Execution of the Day – 2009 (part 19)
7 May 1896 – Dr. Harry Howard Holmes
Hotelier from hell, Dr. Harry Howard Holmes was a serial killer extraordinaire. He had the nerve to say, ‘Take your time, don’t bungle it’ to his executioner today in 1896 after he was hanged for a prolific spate of killings.
Cool, calm, collected…and extremely callous.
8 May 1811 – Arthur William Hodge
Slave driver Arthur William Hodge was executed in the British Virgin Islands for murdering one of his slaves. In a ground-breaking case, he became the first British person to be executed for killing a black slave, according to John Andrew in his book, ‘The Hanging of Arthur Hodge’.
9 May 1947 – Willie Francis
Willie Francis defied death via the electric chair once only to be electrocuted again today in 1947. His was the first electrocution to fail in the United States. Nicknamed Gruesome Gertie, Louisiana’s electric chair first clapped a hold of Francis on 3 May 1946 at the tender age of just 16.
10 May 1994 – John Wayne Gacy
Clowns don’t get more sinister than John Wayne Gacy. He’d dress in a clown’s costume and seemingly wow the Chicago neighbourhood. But really he was to become one of America’s most notorious serial killers, who preyed on boys and young men.
11 May 1920 – Herbert Salisbury and William Waddington
Two murderers were strung up in a double hanging at Strangeways today in 1920. Herbert Salisbury and William Waddington were executed for murder after they were found guilty of two separate crimes.
12 May 1936 – Dr Buck Ruxton
Newspapers can make or break you. So Dr Buck Ruxton found out the hard way on this day in 1936. He was hanged for double murder despite going to extraordinary lengths to conceal his crime. He’d been driven insane by his wife’s beauty – he feared she was having an affair.
13 May 2005 – Michael Ross
‘I felt anger, just watching him lay there and sleep after what he did to those women’. Those were the thoughts belonging to Debbie Dupuis – a sister of one of the victims of serial killer Michael Ross, as she watched him being executed in 2005, following an 18-year stint on death row.