Archive for Bombing

22 January 1992 – Mark Hopkinson

Posted in Lethal injection with tags , , , , on January 22 by Old Sparky

The alleged mastermind behind a murder and a bombing was put to death on this day in 1992.

The first execution in Wyoming since the ’60s was set aside for Mark Hopkinson. He was convicted of murdering a lawyer and his family after he lost a court case over water rights.

Heated water dispute

Vincent Vehar, Beverly Vehar and John Vehar were blown to bits after a bomb was planted at their home. This was a revenge attack after the Hopkinson family took on another family and a water board over water supplies. They lost on both counts to Vincent Vehar who was the attorney for both sets of opposition.

The plot thickens

Fair means had failed. So Hopkinson turned to foul methods to exact his revenge. And his plot included Jeffrey Green among others. Together they explored explosive ways to get back at the lawyer. But Green got caught with a bomb while speeding in his car.

Hopkinson bailed him out, but that act immediately linked the murderer to Green. So when the Vehar’s house blew up and the net started closing in, the police turned to Green for information. He folded and confessed what he knew. As a result, Hopkinson was apprehended.

Green would have been the prosecution’s star witness, had he lived to see Hopkinson’s trial. But he mysteriously disappeared, apparently on orders from Hopkinson, who was banged up at the time. Green’s carved-up body was found just two days before the Vehar inquiry opened.

With the circumstantial evidence and monies that changed hands following Green’s death, the jury found Hopkinson guilty. He was sentenced to be executed by lethal injection and, so far, the 42-year-old remains the only person to have been subject to the death penalty in Wyoming, since the 1960s.

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11 January 1957 – Jack Gilbert Graham

Posted in Gas chamber with tags , , , , on January 11 by Last Writes

Jack Gilbert Graham John ‘Jack’ Gilbert Graham was prepared to sacrifice 43 others when he murdered his mum in a plane explosion over Colorado.

A total of 44 people including his mum Daisie King and a little baby were killed when the mass-murderer bombed a plane as it took off from Denver on 1 November 1955.

He had loaded his mum’s suitcase full of dynamite and 11 minutes after the plane took off the explosive luggage blew up in mid-air.

Motive

Why did he do it? There are reports that it was revenge for the way his mother treated him as a child. But greed played a huge part – he wanted to get his hands on his mum’s money. Not only would he get his inheritance, Graham also hoped to pocket King’s travel insurance payout too.

But the FBI was on to him and they hauled him in after all trails of incriminating evidence led to greedy Graham. While awaiting his trial, Graham tried to garotte himself . And in the face of his overwhelming guilt, the jury took just 69 minutes to sentence him to death.

Graham was sent to the gas chamber on 11 January 1957, and pronounced dead at 8:08pm in Colorado State Penitentiary.

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11 June 2001 – Timothy McVeigh

Posted in Death penalty, Lethal injection with tags , , , , on June 11 by Old Sparky

Timothy McVeighWay before Al Quaeda’s 9/11 massacre, home-grown vigilante Timothy McVeigh was behind America’s second deadliest bombing to date. But what makes a bloke so embittered that he feels compelled to commit mass murder?

Well, McVeigh put the incendiary attack down to two bloody sieges – one at Waco1 and the other at Ruby Ridge2 – both instigated by the FBI. He, along with other sympathisers, wanted to avenge those attacks.

Feet first

He ironically learned his murderous trade in the US army. Indeed, McVeigh successfully applied for the Green Berets but was shortly discharged honourably after he had a change of heart – unconfirmed reports reckoned he couldn’t cope with the blisters brought on by the rigours of training.

Angered by the balls-up and fuelled by hate-ridden Nazi literature, McVeigh, alongside sympathisers, rallied to wreck vengeance on the authorities.

Weapon of mass destruction

The mass-murderer was thus responsible for driving an explosive-rigged truck to a federal building in the city of Oklahoma, just after 9am one April morning. He moved to a place of safety after having lit a timed fuse, which detonated the death trap that was to kill 168 and injure a further 450.

On that day – 19 April 1993 – he wilfully chose to park the explosives near a crèche, resulting in children joining the ranks of the massacred. McVeigh coldly put them down to ‘collateral damage’.

VIN weasel

It was a VIN number (vehicle identification number) that supposedly linked McVeigh to the murders that day. The police traced a hire vehicle back to weasely Tim, despite him having used an assumed identity. Happily he had already been hauled in after a policeman caught him with a firearm and no number plates – naturally the policeman had got suspicious.

In the most bizarre defence, McVeigh claimed he had done it out of necessity, like that was going to win friends or influence hard-nose juries. He had no chance really and, needless to say, they got him by the short and curlies.

The ex-army man was found guilty of 11 counts in a federal court. These charges included use of a weapon of mass destruction and the sentence was death. McVeigh was left to stew on death row for four years before he was given a lethal injection for mass murder, aged just 32.

1 The 51-day Waco Siege took place right at the end of February 1993, after the FBI targeted a church of 7th Day Adventists for fear that it held an armoury of assorted weapons. The whole sorry affair ended tragically when 76 people were burned to death in a fire included 20-odd children and two pregnant women. However, there was talk that this could have been mass-suicide.

2 Ruby Ridge was another FBI initiated siege after they authorities were tipped off about a family who were into supplying firearms. The controversial use of snipers brought down key members of the Weaver family, including a 14-year-old boy and the mother of a 10-month-old baby. Following the bloodbath, the remaining survivors took the FBI to court and won, securing $100,000 for a key suspect and $1 million for both of the two daughters who’d lost their mother.

Also on this day

11 June 1930 – Albert Marjeram

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21 May 1894 – Emile Henry

Posted in Death penalty, Guillotine with tags , , , , on May 21 by Old Sparky

Emile HenryA Frenchman lost his head in pursuit of pure anarchy today in 1894.

Emile Henry went to guillotine after he planted a bomb in a station, which killed one person and injured 20 more.

Café de Paris

Henry headed to Saint Lazare station where he lobbed an incendiary device into a packed coffee shop. His actions were said to be in revenge for a mate, who’d been found guilty and decapitated for bombing a government building, despite not actually killing anyone. Even the public had spoken out against such a harsh punishment, but resentful Henry had a more fundamental point to make.

For his was a belief in anarchy, purely and simply. His band of activists wholeheartedly believed that the smallest trigger would mobilise the proletariat to rise up against the Bourgeoisie, whom he loathed and detested.

Frog’s scorn

At trial, when asked why he had targeted innocent people, Henry stated simply ‘there are no innocent Bourgeois’.

Indeed, he stoically went on to say, ‘We mete out death and we must face it. For that reason I await your verdict with indifference. …our dead are many, but you have not been able to destroy anarchy: its roots go deep’.

And with that, Henry joined the many dead, after he was found guilty and sentenced to be beheaded, aged about 22. But the ‘Propaganda of the Deed’ which had so inspired him was to continue and it claimed countless political people’s lives.

Also on this day

21 May 1636 – Abraham Clegg

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