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Crime History: Captain pardoned in steamboat deaths of 1,021

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On this day, Dec. 19, in 1912, William H. Van Schaick, captain of the General Slocum, which caught fire and sank, killing 1,021 people, was pardoned by President Taft after three and a half years in prison. On June 15, 1904, the excursion ship caught fire in New York's East River. The crew had never practiced a fire drill and made crucial mistakes. The life jackets had been tied down with wires...

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