6. Ruth Bunnell In 1972, after filing more than 20 police reports saying that her husband had beaten her, Ruth Bunnell called police again to say that he had told her he was coming over to kill her. They told her to call back if he showed up. Less than an hour later he stabbed her to death. A wrongful death suit was brought against the city of San Jose and, although it was eventually dismissed, it paved the way for future laws requiring police to act in such situations.