Thomas G. Doty

Flight 11 Memorial in Unionville, Missouri (photo courtesy Wikipedia Commons)

Flight 11 Memorial in Unionville, Missouri (photo courtesy Wikipedia Commons)

Shortly before Continental Airlines flight 11 went down May 22, 1962, Thomas Doty, a married man with a five-year-old daughter, had purchased six sticks of dynamite for 29 cents each, and placed the explosives in the used towel bin of the plane’s right rear lavatory. The resulting explosion brought the plane down near Unionville, Missouri, killing all 45 crew and passengers on board.

Doty had purchased a life insurance policy from Mutual of Omaha for $150,000, the maximum available. He also had another $150,000 in additional insurance (some purchased at the airport) and death benefits. Doty had recently been arrested for armed robbery and was to soon face a preliminary hearing in the matter.

Author Arthur Hailey based a subplot of his 1968 novel AirportĀ on the Flight 11 bombing.

Barnett Davenport (1760-1780)

On February 3, 1780, nineteen-year-old Barnett Davenport bludgeoned to death three members of the Mallory family of Washington, Connecticut and burned their house down, with two live children locked inside, marking the first documented mass murder in America by an individual.

Before Davenport had become the Mallory’s farmhand and boarder, he’d been a convicted horse thief, robber, and deserter. For at least one of the murders, Davenport used a swingle, a flat-bladed wooden tool the family used in its linen production.

Davenport was hung in May, 1780.

Attila the Hun (406-453)


Attila the Hun (Library of Congress)

Attila the Hun (Library of Congress)

The Huns under Attila’s reign were from the far north of the Caucasus in Hungary and Dagestan in Eastern Europe, and were known for destroying anything and anyone who stood in the way of conquest. Attila’s army, estimated to reach as high as 700,000, had a well-deserved reputation for cruelty, and sacked and burned some of the greatest cities of Europe. Part of this nomadic king’s success came from the fact that, unlike the barbarians of his day, his cavalry and infantry were capable of conducting siege operations.

Attila died on his seventh wedding night from a nosebleed. Some believe he was actually murdered by his new bride.

Butch Cassidy (aka Robert Leroy Parker, 1866-1908)

imageButch Cassidy and Harry Longabaugh, the “Sundance Kid,” robbed so many of the Union Pacific’s trains that the railroad company hired the famous Pinkerton National Detective Agency to put a permanent end to their heists. But the detectives only succeeded in pushing the outlaws to South America. It is widely believed that the two were gunned down in Bolivia, although some historians believe that Cassidy sneaked back into the U.S. and lived in anonymity.