True Crime On This Day December 17th

True Crime On This Day December 17th

December 17th

On December 17th in true crime, IRA shooting, serial killers, assassination, missing person, murder mystery, and a deadly nightclub fire.


A gay waiter in Italy was stabbed 30 times with two blades left sticking out of his back.

He was a victim of serial killers Wolfgang Abel and Marco Furlan, who would claim between 10 to 28 victims. They remain two of Italy’s most notorious serial killers.


In Belfast, Northern Ireland, another shooting takes place outside the Buffs Social Club.

58-year-old senior prison officer William Wilson was killed as he walked from the prison to the club for lunch. The IRA later claimed responsibility for the murder.


In Sydney, Australia, 50-year-old Turkish diplomat Sarik Ariyak was assassinated along with his 28-year-old bodyguard Engin Sever. It was the first international politically-motivated attack on Australian soil.

They were killed by two gunmen from the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide, who were an Armenian militant organisation active from 1975 to 1987.

No suspects were ever arrested in connection with the attack. On December 17th 2019, the investigation was re-opened and a reward of $1million (AUD) ($700,000 USD) was put up for information leading to the capture of the shooters.


In Lebanon, Tennessee, 50-year-old Georgie Ray Abney disappeared without a trace. Abney was known to have the mental capacity of a ten-year-old but was not known to have enemies.

When authorities searched Abney’s room they found his normal day-to-day clothes folded up neatly on his bed. There is not much information on Abney’s background, but investigators have long suspected foul play may be involved. His case remains unsolved.


In Aurora, Colorado, 28-year-old Quentin Evender Hargrove died from a gunshot wound he had received the night before. He had stumbled into a restaurant and fallen into a booth.

Workers at the restaurant called emergency services but Hargrove claimed he would be able to take care of the situation himself. He died of his wounds in hospital before he could tell anyone what had happened.

Witnesses had seen him standing under a streetlight smoking a cigarette just minutes before. His murder remains unsolved.


In Madrid, Spain, a fire at the Alcalá 20 nightclub tore through the building and killed 82 people, injuring another 27.

When panic set in, many clubbers tried to exit through a fire exit but it had been locked. Another main exit to an adjoining building was closed of with a large iron grill.

According to the owners of the club, there were approximately 150 people inside at the time but witnesses claimed there were almost 1,000, more than three times the legal capacity.

The four club owners and an electrician were arrested shortly after and their trial lasted over a decade. They were found guilty of breaching safety measures including running a licenced establishment above legal capacity.

An Interior Ministry inspector was also arrested for negligence in not checking the club’s safety measures.

The burnt remains of the four story club remained intact until 2003 when it was demolished to make way for a new two floor club. Club Adraba was opened in 2005 and shut down just two hours later for not following safety procedures.

After another failed opening in 2007, it finally opened in 2010 after modern fire safety devices had been installed and signed off.

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