1961, February 11: A Difficult Summons

Sometime in early April, 1961, William J. Allsopp received a summons for jury duty for the trial of John Charles Cross. Cross, 19 years old, had been living an exorbiant life with stolen credit cards and checks, but had still run up an unpaid $400 bill at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, USA, where he was staying under a false name.

        On February 11, 1961, one of the house detectives at the Fontainebleau Hotel had confronted Cross about the bill; Cross had responded by pulling out a pistol and shooting the man five times, killing him on the spot. Cross had then kidnapped another hotel detective,  only to be shot in the hand and arrested shortly afterwards.

        Allsopp's summons was returned to the Circuit Court however, as William Allsopp was in no condition to serve jury duty... you see, he'd been shot five times at the Fontainebleau Hotel on February 11, by John Charles Cross.

Yes, It Happened...

        ...however unlikely it was, newspaper reports circulated by the Associated Press on April 5, 1961, confirmed that Allsopp's widow had returned the strange summons back to the Circuit Court.

        The jury wasn't necessary however, as Cross made a full confession on the matter the day before the trial was set to begin, and was sentenced to life in prison.

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