True Crime On This Day February 19th

Last Updated on February 6, 2023 by Ben Oakley

February 19th

On February 19th in true crime, hijacking, missing person mystery, murder, Atlanta child murders, Wah Mee massacre, and disappearances.


In a bizarre hostage exchange gone wrong, 15 Egyptian commandos were killed in a Cyprus firefight. Both sides opened fire as the fate of hostages and abductors on board a hijacked Cypriot airliner hung in the balance.

The Cypriot government said it was in the process of solving the hostage crisis when the Egyptians launched their own assault on the aircraft. Both sides blamed each other. No Cypriots were killed in the exchange.


In Aurora, Colorado, 24-year-old Katherine Barnum was reported missing by her sister. She lived with Randal Francis Arnold in an apartment on South Salem Street.

Arnold speculated that Barnum went to California with an unidentified male to join a cult.

Another speculation came later from a DEA informant who claimed that Barnum was murdered and that her body was dumped in a mineshaft somewhere in Central City, Colorado.

As of 2022, the whereabouts of Barnum remain a mystery and no trace of her has ever been found.


In Kings County, California, Nancy Adams shot dead her friend and lover, Jerry Lee Pollock. Adams attempted to get away with it by coming up with a weak cover story.

Shortly after she killed him, on a remote roadway, she waited in her van and flashed down a passing car. When the occupants, David Oliveira and his wife Kathy, approached Adams, she began screaming about two or three men who had ambushed them and killed Pollock.

The Oliviera’s took Adams to a nearby house and waited with her for the police to arrive. Her father also arrived with police and Adams cried out that they had shot ‘her Jerry’, who she claimed was going to marry her the following day.

Within a few days, Adams was the prime suspect. The gun used to kill Pollock, had been fired from Adams own vehicle, even leaving bullet cases on the floor.

The bullets were matched to Adams’ own gun, and she was arrested. After numerous interviews she finally confessed to the murder, claiming she had acted out violently after an intense argument. She was later sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.


In Atlanta, Georgia, 13-year-old Curtis Walker disappeared. His body was found two weeks later, floating in a river southeast of downtown Atlanta.

He had been strangled to death and his body found shortly after. Walker was a victim of the infamous Atlanta Murders.

They were a series of murders committed in Atlanta from July 1979 to May 1981 and included the deaths of at least 28 children and adults.


In El Dorado, Kansas, 36-year-old Ross Crane disappeared under suspicious circumstances. He and his brother drove to a house in El Dorado to meet a man to collect some money.

When they arrived, Ross told his brother to leave and he would meet up with him later. Ross failed to show up at the meeting place and he was reported missing shortly after. His car was later found outside a nightclub at the corner of Lincoln and Governor in Wichita.

The man they had visited was later convicted on unrelated drug charges and assault and has long been suspected in Ross’ disappearance but there has never been enough evidence to make an arrest.

No trace of Ross has ever been found, dead or alive. Despite being declared legally dead, his case remains unsolved.


In Seattle, Washington, the Wah Mee Massacre took place, leaving 13 people dead and at least one injured. Shortly after midnight, Kwan Fai Mak, Wai-Chiu Ng, and Benjamin Ng, robbed the Wah Mee Gambling Club at the Louisa Hotel in Chinatown-International District.

They tied up and shot everyone who was inside at the time and only one person survived. All three assailants were arrested shortly after. Wai Chin, a dealer at the Wah Mee, survived to testify against the three in separate high-profile trials held in 1983 and 1985.

Benjamin was convicted of 13 murders and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Kwan was convicted of the same and sentenced to death but it was commuted to life in 2002.

Wai-Chiu was convicted of 13 counts of robbery and sentenced to 13 life terms. He was released on parole in 2013 and deported to Hong Kong in 2014.

The massacre remains the deadliest mass murder in Washington State history.

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