True Crime On This Day November 18th

True Crime On This Day November 18th

November 18th

On November 18th in true crime, the Jonestown Massacre, cold cases, murders, hijacking, and computer centre bombing in New Zealand.


Jonestown rounds off a horrific decade of violence and murders. 918 people were found dead. It was the largest deliberate loss of life in the USA until September 11th 2001.

The Peoples Temple Agricultural Project became known as Jonestown due to its leadership by Jim Jones. It was a remote African American settlement established by the Peoples Temple, in north-western Guyana.

The event was deemed a revolutionary suicide by Jim Jones and other members. However, the suicide has since been deemed a mass murder.

The cyanide poisoning followed the murder of five outsiders including the death of United States Congressman, Leo Ryan. As many as 70 people may have been injected with the poison.

304 victims were children and young teens. Jonestown has become synonymous with the 1970s and 1978 in particular as one of the largest mass murders in history.


In Denver, Colorado, 38-year-old Barry Calvert and his friend were violently attacked outside of the Blue Bonnet Café by two unidentified suspects.

Calvert sustained a severe head injury that he died of two days later. The identity of the suspects remain a mystery and it is an active cold case in the State of Colorado.


Near Elkins, West Virginia, 76-year-old Clarence ‘Moses’ Riffle, was shot dead at his home during a robbery. At least one suspect broke into the property and stole cash, personal belongings, and a Westernfield shotgun.

Riffle was shot dead at some point during the robbery. Despite the investigation being re-opened on numerous occasions, no suspect had ever been arrested and the murder remains unsolved.


In Los Angeles, California, on November 18th, 28-year-old Japanese citizen Kazumi Miura and her husband, Japanese Businessman, Kazuyoshi Miura, were shot in a parking lot.

Kazumi was shot in the head and later died of her injuries, while Kazuyoshi was shot in the leg and survived. The shooting sparked international condemnation and caused a furore between the United States and Japan, when Kazuyoshi called Los Angeles the most violent city he’d ever visited.

The case went unsolved until 1994, when Japanese authorities charged Kazuyoshi with his wife’s murder. He was convicted in the same year, but the verdict was overturned by Japan’s highest court, in 1998.

In 2008, Kazuyoshi was arrested when visiting Saipan, which is a United States territory in the Pacific. Detectives from the LAPD were involved in the arrest, to ensure his extradition to the States.

He was returned to Los Angeles where he hung himself in his cell. An independent pathologist claimed he was murdered but his death is listed as suicide.


In Wanganui, New Zealand, a suicide bomber detonated a device at the Wanganui Computer Centre. The bombing took place in protest against the country’s ability to record private and personal information.

The target was the National Law Enforcement System mainframe. The attacker was Neil Roberts, an anarchist who believed the centre was dangerous and needed to be shut down.

Only Roberts was killed in the attack, no other person was injured. The facility continued to operate at full function until its closure in 2005.


On a scheduled flight from Tbilisi, Georgia, to Leningrad, Russia, via Batumi, seven Georgian hijackers attempted to take over the plane mid-air. They were attempting to flee the Soviet Union by diverting the plane to Turkey.

Captain Akhmatger Gardapkhadze, and co-pilot, Vladimir Gasoyan, made sharp motions with the plane to prevent the hijackers from taking aim. They were forced out of the cockpit and a fight ensued between the passengers and hijackers.

The pilots circled Tbilisi before landing at the airport they had departed from. The next day, Alpha Group, an elite Soviet special unit, stormed the plane and arrested the surviving hijackers.

Eight people died as a result of the attack, including three crew members, two passengers, and three hijackers.

Four of the five hijackers were later sentenced to death and executed by shooting on October 3rd 1984. A fifth was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Both pilots were later awarded with Hero of the Soviet Union medals.

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