And they’re off! Here are week one’s “magnificent” seven
1 January 1938 – Alexander Gelver
In 1938, American-born communist sympathiser Alexander Gelver saw the New Year in with a bullet through his brain. He was accused of spreading the belief that there was a better life to be had outside communist Russia around the factory where he had worked. “…just inches from freedom, he was arrested”.
2 January 1663 – Illiam Dhone
Illiam Dhone was shot for embezzlement, despite having already done time for his crime. Dhone (whose English name was William Christian) was a Isle of Man, aka Manx nationalist and politician. He led a successful revolt against the then Lord of Mann who’d been imprisoned, and was eventually made Governor of the Isle of Man in the mid-17th century.
3 January 1946 – William Joyce
Facist William Joyce was the penultimate man to be executed in the UK for a crime other than murder. He was found guilty of treason for being a fascist politician and broadcasting Nazi propaganda to the British during World War II.
4 January 1946 – Theodore Schurch
With 10 crimes levelled against him, Theodore William John Schurch was the last person to be executed in the UK for a murderless crime. In March 1945 the Anglo-Swiss soldier was arrested in Rome for fascist activities during the Second World War. He stood accused of nine counts of treachery and one of desertion.
5 January 1993 – Westley Allan Dodd
‘I must be executed before I have an opportunity to escape or kill someone else’ said US sex offender and serial killer Westley Allan Dodd. Also known as Satan’s disciple, Dodd was branded ‘incurable’ by his own admission. The murderous sex offender from Richland, Washington was convicted of killing 3 boys.
6 January 1995 – Angel Mou Pui-Peng
Angel Mou Pui-Peng’s execution was rescheduled to this day in 1995 following a poignant display of Christmas spirit. A stay of execution was granted to allow her to spend Christmas with her nine-year-old son. Done for drug trafficking, the 25-year-old single mother was able to have her final Christmas with her family in Singapore.
7 January 1400 – Thomas Holland
An earl lost his head on this day at the turn of the 15th century. And his uncle followed a week later. The 1st Earl of Surrey Thomas Holland were executed for treason after he tried to overthrow the king in 1399.