Crime

Benjamin J. Burton was a trailblazing entrepreneur once thought to be the wealthiest Black businessman in Rhode Island. His killing on October 6, 1885, polarized the Newport community.

A Gilded Age Tale of Murder and Money

The 1885 death of Black entrepreneur Benjamin J. Burton divided the close-knit community of Newport, Rhode Island

Police set up barrier tape in the exhibition room of the Celtic and Roman Museum in Manching.

Thieves Stole Hundreds of Celtic Coins From a German Museum

The gold coins date back to 100 B.C.E. and are worth approximately $1.7 million

J. Edgar Hoover (second from left) stands behind Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the president signs a bill in 1934.

How World War II Helped Forge the Modern FBI

Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, J. Edgar Hoover consolidated immense power—and created the beginnings of the surveillance state

Pro-choice protesters in 1972

Women Who Shaped History

The Underground Abortion Network That Inspired 'Call Jane'

A new film offers a fictionalized look at the Janes, activists who provided illegal abortions in Chicago before Roe v. Wade

T.H. Matteson, Examination of a Witch, 1853

A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials

One town's strange journey from paranoia to pardon

César, one of the kidnapped chimpanzees

Three Baby Chimpanzees Kidnapped and Held for Ransom

The abductors are demanding a six-figure sum to return the animals to their sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Adnan Syed, the subject of a 2014 investigation led by Sarah Koenig on the podcast “Serial,” leaves the courthouse after being released from prison.

Adnan Syed, Subject of 'Serial,' Is Released From Prison

The decision comes 23 years after he was convicted for the murder of 18-year-old Hae Min Lee

Joan Hickson as Miss Marple in the BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s A Caribbean Mystery in 1989

Twelve Writers Bring Back Agatha Christie's Miss Marple

In a new collection of short stories, contemporary authors take on the much-loved detective

Loving Highsmith aims to challenge crime author Patricia Highsmith’s reputation as a cold-hearted misanthrope.

Was Patricia Highsmith Actually a Hopeless Romantic?

The documentary 'Loving Highsmith' presents a new side of the enigmatic crime writer

Digital facial reconstructions of two of the individuals found in the well, based on skeletal remains and DNA

Bones Found in Medieval Well Likely Belong to Victims of Anti-Semitic Massacre

A new DNA analysis suggests the 17 individuals were Ashkenazi Jews murdered in Norwich, England, in 1190

An inmate firefighter monitors flames as a house burns in the Napa wine region of California on October 9, 2017.

Untold Stories of American History

The History of California's Inmate Firefighter Program

The initiative, which finds prisoners working as first responders and rescuers, dates back to the 1940s

Lyrics written by Atlanta rappers Young Thug and Gunna are being used against them in court.

Should Rap Lyrics Be Admissible in Court?

A new California bill is part of a nationwide effort to protect creative expression and prevent racial bias

The eight-episode production does not include the participation of the real-life Tyson. Pictured: Episode still of Johnny Alexander as Evander Holyfield (left) and Trevante Rhodes as Mike Tyson (right)

Based on a True Story

How Hulu's 'Mike' Dramatizes the Life of Boxing Heavyweight Mike Tyson

The new eight-part series tries to humanize its notorious central character, whose athletic prowess was later overshadowed by his actions outside the ring

Experts were unable to pinpoint a cause of death, but three medical witnesses who testified during an inquest into the Somerton Man case agreed that his passing “was not natural.” 

Have Scholars Finally Identified the Mysterious Somerton Man?

New DNA analysis suggests a body found on a beach in Australia in 1948 belongs to Carl Webb, an electrical engineer from Melbourne

ElSa is a prototype of a machine-learning-driven software that analyzes movement patterns in videos of humans and elephants.

Good News

This Teenager Invented a Low-Cost Tool to Spot Elephant Poachers in Real Time

Seventeen-year-old Anika Puri created a machine-learning-driven model that analyzes the movement patterns of humans and elephants

In May 1536, Henry had his second wife, Anne Boleyn, beheaded on trumped-up charges of adultery and incest. For centuries, historians blamed Anne's sister-in-law, Jane Boleyn, for testifying against the queen—but new research calls this claim into question.

The Myths of Lady Rochford, the Tudor Noblewoman Who Supposedly Betrayed George and Anne Boleyn

Historians are reevaluating Jane Boleyn's role in her husband and sister-in-law's downfall

Medical student Anna Searcy in 1897

Women Who Shaped History

These Trailblazers Were the Only Women in the Room Where It Happened

A new book spotlights 100 historical photographs of lone women hidden among groups of men

Malaysian customs officials seized thousands of pounds of elephant tusks, pangolin scales, rhino horns and other animal parts in July.

Malaysia Authorities Seize Elephant Tusks, Rhino Horns Worth $18 Million

Criminals had hidden the contraband animal parts in a container full of sawn timber

Drawing of a woman being dragged to a ducking stool at a river in Ipswich, Suffolk, around 1600

When Authorities Dunked Outspoken Women in Water

In early modern England, women accused of being "common scolds" were immersed in rivers and lakes while strapped to contraptions known as ducking stools

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's flag hangs on the door of a hijacked TWA Boeing 707 at Dawson's Field in Libya in September 1970.

A Brief History of Airplane Hijackings, From the Cold War to D.B. Cooper

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, hijackings occurred, on average, once every five days globally

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