What happened on this day in history: The Globe Theatre burns down, Jayne Mansfield dies in a car crash, and more.
1613: The Globe Theatre Burns Down
The Globe Theatre in London burns down during a performance of Henry VIII after a theatrical cannon misfires. First built in 1599, the theater put on many of William Shakespeare’s plays when they debuted for the first time. It was subsequently rebuilt, torn down, and then reconstructed centuries later in the 1990s.
1864: Canada’s Worst Rail Disaster Kills 99
A train carrying hundreds of passengers drops through the gap of a swing bridge over the Richelieu River in Quebec. Though a red light had signaled for the train to stop, neither the conductor nor the engineer apparently saw it. Ninety-nine people, mostly German and Polish immigrants, died in the so-called St. Hilaire train disaster, which is still considered the worst rail disaster in Canadian history.
1967: Jayne Mansfield Dies
Actress Jayne Mansfield dies in a car crash near New Orleans, Louisiana, at the age of 34. Born Vera Jayne Palmer, the blonde bombshell had stunned Hollywood with saucy performances in films like Too Hot to Handle and The Girl Can’t Help It. She met a horrific end alongside her driver and boyfriend when their 1966 Buick Electra crashed into the back of a trailer truck, but Mansfield’s three children in the backseat survived.
1978: Bob Crane Is Found Murdered
Bob Crane, the Hogan’s Heroes star, is bludgeoned to death in his apartment in Scottsdale, Arizona. The murder remains officially unsolved to this day, but many believe that John Carpenter, a close friend of Crane’s, was the one who killed him. Carpenter, a regional Sony sales manager, had provided Crane with photo and video equipment to document his sex life. In return, Crane had used his celebrity to help Carpenter meet women. However, when Crane tried to end his friendship with Carpenter, he reportedly became enraged. But although Carpenter was eventually tried for the murder, he was ultimately acquitted.
1991: The “Ken And Barbie Killers” Wed
Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, known as the Ken and Barbie Killers, get married. By then, Bernardo had abducted and raped a number of women, and Homolka had even helped him to rape and murder her own sister. They continued to rape and murder together before DNA evidence led police to Bernardo’s door, leading to the couple’s arrest in 1993. Bernardo was ultimately sentenced to life in prison for his crimes, but Homolka served just 12 years in exchange for her cooperation with authorities.