What happened on this day in history: The Treaty of Versailles ends World War I, police uncover remains on the property of the "Death House Landlady," and other landmark events that happened on November 11th.
1831: Nat Turner Is Executed
Nat Turner, an enslaved man and minister who believed God had chosen him to help his people escape from slavery, is executed for leading 75 of his followers in an insurrection against their enslavers. The group killed around 60 people before a militia crushed the rebellion, and Turner evaded capture for two months.
When he was caught, he immediately confessed and was hanged and skinned. His body fat was used to make soap, his skin was used to create purses, and his bones were handed out as souvenirs.
1859: Belle Gunness Is Born
Serial killer Belle Gunness is born Brynhild Paulsdatter Størset in Norway. She immigrated to the United States at the age of 22 — and everyone close to her began dying mysteriously. Gunness is thought to have killed at least 14 people, mainly men she lured onto her Indiana property after promising to marry them. She reportedly died in a fire in 1908, but it’s commonly believed that she faked her own death.
1880: Ned Kelly Is Hanged
Australian outlaw Ned Kelly is executed for the murder of a police officer during a shootout two years prior. Kelly was a notorious bushranger whom many impoverished Australians saw as a hero for standing up to what they believed was a corrupt police force that protected only the wealthy. He spent years stealing horses and cattle and robbing banks before he was captured during another shootout in June 1880 and put on trial for his crimes.
1918: World War I Ends
World War I comes to an end at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month after four years of fighting that left at least nine million soldiers and five million civilians dead. Early that morning, Germany signed an agreement with the Allies to end the conflict. But although World War I was the “war to end all wars,” the Treaty of Versailles that officially put a stop to the Great War harshly punished Germany and set the stage for World War II.
1934: Grace Budd’s Mother Receives A Letter From Her Killer
Delia Flanagan, whose daughter Grace Budd had vanished six years prior, receives a horrific letter that describes her murder in gruesome detail. In June 1928, serial killer Albert Fish murdered and then ate the remains of 10-year-old Budd in Irvington, New York. Fish wasn’t initially charged with Budd’s disappearance, but police were able to track Fish down based on the paper he’d written the letter on, and he was arrested a month later.
1938: Typhoid Mary Dies
Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary, dies of pneumonia in the hospital where she spent much of her life in quarantine. Mallon was the first identified asymptomatic carrier of the typhoid bacteria in the United States, and she likely infected up to 120 people with the disease. In 1915, she was forced into quarantine at Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island, where she remained until her death 23 years later.
1988: Police Find Bodies Buried On Dorothea Puente’s Property
While searching for a missing man with developmental disabilities, police in Sacramento, California come across a body buried on the property of Dorothea Puente’s boarding house. Puente was eventually charged with the murder of eight of her tenants and her boyfriend. Police say she overdosed her victims with drugs, buried them in her backyard, and continued to cash their Social Security checks.