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).

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
51
votes
1answer
36k views

Could women be crucified under Roman law?

Were women eligible for crucifixion in Roman society? I found plenty of sources saying something along the lines of "women and Roman citizens were exempt" but also found some sources saying women ...
49
votes
1answer
4k views

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 ...
44
votes
2answers
10k views

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 ...
37
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
33
votes
2answers
6k views

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 ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

When did Americans become safe from highway robbery?

The other day a friend and I were reconciling our memories of "shotgun" rules, the customs by which American teenagers determine who sits in the front passenger seat of a car. The concept derives from ...
26
votes
2answers
5k views

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 ...
26
votes
5answers
4k views

Which WW2 belligerents provided military brothels?

Did any of the other belligerents of WW2 besides Japan and Germany provide their troops with authorized military brothels?
22
votes
5answers
9k views

Rape perpetrated by American soldiers during WWII?

A while back I had a disturbing encounter with someone related to a Jewish survivor from the Auschwitz death camp. This survivor apparently claims that not only Red Army soldiers, but also G.I.'s ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Were there ever actual organizations of pirates?

You can see depictions of pirate organizations in popular media a fair bit. For example, in many movies, and the Captain Morgan commercials. But I get the impression from my readings that most pirate ...
19
votes
1answer
4k views

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 ...
18
votes
2answers
4k views

What documentary evidence is there that Roman crucifixion victims were completely nude?

(A few days ago, a user posted a couple good questions about the historic practice of crucifixion in Ancient Rome on the Christianity SE. Unfortunately, they posted the questions as an answer to this ...
18
votes
1answer
3k views

Were there punishments in the Roman Empire for not believing in the official religion?

In popular culture Christians were being killed in the Colosseum because they did not want to accept the Emperor as a god. An example can be the novel Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz, who won the ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Was there ever any organization of thieves or pickpockets?

Can anyone suggest any historical examples of an established group specifically dedicated to organized thievery (any combination of property based crimes such as pick-pocketing, lock-picking, fencing, ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

How and why did trade unions in America become influenced by organised crime, but unions in Britain didn't?

There is plenty of organised crime in Britain, and there always has been. People have slandered the unions in Britain with almost every foul name under the sun, but one thing I have never heard is ...
16
votes
1answer
997 views

How common was banditry in 16th & 17th century Great Britain and Ireland?

I want to know about highwaymen and thieves and brigands who preyed on travellers. so, I am not interested in other organised criminal gangs such as smugglers or urban thieves.
16
votes
2answers
1k views

How did nobles upon the Grand Tour evade or mitigate the danger of banditry?

The era of the Grand Tour was rife with banditry; and yet the rite of passage remained popular amongst the aristocracy. What reported methods did nobles use to either evade banditry or mitigate the ...
15
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
14
votes
1answer
909 views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
852 views

Why was the Halifax death penalty reserved for thefts of at least 13½ pence?

Wikipedia's article on the Halifax Gibbet says, with several citations: …ancient custom and law gave the Lord of the Manor the authority to execute summarily by decapitation any thief caught with ...
12
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
484 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'...
11
votes
1answer
352 views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Until 1600, was it legal to counterfeit money?

Forging money or currency is more often called counterfeiting and, as is well known, the counterfeiting of money is usually attacked aggressively by today's governments. But, generally speaking, was ...
9
votes
3answers
12k views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

Did Britain send convicts to Canada during the colonial era?

During the colonial era before the American War of Independence, Britain sent convicts to its North American colonies which eventually became the USA, but did Britain also send convicts to those ...
9
votes
1answer
473 views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
566 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
288 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
371 views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What evidence connects Aaron Kosminski to Jack the Ripper?

I realize that in 2014, a writer claimed to have solved the Jack the Ripper case naming Aaron Kosminski as the ripper. Although many seem to dispute the claim that DNA evidence linked Kosminski to ...
6
votes
1answer
310 views

How were city government and law enforcement authorities organized in Northern Italy in the 17th century?

How was it all actually working there, in the dark 16xx-s? Who was the major of a town, what was his duties and capabilities? How were laws issued? How was organized the analog of police: a city ...
6
votes
1answer
401 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
98 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
479 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
328 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
420 views

Execution at the scene of the crime under Australian law

The Criminal Law Consolidation Act Amendment Act 1971 (South Australia) removed the ability for Aboriginal murderers to be executed at the scene of the crime as allowed by the Criminal Law ...
5
votes
1answer
501 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 (...
5
votes
1answer
224 views

Was anyone in Spanish or Mexican California tried for homosexuality?

In "So Far From Home" (Farris, ed.) a Russian visitor to California describes seeing trangendered natives, as Cabeza de Vaca also did three centuries earlier in what is now Texas. The military and ...
5
votes
1answer
348 views

Where can I find more information about this use of Yakuza against a demonstration in 1960?

This (german) article states that in 1960 Japan's President Nobosuke Kishi hired 28000 Yakuza as thugs against an anti-American demonstration. I find nothing indicating this in the wikipedia article ...
5
votes
0answers
24k views

How many people did Al Capone kill? [closed]

How many deaths was Al Capone responsible for? Including people killed by his order or as part of gang wars he started? (Looking for an estimate within an order of magnitude).
4
votes
1answer
357 views

United States Incarceration Rate

How many people were sentenced to prison in 2011 in the United States? This statistic is hard to come by online. The only measured incarceration rate I've come across is the amount of people ...
4
votes
1answer
351 views

Did collective punishment of families occur during the French Revolution?

In his classic work of historical fiction, A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens suggests that family members of those sentenced to death by the various tribunals were themselves targeted for ...
4
votes
0answers
110 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
146 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Prisons and prison laws in Old Testament times?

Prisons where evidently known to Israelites quite early (see the story of Joseph). Nevertheless, I could find no legislation in the Torah on imprisonment - it seems that this form of punishment was ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
615 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
248 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 ...