Who knew?

Some of the most notorious and dangerous criminals in American history were first encountered right here in Alabama.

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This is pretty dang fascinating, for those of us who have lived here for many years and had no idea some of these dangerous fools were from or have lived in Tuscaloosa, Jasper and Birmingham!

Walker County

Jimmy Files, confessed to killing JFK on the grassy knoll


Search the internet for James Earl Files and JFK and you'll find numerous interviews with a man who says he was the shooter on the "grassy knoll" in Dallas, who killed President Kennedy in 1963.


James Earl (why do they always have names like that) served time in jail for attempted murder, and in 1994, he claimed to have been on the grassy knoll in Dallas.

Many investigators and experts believe he is telling the truth. He knows too much, some claim. The late Charles Manson prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi (who died knowing PLENTY about what really happened in Dallas), claimed that James was a liar and not worth taking seriously.


Jefferson County

Richard Hawes, murderer of his family, 1857-1890


He was hanged in 1890 for the 1888 murders of his wife Emma and two daughters, May, 7 and Irene, 6.


BhamWiki.com says: "The Hawes murders were a notorious and sensational crime discovered in December 1888 that produced a deadly riot and gained nationwide media attention for the young city of Birmingham."


The reason? Typical. He wanted to marry another woman! When his children were found chained at the bottom of Lakeview Lake citizens stormed the jail for justice and 10 people were killed by deputies.


Tuscaloosa County

Marshall Applewhite, cult leader

Video of the guru of the sect Heaven's gate
Brooks Kraft photo of cult leader Marshall Applewhite


I sure didn't!

Marshall Herff Applewhite came to teach chorale students at the University of Alabama in 1961. Can you believe that?

Applewhite lived in a subdivision just off Skyland Boulevard during his years in town.


Applewhite became leader of the Heaven’s Gate cult in the 1970s and convinced a group of believers in Oregon to follow him into the Colorado desert in 1975 to await the arrival of a UFO that they would all board and fly to paradise.


In 1997, as the Hale-Bopp comet was all over the news,  Applewhite and 38 of his followers, all dressed in purple robes, and wearing the same brand and color of sneakers, drank a concoction of vodka and barbiturates and committed mass suicide in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

What a jerk. Leading innocent people to take their lives. Just awful.



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