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- January 15 - Dennis Rader commits his first confirmed murders, killing all four members of the Otero family in Wichita, Kansas.
- January 27 - The Doodler emerges for the first time, killing 49-year old Gerald Cavanaugh.
- February 27 - William Calley is released from house arrest.
- March 12 - Ted Bundy commits his first confirmed murder.
- April 25 - The Estado Novo dictatorship of Portugal is overthrown during the Carnation Revolution.
- April 25 - End of the Angolan War of Independence.
- May 18 - The Heaven's Gate cult is founded by Marshall Applewhite.
- June 8 - Yasser Arafat introduces the Ten Point Program.
- June 14 - DINA is established as the secret police of Chile.
- July 16 - Elmer Wayne Henley Jr. is sentenced to life imprisonment for assisting Dean Corll in murdering 28 Texas boys from 1970 to 1973.
- July 24 - End of the Regime of the Colonels in Greece.
- August 9 - Richard Nixon resigns from the presidency of the United States in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal.
- September 12 - The Derg first comes to power in Ethiopia, overthrowing Emperor Haile Selassie I. Beginning of the Ethiopian Civil War.
- September 30 - Carlos Prats, who was a member of Salvador Allende's government, is assassinated along with his wife Sofía Cuthbert in a car bomb attack perpetrated by the DINA in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- November 13 - The DeFeo family murders
- November 21 - The Irish Republican Army bombs two pubs in Birmingham, England, killing 21 people.
- December 1 - Anastasio Somoza Deybale is elected President of Nicaragua for the second time.
- December 8 - The Irish National Liberation Army is founded.
- February 11 - Maria Sosa
- March 25 - Ana Julia Quezada Cruz
- April 9 - Alexander Pichushkin
- April 21 - Faust
- May 2 - Christy Sheats
- August 13 - Orlando Anderson
- August 21 - Amy Fisher
- October 5 - Laurie Tackett
- December 25 - Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano
- April 8 - Chris Kyle
- May 9 - Jennifer Harbison
- May 16 - Eliza Thomas
- June 22 - Jo Cox
- November 14 - Adam Walsh
- January 26 - Johanna Langefeld
- February 28 - Joseph Adams Milteer
- May 12 - Tony Costa
- September 2 - David Barksdale
- January 15 - Joseph, Julie, Josephine, and Joseph Otero, Jr.
- January 27 - Gerald Cavanaugh
- September 30 - Carlos Prats and Sofía Cuthbert
- December 14 - Charles Dean and Neal Sharman