What are the most ‘popular’ stories on Execution of the Day?

There are over 850 posts on ‘Execution of the Day’ now…but who are the characters that really fascinate you?

Here is a list of the top 10 based on the number of times they have been viewed since being published.

Last updated: Sunday 13 September 2009

NB – As always, no adjustment has been made for the length of time an article has been live (so someone executed in January has a theoretical advantage over someone executed in April) but we’ll keep this up to date over the coming weeks and track any movers.

10. Irene Schroeder – executed: 23 February 1931. Like a preying mantis, Irene Schroeder had a habit of destroying the men in her path.

9. Jesse Tafero – executed: 4 May 1990. With six-inch flames – it’s easy to see how Old Sparky earned its nickname. But it was the fact that cop-killing Jesse Tafero’s head caught light and started emitting flames that furnished people with enough ammunition to brand the electric chair inhumane.

8. Elmo Smith – executed: 2 April 1962. The last ever electric chair execution in Pennsylvania was saved for the ever so coolly named Elmo Smith.

7. Richard Hickock and Perry Smith – executed: 14 April 1965. There are only so many times you can elude death and for Perry Smith, it was third time unlucky after he was executed for murder along with his mate Richard Hickock on a rainy day in April 1965.

6. Lynda Lyon Block – executed: 10 May 2002. ‘Your eyeballs explode’ said Lynda Lyon Block as she sat waiting for her slot on the electric chair in Alabama. And therein lay the irony – that a former member of the Humane Society should be executed for murder.

5. Elmo Patrick Sonnier – executed: 5 April 1984. Elmo Patrick Sonnier may have made the ultimate sacrifice for his brother on this day in 1984. He carried the can and went to the electric chair for murder, but was the killer his brother Eddie all along?

4. Eugène Weidmann – executed: 17 June 1939. And the award for France’s last public execution goes to… Eugène Weidmann.

3. Elizabeth Duncan – executed: 8 August 1962. A would-be incestuous fantasy fuelled today’s fiendish felon. Of course, she may come across like a cuddly mum, but don’t be deceived – it was decidedly deadly to dice with Elizabeth Ann Duncan as her daughter-in-law found out.

2. Thomas Cromwell – executed: 28 July 1540. Like anyone in Henry VIII’s inner circle, your future could never be guaranteed or considered secure. So Thomas Cromwell found out today in 1540.

1. Barbara Graham – executed: 3 June 1955 ‘Why waste good food on me? Give it to someone who can enjoy it,’ snarled Bloody Babs as she prepared to come face to face with her maker.

The rogues gallery

Barbara GrahamElizabeth-DuncanThomas-Cromwellelmo-patrick-sonnierJesse TaferoIrene SchroederRichard-Hickock-and-Perry-S

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