During the Soviet Union's Great Purge in the 1930s, a series of show trials were conducted to eliminate the potential rivals and critics of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Accused of conspiring to remove Stalin from power, many prominent Bolsheviks were found guilty on the basis of confessions that had either been obtained through torture or had been fabricated. They were then imprisoned or executed. At one trial, the defendants "confessed" in exchange for what promise that Stalin later broke?
Back in the day
In December 1977, Ted Bundy escaped from jail in Colorado—for the second time—and fled to Florida. There, he resumed a streak of murders that he had begun in 1974, killing 12-year-old Kimberly Leach, among others. He was soon re-arrested, convicted of several murders, and sentenced to death. In an effort to avoid execution, Bundy confessed to numerous killings and promised to reveal more information in time. Despite this, he was executed in 1989. How many women is Bundy thought to have killed?
Born on a day like today
Born into upper-class American society, Wharton was privately educated. She married a Boston banker in 1885, but as her older husband's mental health deteriorated, she devoted herself to writing. The success of her 1905 novel The House of Mirth established her as a leading writer, but she is perhaps best known for 1911's Ethan Frome, which explores the grimmer possibilities of New England farm life. What common saying is thought to have originally referred to Wharton's family?