What happened on this day in history: The "Preppy Killer" Robert Chambers murders Jennifer Levin, Jaycee Lee Dugard is discovered alive after 18 years, and more.
1768: Captain James Cook Sets Sail On The HMS Endeavour
Captain James Cook sets off from Plymouth, England on the first of three Pacific Ocean exploration voyages. He initially believed that the sole purpose of the trip was to travel to Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus. But after setting sail, he opened his sealed orders to discover he was also tasked with finding evidence of the hypothetical continent “Terra Australis.” Cook and his crew would later become the first Europeans to visit Australia’s eastern coastline in April 1770.
1910: Mother Teresa Is Born
Mother Teresa is born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in present-day Skopje, North Macedonia, then part of the Ottoman Empire. She would go on to become a celebrated nun and missionary who spent most of her life in India, where she worked as a teacher in Kolkata and helped the sick and the poor. Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and was canonized as a saint in 2016.
1986: “Preppy Killer” Robert Chambers Kills Jennifer Levin
Robert Chambers Jr., known as the “Preppy Killer,” strangles 18-year-old Jennifer Levin in Central Park. A bicyclist found Levin’s body around 6:15 a.m., while Chambers hid nearby and watched police investigate the scene. Chambers later claimed to police that he accidentally killed Levin after she hurt him during sex in the park. A jury failed to reach a verdict in the case, but Chambers pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter and spent 15 years in prison.
2009: Jaycee Dugard Is Discovered Alive After 18 Years In Captivity
Jaycee Lee Dugard is discovered alive after she was kidnapped by Phillip Garrido while walking to her school bus in California 18 years earlier — when she was 11 years old. During Dugard’s time in captivity, she was raped repeatedly by Garrido and she eventually gave birth to two of his children. One day, Garrido, already a registered sex offender, showed up for a visit with his parole officer with Dugard and their two daughters, who he had once tried to pass off as younger siblings of Dugard. Police separated Dugard and the girls from Garrido for questioning and finally uncovered the truth.
2015: Alison Parker Is Fatally Shot By Her Former Coworker On Camera
Journalist Alison Parker is fatally shot by her former coworker on camera. Parker was a promising reporter for WDBJ7, a local news station in Roanoke, Virginia. While interviewing an executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, Parker and her cameraman, Adam Ward, were murdered by their former coworker, Vester Lee Flanagan. Flanagan once worked for WDBJ7, until he was fired for making people uncomfortable.
Flanagan posted footage of his crimes on social media sites, causing the story to gain massive media attention. Unfortunately, before police could arrest Flanagan, he died by suicide in his car.