January 15, 1999: The Reçak Massacre, wherein some 40 to 45 Kosovo Albanians were shot to death. This was a very controversial event and remains so to this day, with some people claiming it was the merciless slaughter of unarmed civilians and others saying it was a military action against guerrillas. Because of the conflicting statements it was pretty hard for me to research and write. Regardless, it was what finally got NATO to get involved in the conflict in Yugoslavia.
January 17, 2006: Clarence Ray Allen, who was ultimately responsible for four murders, although he didn’t commit any of them himself. One of the homicides is a Charley Project case: 17-year-old Mary Sue Kitts, who disappeared in 1974. Allen was 76 by the time of his execution and in very poor health, and his attorneys said it would be cruel and unusual to execute a sick old man. The court of appeals rejected this argument and pointed out that it was Allen’s own fault that he was a sick old man on death row; he’d been 50 years old when he ordered the murders that would lead to his death sentence, and spent the next quarter-century trying to prolong his life with endless appeals.