9 June 1939 – Ray Anderson

Feigning nonchalance, Ray Anderson tried to die grinning. But fear set in and his panic was on full view for all to see as he was strapped to the electric chair.

Anderson had been sentenced to death in America for assault and rape of a matron in Birmingham. He’d obviously tried to steel himself against his fate, but it came round sooner than he expected and his steely nerves gave way to jellied terror.

The 26-year-old handyman had to be assisted to the chair and the wardens then sensitively brought out the coffin – his bed for the rest of eternity. ‘Have mercy Lord! I think I’m living to meet my fate’ Anderson cried just before 2200 volts coursed through his body.

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