Crime History, Dec. 31, 1860: D.C. police nab Congressmen shortly before pistol duel

Rep. Galusha Grow, of Pennsylvania, and Rep. Lawrence Branch, of North Carolina.

Rep. Galusha Grow, of Pennsylvania, and Rep. Lawrence Branch, of North Carolina.

On this day, Dec. 31, in 1860, D.C. police arrest several Congressmen mere seconds before two of them were to duel in Silver Spring.

Earlier in the week, Rep. Lawrence Branch, of North Carolina, and Rep. Gulasha Grow, of Pennsylvania, traded insults on the House floor in a dispute over a post office appropriations bill. Grow already had been involved in the most infamous brawl involving dozens of lawmakers on the House floor two years earlier.

Branch later sent a letter to Grow challenging him to a duel. Dueling in the District of Columbia had been outlawed since the late 1830s, but individuals could still travel across the District line to Maryland to shoot at each other.

The parties agreed to secretly meet at the Silver Spring home of Francis P. Blair, Sr., the editor of the Congressional Globe. Branch was accompanied by Reps. Laurence Keitt of South Carolina and Roger Pryor of Virginia. Grow was seconded by Reps. De Witt Giddings of Texas and Reuben Fenton of New York.

But District police received a tip about the duel, and obtained a warrant for their arrests. Police tracked down and Branch, Grow, and their associates, shortly before the shooting.

Grow would later become Speaker of the House during the Civil War.

The Crime Scene: Fire officials ban posting of fire, accident images; brawl at Victoria’s Secret; and bus kills Metro driver

Crime scene tape fingerprint

It’s the crime scene to be seen.

Crime reporters pick favorite stories of 2013 (Slate)

• D.C. fire department bans posting of images of fire or accident scenes (Washington Times)

The most likely place a child will be killed? Home (Mother Jones)

• D.C. Metro bus driver pinned by bus, killed (NBC4)

Police impersonators rob women who placed escort ads (NBC4)

Montgomery police officer gives CPR to baby who stopped breathing (WJLA)

Police: Woman sexually assaulted by Metro bus driver in Shady Grove (WJLA)

Police investigate drive-by shooting near White House (The Daily Caller)

Brawl at Victoria’s Secrets in Pentagon City mall (ARLnow.com)

Md. burglar falls asleep in home (WBAL)

Md. police investigate shooting deaths of two bald eagles (D.C. Crime Stories)

Man charged in 2012 D.C. slaying (WNEW)

Md. police investigate shooting deaths of two bald eagles

Maryland police are investigating the shooting of two bald eagles in Montgomery County this week.

Bald eagle (Wikipedia)

Bald eagle (Wikipedia)

On Christmas, one of the eagles was found shot with a rifle in a field in the area of Georgia Avenue and Bordley Road in Brookville, according to the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

The eagle had been feeding on a deer carcass when it was shot, police said.

On Saturday, officials found an eagle suffering from gun shot wounds near a home in Deakins Lane in Darnestown. An X-ray showed that it had been shot by bird shot. The bird later died of its injuries.

Investigators believe the shootings are unrelated. Anyone with information should call officials at (410) 260-8888.

Bald eagles are no longer protected as an endangered species, but it is illegal to shoot eagles without a permit from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

If convicted, the maximum fine is of $5,000 and up to one year in prison.

Crime History, Dec. 30, 1905: Ex-governor assassinated after dispute with miners

On this day, Dec. 30, in 1905, former Idaho Gov. Frank Steunenberg was wounded by a powerful bomb rigged to the front gate of his home. He died shortly afterward.

Frank Steunenberg

Frank Steunenberg

The case was one of the most sensational and widely reported of the first decade of the 20th century. Steunenberg had taken a hard line stance against labor, declaring martial law and calling in the federal troops to fight union members.

Labor activist Harry Orchard was arrested by Pinkerton agent James McParland. After being placed in solitary confinement and an intense interrogation, Orchard implicated three prominent union officials. McParland helped Orchard write a 64-page confession in which Orchard claimed to have been hired by leadership of the Western Federation of Minors to kill Steunenberg.

The three-month trial included Sen. William Borah for the prosecution and Clarence Darrow, the great orator, for the defense.

The prosecution had little evidence outside Orchard’s testimony. It was revealed that Orchard had his own motive to kill Steunenberg and had blamed the Idaho governor for ruining his mining business. The union men were acquitted.

Orchard was found guilty in a separate trial, and sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to life in prison, where he died in 1954.

