17 May 1960 – Joseph “Mad Dog” Taborsky

Joseph Mad Dog TaborskyCornell has really been churning out the mass murderers. Our second ivy-league educated inmate of the month got fried today in Connecticut at the start of the swinging ‘60s.

Joseph ‘Mad Dog’ Taborsky’s grisly exploits earned him not only the nickname, but the electric chair, after he killed a number of victims during a spate of robberies.


However, maybe those murders would never have been committed had he not been released from prison prematurely. Instead, he was unleashed back into society on a technicality where Mad Dog proceeded to run amok.

Well, actually, it was his brother, Albert’s testimony that got him penned up in the first place. As the driver of the getaway vehicle Taborsky the younger fitted his bruv up in return for a lesser sentence. Of course he still got life, but Mad Dog copped death. However, when little bruv had a breakdown, the testimony was deemed inadmissible and Taborsky was not just given a lighter sentence, he was allowed to roam free.

At first Taborsky was grateful for the reprieve, but that was until he hooked up with another robber who led his astray again.

A Dog’s life…

This was the second chance the would-be killer craved. Once at large, the duo rampaged through a series of ultra-violent robberies in New England where they took down seven people in their wake and injured others. But this time, Taborsky really put his foot in it – his size 12s to be precise. In one of the victim’s shops, he’d asked for a pair of size-12 shoes and that’s how the police traced back to Taborsky. A survivor was then able to positively ID him.

…and death

This evidence threw Taborsky into the unflinching arms of Old Sparky – and he became the last person to fry in New England. To boot, he became known as a volunteer, because he waived his rights to appeal – the first time he’d been waiting to be executed he vowed that it was the hanging around that was insufferable rather than the death. So no appeals secured a short, sharp stay on death row second time round.

On his death, Taborsky had willed his 35-year-old body to be donated to another ivy-league institute – Yale Medical College.

Also on this day

17 May 1995 – Girvies Davis
17 May 1955 – Leslie Hylton

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4 Responses to “17 May 1960 – Joseph “Mad Dog” Taborsky”

  1. Richard Litzinger Says:

    Mad Dog was the reason the liquor stores in CT close at 6 PM.

    Do you have any info on 2 PA executions? Harry Gossard about 1955 and Harry (I think) Starchak about 1939?


  2. Taborsky was a career convict, not an Ivy league alum!

  3. Taborsky (1924-1960) wasn’t a Cornell grad – I think you’re confusing him with the next person to be executed in CT, serial killer Mike Ross (1959-2005).

  4. Duane Says:

    Taborsky’s only education is what he got at Wethersfield State Prison, and not much since he went back several times (got sent there the first time in 1942). Actually the liquor stores close at 8pm not 6pm and yes, Taborsky is the reason. Some sites list his year of birth as 1924, the one book on his case lists it as 1925, if only we can see a birth or death certificate to find out for sure!

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