12 October 1997: Folk singer, and, no kidding, one-time Poet Laureate of the state of Colorado, John Denver died today. He crashed an experimental aircraft that he had made himself into the Pacific. Note to self: don't fly things that you make yourself over oceans. Denver was an activist and "actor" as well as a singer, and a TV movie based on his life aired on CBS starring Chad Lowe that his own brother (Denver's, not Rob Lowe) loathed. I'm guessing it's unintentionally hilarious.
underrated film adaptation came out in 2005 that stars a veritable galaxy of hypercool actors: Martin Freeman (aka Watson, aka Bilbo), Zooey Deschanel, Mos Def, Sam Rockwell, Bill Nighy, John Malkovich and Alan Rickman. I'm shocked Ryan Gosling and Joseph Gordon-Levitt don't at least have cameos. I'll give you a minute to order it off Amazon.
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Somewhere in between
12 October 1933: John Dillinger escaped from Allen County Jail in Ohio. As you might imagine, this only increased his notoriety as the most INfamous Depression-era outlaw. Several films have been made about Dillinger, but guess which one's my favorite?