— Scott McCabe

The Crime Scene: Composite sketches before and after; Santa who was shot forgives; and horse whisperers behind bars

Case of Pr. George’s man accused of serial killings leaves police, families unsatisfied (Washington Post)

Santa who was shot forgives, moves on (WJLA)

Man wanted in Metro kidnapping turns himself in (WNEW)

Hammer attack suspect in court (NBC4)

Composite sketches waning amid new technology, but some departments still use them (Washington Post)

 A real estate agent described a woman who had attended an open house in which a gun, medication and other items were taken in March 2008. Detectives tracked the woman down based on the sketch, and police say she confessed to this and other incidents where she posed as a potential homebuyer to steal items. (Courtesy of Capt. Thom Shaw/Loudoun County Sheriff's Office)

A composite sketch was drawn after a real estate agent was able describe a woman who had attended an open house in which a gun, medication and other items were taken in March 2008. (Courtesy of Capt. Thom Shaw/Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office)

Before and After: Police composite sketches (Washington Post)

• 2013’s Top Ten crime stories in the U.S. (Huffington Post)

Planned rollout of D.C. traffic cameras hits a snag (Washington Times)

The FBI Investigators who coined the term ‘Serial Killer’ (NPR)

• Secret Service arrested robbery spree suspect for online threats to president in 2010 (Associated Press)

FBI allowed informants to commit more crimes than year before (Huffington Post)

Horse whisperers behind bars in Md. (Ellicott City Patch)

U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen discusses 2013 year in review (Homicide Watch D.C.)

Intoxicated man passes out, falls over parapet at L’Enfant Plaza (WJLA)

‘American Hustle’s’ D.C. connection (Washington Post)

Santa shot in Southeast Washington

D.C. fire and rescue workers administer aid to a man dressed as Santa Claus at Barry Farms in Southeast Washington early Tuesday. (Credit: Delia Gonçalves @9NewsDelia)

D.C. fire and rescue workers administer aid to a man dressed as Santa Claus at Barry Farms in Southeast Washington early Tuesday. (Credit: Delia Gonçalves @9NewsDelia)

A man dressed as Santa Claus was shot while delivering toys to children in Southeast Washington, according to WUSA9.

Reporter Delia Gonçalves reported that Santa was shot twice in the back with a pellet gun at the 22nd Annual toy drive at Barry Farms, a mostly public housing area in the Anacostia neighborhood. The gun shot likely came from a nearby home, she reported.

Police and fire officials were on the scene. Gonçalves reported that Santa suffered minor injuries.

Crime History, Dec. 23, 1987: ‘Squeaky’ Fromme escapes from W. Virginia prison

On this day, Dec. 23, 1987, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, the infamous Charles Manson disciple who tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford, escapes from Alderson Prison in West Virginia.

Squeaky Fromme

Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme

Fromme, the daughter of a well-to-do aerospace engineer, was a California college student before joining Manson’s cult. She was never implicated in the Manson killings. After his conviction, she shaved her red hair and cut an X into her forehead.

In September 1975, as Ford shook hands with admirers in Sacremento, Calif., Fromme, wearing red rob and head scarf, slipped through the throngs, pulled a .45 caliber gun from her thigh holster and pointed it at the president. Before she could pull the trigger, she was tackled by bystanders and the Secret Service.

From was sentenced to life in prison, the first person sentenced under a special federal law covering assaults after President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination.

In December 1987, Fromme slipped away from the campus-like Federal Correctional Institution in Alderson, and hid in the rugged West Virginia hills for two days before being caught two miles from the prison. Fromme had said she escaped to be closer to Manson after hearing rumors that he was dying. She was sentenced to an additional 15 months for the escape.

In 2009, Fromme was released from a federal prison in Texas in 2009.

The Crime Scene: ‘Duck Dynasty’ impersonator robs bank; FBI secret book left at library; and victim forced to ride Metro

Security camera footage captures a man wearing a Santa-style beard as he fires shots and robs a PNC bank in Laurel on Dec. 21. (Laurel Police)

Security camera footage captures a man wearing a Santa-style beard as he fires shots and robs a PNC bank in Laurel on Dec. 21. (Laurel Police)

We round up the top crime stories because there’s only two shopping days until Christmas.

Snafu leads to FBI’s ‘secret interrogation manual’ available to library goers (Mother Jones)

College police forces begin patrols beyond borders (Associated Press)

Fastest growing crime, barely registers to most Americans (The Atlantic Cities)

• Woman pulled from Md. river, two men dead (WBAL)

Service at Arlington Cemetery marks 25th anniversary of Lockerbie attack (Associated Press)

In wake mass shootings, Congress backs away from gun control (UPI)

Metro Transit Police released these photos of a suspect in a reported kidnapping and robbery on the Green Line on Dec. 20.

Metro Transit Police released these photos of a suspect in a reported kidnapping and robbery on the Green Line on Dec. 20.

