The Crimes of the Century

Curry was arrested soon after and revealed all he knew about the murderous pair. Forced into hiding, Nussbaum and Wilcoxson used alias and disguises and robbed three more banks before going separate ways after a falling out.

Lost without his partner, Nussbaum contacted his estranged wife, who turned him in. Wilcoxson was caught six days later and the two ultimately pled guilty and were sentenced to life in prison in February 1964.

The Lindbergh Kidnapping

After making his historic nonstop flight across the Atlantic, aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife hoped to avoid the media spotlight by retreating to rural Hopewell, N.J. But their dreams of private peace were shattered on March 1, 1932, when someone leaned a ladder against their house, climbed through a window and took the couple's sleeping 20-month-old son from his nursery, leaving behind only a ransom note demanding $50,000.

More ransom notes led to a meeting, where Dr. John Condon represented the Lindbergh family and paid a man who called himself "John" $50,000 in gold certificates for the child's safe return.

It didn't work. The boy's body was found on May 12 of that year — less than five miles from the Lindbergh home — killed by a blow to the head soon after the kidnapping.

Working with Condon, the FBI developed a sketch of "John" and determined from studies of the ransom notes handwriting that he was German. Following reports of gold certificates that matched the ransom money, the FBI closed in on New York City. A gas station attendant wrote down the license plate of a car used by a man who cashed one of the gold certificates.

Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a German carpenter living in the Bronx who closely resembled the FBI's sketch of the suspect, was arrested in September 1934. Hauptmann's handwriting matched the ransom notes, and more ransom money was found in his home, as were and tools matching tool marks on the ladder from the crime scene. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1935.

The World Trade Center Bombing

On Friday, February 26, 1993, a massive eruption in the parking garage beneath the World Trade Center in New York created a nearly 100-foot crater extending many stories deep and several more high. The blast killed six people instantly, and many more were soon trapped by the smoke and flames that began to fill the void and permeate the structure above.

With injuries ranging from crushed limbs to sprains, more than 1,000 people were hurt. Before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center was one of the worst acts of terrorism the city had ever seen.

A van stolen the day before the attack was suspiciously destroyed in the rubble. On March 4 an FBI SWAT team arrested Mohammad Salameh, an Islamic fundamentalist who had rented the vehicle and tried to get the deposit back.

Clues from his arrest led to the discovery of the apartment where the bomb was created, a storage locker with enough cyanide to wipe out an entire town, and ultimately the arrest of three more suspects — Nidal Ayyad, Mahmoud Abouhalima and Ahmed Ajaj. Each was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

The arrests led the FBI and New York's joint terrorism task force to a greater plot to simultaneously bomb multiple New York landmarks, including the United Nations building and the FBI building. In June 1994, the FBI stormed a warehouse and caught other members of a terrorist cell assembling bombs.

Page
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...