Happy Birthday, Agatha Christie.

Today would have been famous English crime writer Agatha Christie‘s 127th birthday. She was born in 1890 and died in 1976.

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and died in 1976.

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On this day…

On the 14th of April, 1877 Leslie’s monthly magazine announced the March 23 execution of John D. Lee, who took part in the Mountain Meadows massacre in 1857.

The massacre involved the Mormon Utah Territorial Militia, accompanied by some Paiute Native Americans, killing between 100 and 140 members of an emigrant party in Utah.

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On this day…

John D. Lee sits beside his coffin in Utah moments before his execution by firing squad on the 23rd of March, 1877.

He was the only person who was ever punished for playing a part in the 1857 Mountain Meadows massacre, when a Mormon militia killed over a hundred non-Mormon settlers over a number of days in September.

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On this day: the last execution in Australia

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On the 3rd of February, 1967, Ronald Joseph Ryan became the last criminal to be executed in Australia.

Convicted of shooting and killing warder George Hodson two years earlier while escaping from Pentridge Prison in the state of Victoria, Ryan was hanged at eight in the morning.

He was forty-one at the time.

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Ronald Ryan

To his death Ryan maintained he was innocent of the murder, though he had an extensive criminal history that continued after his escape from the prison. His execution led to widespread protests and the abolition of the death penalty in the nation.

On this day: a funeral procession for an English entrepreneur

William Whiteley, Yorkshire-born entrepreneur and founder of Whiteleys department store in London, was murdered on the 24th of January, 1907.

His killer was a young man who claimed to be his illegitimate son. The man shot Whiteley dead in his shop.

Whiteley’s will left £1 000 000, which is the equivalent of about £90 000 000 today.

The funeral procession is seen here on the 30th of January, making its way through Ladbroke Grove.

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