• Man forced to ride Metro at gunpoint then ordered to take cash from ATM (WAMU)

Man shot four times by security guard speaks (WJLA)

D.C. police office indicted for trying to kill wife (D.C. Crime Stories)

Man robs bank impersonating ‘Duck Dynasty’ family member (Washington Post)

Maryland State Police investigate child sex exploitation on social networks (Fox45)

Md. firefighters injured when truck turns over (WUSA)

Owners hand in guns, get gift cards (WTOP)

Teen fatally shot in Upper Marlboro (WJLA)

Arrest made in double-shooting in D.C.; one man killed  (NBC4)

D.C. police officer indicted for attempted murder of wife

A veteran D.C. police officer has been indicted on attempted murder charges for trying to kill his wife at their Prince George’s County home, authorities said.

Officer Samson Lawrence III faces charges of attempted first- and second-degree attempted murder,  two counts of assault and two counts of possessing a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, according to Prince George’s County State Attorney Angela Alsobrooks.D.C. police logo

Lawrence, a school resources officer with 23 years with the Metropolitan Police Department, has been placed on administrative leave, and had his badge and gun taken away, according to police.

Lawrence, 45,  is at least the third D.C. police officer to be criminally charged in the last month. Officer Marc Washington was arrested on child pornography charges after police said he snapped nude photos of a runaway girl, andOfficer Linwood Barnhill Jr. was accused of running a prostitution ring after a missing girl was found at his D.C. apartment. Police are investigating whether the cases were connected. Washington died Dec. 11, after he was found floating in the waters of Hains Point.

According to Prince George’s County prosecutors, on Nov. 24, in Accokeek, Lawrence became angry with his wife because she could not find screws to hang a projector. Lawrence sprayed a can of Lysol in her face and told her to make him something to eat.

When she refused, he allegedly began pushing her, prosecutors said. She then tried to leave the house, but Lawrence followed her and allegedly pushed her to the floor in their living room, picked up a metal light post and began to hit her in the head while she lay on the floor.

Lawrence’s wife attempted to call 911, but Lawrence allegedly grabbed the phone and held two large kitchen knives to her throat and threatened her. She finally managed to run to her neighbors house and call 911.

The victim suffered a cut on her head that required five staples and a hairline fracture to her right wrist.

The Top 13 D.C. Crime Stories for 2013

The capital region saw an abundance of crimes in 2013, including an increase in homicides, the deadliest mass shooting in District of Columbia history and the arrests of many political figures, including a U.S. Congressman busted for cocaine. Which crimes made the Top 13? Check it out here and let us know which ones we missed?

Lincoln Memorial grafitti

13) The Sliming of Washington’s Icons — Green paint was spattered on the Lincoln Memorial, the National Cathedral and a Smithsonian statue in July, causing widespread anger. The investigation by federal and District police quickly led to 58-year-old Tian Jiamel, a homeless woman from China. She was admitted to a psychiatric ward and ruled incompetent to stand trial.

chris-brown1

12) On-the-Road Rage — Singer Chris Brown was arrested in October for an altercation outside his tour bus in downtown D.C. The arrest resulted in the revocation of Brown’s probation for his well-publicized beating of former girlfriend, pop star Rihanna. A Los Angeles judge has temporarily allowed Brown to continue his stint in rehab instead of going to jail.

11) EPA's Million Dollar Con Artist -- John Beale, EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change, bilked the government out of nearly $1 million by claiming he was a CIA spy to avoid doing his real job. Beale also claimed to be suffering from malaria that he got while serving in Vietnam so he could get a handicap parking space near the EPA headquarters. He never had malaria and he never served in Vietnam. Beale was sentenced to more than two years in prison.

11) EPA’s Million Dollar Con Artist — John Beale, the EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change, bilked the government out of nearly $1 million by claiming he was a CIA spy to skip work. Beale also claimed to be suffering from malaria that he got while serving in Vietnam so he could get a handicap parking space near the EPA headquarters. But he never had malaria and he never served in Vietnam. Beale was sentenced to more than two years in prison.

10) Fall of Jesse Jackson Jr. -- The 48-year-old Congressman was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for spending $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items, including a including a $43,350 gold-plated men’s Rolex watch. Jackson’s wife, Sandra Jackson, was also convicted for filing joint federal income tax returns that understated the couple’s income. She spent $5,150 in campaign funds on fur capes and parkas.

10) The Fall of Jesse Jackson Jr. — The 48-year-old Congressman was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for spending $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items, including a $43,350 gold-plated men’s Rolex watch. Jackson’s wife, Sandra Jackson, was also convicted for filing joint federal income tax returns that understated the couple’s income. She spent $5,150 in campaign funds on fur capes and parkas.

9) Gun Too Far -- Activist Adam Kokesh was arrested and convicted on weapons charges after he posted a video of himself pumping a shotgun near the White House on Independence Day. The stunt came after he canceled an armed march into D.C. to protest the city's strict gun laws.

