1977 — Christopher ‘The Falcon’ Boyce is arrested

An employee of TRW in California from 1974, Boyce was disturbed by misrouted cables for the CIA that he began receiving at work, which made it look as if the CIA was conspiring to destroy the government of Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam (who was acting in a way that the Agency considered contrary to American interests) and to similarly meddle in the affairs of other American allies. Disgusted by what he regarded as this betrayal of America’s allies, Boyce retaliated by selling CIA secrets to the KGB.

Unfortunately for him, his intermediary was an old high school buddy, cocaine and heroin dealer Andrew Daulton Lee, who took the information to the Soviet embassy in Mexico City. When Lee was arrested by the Mexican police on an unrelated charge, he had on him microfilm intended for the Soviets – and it didn’t take long for him to implicate Boyce as well. Ten days after Lee’s arrest, Boyce was picked up by the FBI. Later, he would be sentenced to 40 years in prison on espionage charges, although he was later paroled after serving 25 years.

Referenced in:
This Is Not America — David Bowie and the Pat Methany Group

1957 — Arturo Toscanini dies

At the time of his death in 1957, Arturo Toscanini was a few weeks short of 90 years old, and probably the single best known and most celebrated orchestral conductor in the world. He was a remarkable musical talent, possessed of a photographic memory and an extremely sensitive ear – both of which drove a level of perfectionism and intensity that was exceptional, even for a conductor.

After his emigration to the United States in the 1930s, Toscanini frequently made appearances as a conductor of orchestral works on television and radio Рthe stereotypical conductor character in many films, cartoons and so on made between 1940 and 1970 is usually based on him, so completely was he associated with the role. Toscanini also conducted the world premieres of such operas as Pagliacci, La boh̬me, La fanciulla del West and Turandot.

Referenced in:
We Didn’t Start The Fire – Billy Joel

1936 — Albert Fish is executed for murder

One of the most prolific serial killers in American history, Albert Fish claimed to have killed as many as a hundred people, mostly children. He was also a rapist and a cannibal, which makes his claim to have ‘had a child in every state’ both more horrific and more ambiguous. It is still unclear how many crimes Fish actually committed, and how much was just boasting on his part – a mystery further clouded by his refusal to confess to some crimes he was suspected of.

At his trial, he plead not guilty by reason of insanity, a claim backed by expert witness Fredric Wertham (a noted child psychologist at that time). Although the jury agreed that he was insane, Fish was convicted of three homicides based on evidence, and confessed to two others. He was sentenced to death, and killed via electrocution in Sing Sing prison. His last words were reportedly, “I don’t even know why I’m here.”

Referenced in:
Fishtales — Macabre
Instruments of Hell — Exhumed
Needleshark — Unusual Suspects
The Gray Man (Albert Fish) — Church of Misery
Albert Was Worse Than Any Fish In The Sea — Macabre
Document.Gracebudd — The Number Twelve Looks Like You
Mr. Albert Fish (Was Children Your Favourite Dish?) — Macabre