True Crime On This Day December 16th

True Crime On This Day December 16th

December 16th

On December 16th in true crime, a bank assault in Chile, landmine attack, cold cases, robbery murder, and kidnapping in Ireland.


In California, 15-year-old Kerry Ann Graham and 14-year-old Francine Marie Trimble vanished while on a trip to a shopping mall in Santa Rosa.

They remained a missing persons case until 2015 when DNA on two Jane Doe’s came back as a match. Their bodies had been on ice since their discovery in 1979 and were not identified sooner due to the decomposition of the bodies.

The bodies were found in garbage bags, buried in a shallow grave 80 miles away from where they had vanished. As of 2022, their deaths remain an open cold case.


In Northern Ireland, four British Soldiers were killed by a Provisional IRA landmine near Dungannon, County Tyrone.

The soldiers were on mobile patrol when the bomb went off in a combined attack that also involved IRA gunmen. It became known as the Dungannon Land Mine Attack.


In Santiago, Chile, an armed unit of the Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR), stormed a bank in the city during the middle of the day and shot dead one customer before robbing it.

The MIR were a Chilean far-left political group and former urban guerrilla organisation who were advocates for Communism and Guevarism.

They carried out numerous attacks in the early 1980s during the Armed Resistance in Chile which lasted from 1973 to 1990.


In Queens, New York City, off-duty Police Officer Anthony J. Abruzzo was fatally shot as he attempted to stop three men robbing his father-in-law.

His father-in-law had just returned home from work when three men attacked him outside his door. Abruzzo heard a commotion and went to help but the suspects turned and opened fire, hitting him multiple times in the chest. He died from his wounds later the same day.

The three suspects were arrested six months later and convicted of murder. 22-year-old Thomas Nelson, 21-year-old Derek Jones, and 23-year-old Larry Johnson were all sentenced from 25 years to life in prison.


In Hardin County, Texas, Robert L. Streetman shot dead 44-year-old Christine Baker during a robbery. Baker was sitting in her living room, watching television while knitting, when Streetman shot her through the window of her home.

He then entered the residence on the belief that Baker held almost $200,000 (USD) in cash in the house but only her purse was stolen with one dollar inside. Streetman was arrested two days later and subsequently sentenced to death. He was executed by lethal injection in Texas on January 7th 1988.


Near Ballinamore, in the Republic of Ireland, Irish Garda Síochána officer, Gary Sheehan, and Private Patrick Kelly, were shot dead while attempting to rescue a hostage being held by the IRA.

They had been attached to a team of police and Irish Defence Forces (IDF) to search for Don Tidey, who was the managing director of the Quinnsworth supermarket chain.

He had been kidnapped in Dublin by the IRA and held for ransom so they could raise funds for their paramilitary activities.

Sheehan and the Kelly were searching Drumcromin Wood, at Derrada, when they stumbled upon the IRA’s hideout. Both were shot dead in a violent shoot-out, during which, hand grenades were set off.

The IRA group managed to escape the forest, and despite many suspects over the years, no one has ever been convicted of the kidnapping and murders. Tidey managed to escape during the shoot-out and was found nearby shortly after.

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