9) Gun Too Far — Activist Adam Kokesh was arrested and convicted on weapons charges after he posted a video of himself pumping a shotgun near the White House on Independence Day. The stunt came after he canceled an armed march into D.C. to protest the city’s strict gun laws.

8) Molly Madness -- The designer drug grew in popularity and led to the the death of University of Virginia student Mary "Shelly" Goldsmith at a D.C. nightclub. Molly is the street name for a drug that is pushed as the pure powder form of a banned substance known as MDMA, the main chemical in ecstasy. (Photo DEA)

8) Molly Madness — The designer drug grew in popularity and led to the death of University of Virginia student Mary “Shelly” Goldsmith at a D.C. nightclub in September. Police have linked the batch of the drug that killed Goldsmith, 19, to three more deaths at concerts and clubs in Boston and New York. Molly is the street name for a drug that is pushed as the pure powder form of a banned substance known as MDMA, the main chemical in ecstasy. (Photo DEA)

7) D.C. Police Runaway Girls Scandal -- D.C. police officer Marc Washington was arrested on child pornography charges and veteran Officer Linwood Barnhill Jr. was arrested on accusations of running a prostitution ring after a missing girl was found at his D.C. apartment. Police are investigating whether the cases were connected. Washington died Dec. 11, 2013 after he was found in the waters of Hains Point.

7) D.C. Police Runaway Girls Scandal — D.C. police officer Marc Washington was arrested on child pornography charges and veteran Officer Linwood Barnhill Jr. was arrested on accusations of running a prostitution ring after a missing girl was found at his D.C. apartment. Police are investigating whether the cases were connected. Washington died Dec. 11, 2013 after he was found in the waters of Hains Point.

6) D.C. Shadow Campaign -- Federal agents continued to focus on Jeffrey Thompson in an alleged shadow campaign that helped elect Mayor Vincent Gray. Four Gray associates were charged and or convicted of political corruption charges in 2013, but Thompson and Gray remain unscathed.

6) D.C. Shadow Campaign — Federal agents continued to focus on Jeffrey Thompson in an alleged shadow campaign that helped elect Mayor Vincent Gray. Four Gray associates were charged and or convicted of political corruption charges in 2013, but Thompson and Gray remain uncharged.

5) Deadly Capitol Car Chase -- A young mother led police on a car chase from the White House to the U.S. Capitol before she was gunned down. Miriam Carey, a 34-year-old dental hygienist, believed she was being controlled by President Obama.

5) Deadly Capitol Car Chase — A young mother led police on a car chase from the White House to the U.S. Capitol before she was gunned down. Miriam Carey, a 34-year-old dental hygienist, believed she was being controlled by President Obama.

virginia-state-senator-creigh-deeds-stabbed-s-L-8JQ7Z3

4) Deeds Tragedy — Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) was stabbed multiple times by his son near Charlottesville on Nov. 19.  Gus Deeds, 25, then took his own life. The stabbing came one day after Deeds’ son was taken to a mental hospital under an emergency custody order. Deeds, the Democratic nominee for Virginia governor in 2009, vowed to work to change how mental health services are delivered so families don’t have to go through what his did.

No. 3) Capture of FBI Most Wanted Figure --Eric Toth, the elite D.C. private school teacher who replaced Osama Bin Laden on the FBI's Most Wanted list, was captured April 10, 2013, in Nicaragua after a five year manhunt. Toth pleaded guilty in federal court this month to  producing child porn.

3) Capture of FBI Most Wanted Figure –Eric Toth, the elite D.C. private school teacher who replaced Osama Bin Laden on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, was captured April 10, 2013, in Nicaragua after a five-year manhunt. Toth pleaded guilty in federal court this month to  producing child porn.

No. 2) Wikileaks Conviction -- Army intelligence analyst Pfc. Bradley Manning was convicted of leaking the largest cache of classified materials in U.S. history. After a military judge sentenced him to 35 years in prison, Manning changed his gender identity and name to Chelsea Manning.

2) Wikileaks Conviction — Army intelligence analyst Pfc. Bradley Manning was convicted of leaking the largest cache of classified materials in U.S. history. After a military judge sentenced him to 35 years in prison, Manning changed his gender identity and name to Chelsea Manning.

No. 1) Navy Yard Shooting -- On September 16, Aaron Alexis fatally shot twelve people and injured three others in a mass shooting at the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Southeast Washington. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the District of Columbia. (Photo FBI)

No. 1) Navy Yard Massacre — On September 16, Aaron Alexis fatally shot twelve people and injured three others in a mass shooting at the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Southeast Washington. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the District of Columbia’s history. (Photo FBI)