Execution of the Day – 2009 (part 28)

Ok, so a recent episode of the infernal ‘Big Brother’ claimed that Henry VIII did away with 72,000 poor blighters during his 38-year reign.

Kerching. That’s a lot of EOTD fodder, we thought.

Of course, the two wives* he executed (Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard) are already on here, along with Tommy Cromwell whose post enjoyed a serious spate of fame while the latest series of ‘The Tudors’ was being aired.

So, alongside this week’s collection of undesireables, we’ve added a new one for your delectation, who shares a death anniversary with Robert Dale Conklin. Check out Robert Aske who took a punt on one of the worst ways to die.

9 July 1850 – the Báb
Siyyid Ali Muhammad was a merchant and founder of the Persian religious movement, Bábism – which emerged from ‘the doctrines of a Muslim messianic Shi’ite sect’. He went by the name of the Báb meaning ‘Gate’ implying he was an avenue for divine revelation and set about establishing a new religious law.

Zheng-Xiaoyu 10 July 2007 – Zheng Xiaoyu
A tale of bribery, intrigue and corruption surrounds our next condemned man today, this time in the depths of China. Zheng Xiaoyu should have been a respected man – he headed up the State Food and Drug Administration for the People’s Republic of China and was therefore in a position of power and trust.

Peter-Manuel11 July 1958 – Peter Manuel

Glasgow got a hefty dose of serial killing when a US-born Scot singled out the city to carry out his gruesome crimes. Peter Thomas Anthony Manuel is thought to have killed 15 women by various methods from shooting to strangling to battering.

Robert-Dale-Conklin12 July 2005 – Robert Dale Conklin
Things escalated after ex-con Robert Dale Conklin’s lover couldn’t take no for an answer. Conklin was executed on this day in 2005 after he killed the man in his life, George Crooks.

Ruth-Ellis13 July 1955 – Ruth Ellis
It seems apt that the last woman to be hanged in Britain was guilty of a crime of pure, Pernod-fuelled passion. After all, it happened at a time when impassioned people were speaking out against the death penalty. Ruth Ellis was done for shooting David Blakely outside a Hampstead pub, after he’s spent that Easter weekend avoiding her like the plague.

14 July 1903 – Samuel Dougal

Essex boy Samuel Herbert Dougal came a cropper after the ladies’ man did away with one of his rich women. Twice widowed Dougal was an ex army man, who, through his life, had a string of women in tow, as well as jobs. Such an unsettling period took its toll while he was posted in Dublin and he was done for forgery. Most of his year’s sentence was spent in an asylum after he tried to top himself.

John-Christie15 July 1953 – John Christie
Holing dead bodies up behind walls gives great acoustics apparently. However, we’re pretty certain sound quality was the last thing on John Reginald Halliday Christie’s mind when the killer stashed his victims in hidden cubby holes around his house. It was a case of needs must – well he had to hide them somewhere.

 * In case you were wondering what happened to all of Henry’s VIII’s six wives, he divorced first wife Catherine of Aragon in favour of Anne Boleyn, who was promptly beheaded after just four years of marriage. He then sadly lost his third wife Jane Seymour following the birth of his much coveted son and heir, Edward.

Thomas Cromwell then took it upon himself to do some matchmaking and boy was that a big mistake – for Henry took one look at Anne of Cleves and promptly divorced her for being way too plain. (Cromwell never recovered from this faux pas and had his head chopped too.)

Not one to be alone too long, Henry’s head was turned by Catherine Howard (Boleyn’s cousin). But she was steeped in scurrilous rumours of playing away, so Henry dutifully lopped off her pretty little head.

By now Henry was getting on a bit and he married his sixth and final wife Catherine Parr, who managed to outlive him.

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