True Crime in America

True Crimes America

True Crimes America

Crime and evil have always been a part of humanity. Since the founding of the United States, crime has fluctuated significantly over time for various reasons. Amazingly, violent crime in the United States has declined since colonial times. The homicide rate has been estimated to be over 30 per 100,000 people in 1700, dropping to under 20 by 1800 and to under ten by 1900.

However, there was a sharp rise after 1900 and another after World War II, peaking from the 1970s to the early 1990s. Since then, contrary to common misconceptions, crime in the United States has declined steadily.

Over the years, most crimes are quickly forgotten, but many are remembered. From the American Revolution to the Civil War, Old West days, to the Great Depression, and beyond, here can be found many famous crime stories.

Cell of one of the escapees at Alacatraz showing the "dummy" head by Kathy Alexander.

The cell of one of the escapees at Alcatraz shows the “dummy” head by Kathy Alexander.


Alcatraz Escape

D.B. Cooper Skyjacking

Drugs in the Old West

The Fatal Flight of United Airlines 629

Gambling in the Old West

Gangsters, Thugs, and Mafia in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Kansas City Massacre – Gangsters vs. the Law

Jules Beni – Corruption and Violence in Old Julesburg, Colorado

Tom Quick – Avenger or Psychopath?

Speakeasies of the Prohibition Era

Typhoid Mary Mallon – Spreading the Fever

United Airlines Highjacked in 1972

© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated October 2023.

Also See:

American History

American History Photo Galleries

Mysteries in American History

Who’s Who in American History