Arthur Eggers, who was convicted of killing his wife, Dorothy, because of her alleged promiscuity, is executed at San Quentin Prison. He probably would have gotten away with the crime had the investigators not received a few lucky breaks.
In January 1946, hikers came across a woman’s body, wrapped in a blanket, in a very remote area of the San Bernardino Mountains in California. The head and hands had been chopped off–making identification very difficult–but the body had only been lying there for less than a day, so there was still hope.
When investigators noticed that Dorothy Eggers had been reported missing by her husband around the time that the corpse was found, they decided to follow through on the lead, despite the fact that the initial report described her as being thinner and taller than the unidentified body. Upon talking with her doctors, detectives discovered that Eggers had been treated for a bunion on her foot, which matched the one on the body.
Although investigators knew the identity of the body and had good reason to be suspicious of Arthur Eggers, they had no evidence to connect him to the crime. But when Eggers happened to sell his car to a police officer, the cop noticed that there were spots of dried blood in the trunk, and, in 1946, Eggers was arrested. A subsequent search turned up pieces of his wife’s flesh, a gun and a handsaw in Eggers’ home. Pieces of tissue, bone and fat were found on the gun.
Pierre Laval, the puppet leader of Nazi-occupied Vichy France, is executed by firing squad for treason against France. Laval, originally a deputy and senator of pacifist tendencies, shifted to the right in the 1930s while serving as minister of foreign affairs and twice as the …read more
After a bitter confirmation hearing, the U.S. Senate votes 52 to 48 to confirm Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court. In July 1991, Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to sit on the Supreme Court, announced his retirement after 34 years. President George Bush …read more
On October 15, 2004, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rules that hearse manufacturers no longer have to install anchors for child-safety seats in their vehicles. In 1999, to prevent parents from incorrectly installing the seats using only their cars’ seat belts, …read more
Dancer, courtesan and alleged spy Mata Hari is executed for espionage by a French firing squad at Vincennes outside of Paris. She first came to Paris in 1905 and found fame as a performer of Asian-inspired dances. She soon began touring all over Europe, telling the story of how …read more
In a demonstration staged by the student-run National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam, some of the first public burnings of draft cards in the United States takes place. These demonstrations drew 100,000 people in 40 cities across the country. In New York, David …read more
On October 15, 1948, future President Gerald Ford marries Elizabeth Anne (“Betty”) Bloomer. The handsome, blonde, blue-eyed Ford grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and went on to play football at the University of Michigan, where he was voted the team’s most valuable player in …read more
The warrior Victorio, one of the greatest Apache military strategists of all time, dies on October 15, 1880, in the Tres Castillos Mountains south of El Paso, Texas. Born in New Mexico around 1809, Victorio grew up during a period of intense hostility between the native Apache …read more
On October 15, 1863, the H.L. Hunley, the world’s first successful combat submarine, sinks during a test run, killing its inventor and seven crew members. Horace Lawson Hunley developed the 40-foot submarine from a cylinder boiler. It was operated by a crew of eight–one person …read more
On October 15, 1946, Hermann Goring, commander in chief of the Luftwaffe, president of the Reichstag, head of the Gestapo, prime minister of Prussia, chief forester of the Reich, chief liquidator of sequestered estates, supreme head of the National Weather Bureau, and Hitler’s …read more