did ...
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38 votes
4 answers
11k views

How much evidence is there regarding the naval punishment of keelhauling?

Keelhauling is a famous naval punishment under which the offender would by dragged beneath the hull of the ship. This would have been encrusted with shellfish such as barnacles which would - at the ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Death sentences in Spanish California

Ynocente Garcia, in his recollections (the "Garcia Hechos"), described Ignacio Rochin, a man executed for murder in 1795 in Santa Barbara. Garcia continues: "a young orphan ... was also executed with ...
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3 votes
1 answer
3k views

Meaning of the words "Wanted Dead Or Alive"

What is the meaning of the famous words "Wanted Dead Or Alive"? Did they mean that it was for some reason legal for ordinary people to kill the fugitive described on the poster? Is there still this ...
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5 votes
1 answer
546 views

How successful was Odessa GubCheKa against criminal gangs in the 1920s?

If you use the lens of popular culture (books and especially folk songs), one may come out with the impression that the criminal culture basically ran Odessa around 1920s, with Law Enforcement (...
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8 votes
3 answers
625 views

Have American gangsters ever helped their government in war time out of patriotism?

In the movie Rocketeers the gangsters who were working unknowingly for the Nazis switched immediately sides after the hero revealed the identify of their employers. I think there are also many other ...
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