True Crime On This Day March 23rd

Last Updated on September 22, 2022 by Ben Oakley

True Crime On This Day March 23rd

March 23rd

On March 23rd in true crime, Truman Library robbery, assassination, cold case disappearance, macabre discovery, and unsolved murder.


Early in the morning, in Kansas, two burglars broke into the Truman Library and Museum. They made off with extremely rare and pricey swords that President Harry S. Truman had collected from the Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Saud and the Shah of Iran.

Most swords and daggers were diamond encrusted and in total was said to be worth over $1million (USD). They have never been recovered. Descriptions of the artefacts are currently listed on the National Archives website.


In the Hague, the British Ambassador to the Netherlands, Richard Adam Sykes, was assassinated by members of the Provisional IRA. Sykes was shot dead as he was getting into his Rolls Royce limousine, by two men in suits.

Suspicion of the attack was blamed on Palestinians or Iraqis, but the IRA claimed responsibility for the assassination in 1980, blaming Sykes for engaging in intelligence operations against them.


In Newton, New Hampshire, 15-year-old Rachael Elizabeth Garden was reported missing after vanishing in the middle of the night.

She had last been seen exiting Rowe’s Corner Market the night before, on her way to a friend’s house where she planned to spend the night.

A large search of the area began but no sign of Garden was found. She had left all her personal belongings at her family home and it was uncharacteristic of her to not check in with family, even more so because she owned a horse that she never left unattended.

Witnesses claimed they had seen a car with three men inside. One of the men confessed to killing her but there was no evidence found, aside from the confession.

The case went cold and has remained a mystery ever since. No trace of Garden has ever been found.


In Claremont, California, a homeowner was digging a posthole when he discovered what looked like a large animal bone. Upon closer inspection, he realised it was a human skull and mandible.

Investigators began digging in the area but no sign of a torso or other bones were recovered. It is estimated the skull belonged to an 18 to 30-year-old man of unknown ethnicity who had died at some point between 1971 and 1981.

Despite being linked to numerous missing persons investigations, the case remains unsolved.


In Guatemala, General Efrain Rios Montt, together with a group of junior army officers, seized power in a military coup.

He went on to conduct a campaign of mass murder against indigenous Mayans, accusing them of harbouring insurgents. It marked a violent turning point in the Guatemalan Civil War that lasted from 1960 to 1996.

An estimated 200,000 people, mostly indigenous Mayans, were killed or went missing. Montt was overthrown in 1983.

In 2013, Montt was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity, only to have the ruling overturned by the constitutional court on a technicality. No retrial has ever taken place.


In Portland, Oregon, the body of 23-year-old Essie Jackson was discovered on a steep embankment on the western edge of Overlook Park.

Her body had been there for some time and an autopsy showed she had been strangled to death. She was known to have been an active prostitute in the area and was last seen near the intersection of Falling Street on February 12th.

The case almost got a break in 2015, when 59-year-old serial killer Homer Lee Jackson was arrested and accused of killing four black women in the 1980s, including Essie’s.

The case seemed to solved but in 2019 there was deemed to be not enough evidence to link Homer to Essie’s death.

Despite her death being connected to Gary Ridgway, AKA: The Green River Killer, Essie Jackson’s murder remains unsolved.

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