24th January
It was on this day...
1972 Japanese Soldier Found In Guam, Thinks Still Fighting WW2

Japanese soldier Shoichi Yokoi hid for 28 years in the jungles of Guam, and was discovered by local farmers on this day.

It was on this day...
1943 Murder on the Southern Pacific Express

21 year-old Martha James is murdered while riding on a Southern Pacific train between Seattle and Los Angeles.

At 4 am, while Martha slept, she was attacked. Other passengers heard her scream, "My God, he's killing me!" A Marine private, sleeping in the compartment above Martha, heard the commotion and awoke to see a man running down the train's aisle. He found Martha with her throat cut, blood was everywhere. The private tried to chase after the man, but lost him.

Detectives got on the train at its next stop, Eugene, Oregon. Faint traces of blood were tracked to the observation platform at the back of the last car. Assuming the attacker must have jumped off the train from there, the surrounding area was searched but nobody was found. Detectives decided to interview everyone on board the train as it continued on to Los Angeles.

The prime suspect was an African-American cook that the Marine private had encountered during his initial search for the attacker. The cook, Robert E. Lee Folkes, was found to have a record of sexual attacks. Folkes claimed that he had never even seen Martha James, however it was revealed that he had, earlier, mentioned to colleagues that she was 'the best looking woman on the train'.

Detectives managed to find the knife he used and the blood stained uniform he wore during the attack. Folkes received a death sentence in Oregon and in January 1945 he went to the gas chamber.

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Birthdays

1968 Mary Lou Retton
1960 Nastassia Kinski
1949 John Belushi
1947 Warren Zevon
1941 Neil Diamond
1941 Aaron Neville
1917 Ernest Borgnine

Source
Other News
1848 Gold discovered at Sutter's Creek - thus starting the great gold rush
1908 Boy Scout movement begins
1965 Winston Churchill dies

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