Execution of the Day – 2009 (part 32)
6 August 1890 – William Kemmler
The first person to go to the electric chair in America was William Kemmler. He was found guilty of murder after he butchered his partner. But he didn’t go quietly. Kemmler had killed his common-law wife Tilly Zeigler after he took a hatchet to her. And he was found guilty of murder in New York in 1890 and sentenced to go to the electric chair.
7 August 1890 – Anna Månsdotter
Swedish mother-in-law from hell Anna Månsdotter lost her head for strangling her son’s wife in 1890. Månsdotter targeted her daughter-in-law, Hanna Johansdotter, after she got in the way of Månsdotter’s incestuous affair with her son.
8 August 1962 – Elizabeth Duncan
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.
9 August 1856 – Elizabeth Martha Brown
A character from a classic English novel was inspired by our next unfortunate subject. Elizabeth Martha Browne was hanged for her crimes in Dorset and her poignant story was to leave a lasting impression on writer Thomas Hardy who was present at her execution – the last ever female to be hanged publicly in Dorset. As a result, her story spawned the character of Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
10 August 1949 – John George Haigh
No body = no crime, at least that’s the misconception John George Haigh laboured under during and after World War II. But the killer, better known as the acid bath murderer didn’t bank on gall stones.
11 August 1879 – Annie Tooke
Annie Tooke was sent to the gallows for infanticide. The 40-year-old baby farmer was found guilty of killing and dismembering baby Reginald Hyde, who was just six months old. She had been paid to look after the child – the handsome sum of £12 plus 25p a week for his upkeep. But she couldn’t cope and little Reginald disappeared.
12 August 1895 – Minnie Dean
Known as the Winton babyfarmer, Antipodean-based Minnie Dean was found guilty of disposing of babies for financial gain. Williamina ‘Minnie’ Dean remains the only woman to be hanged legally in New Zealand for her crimes. She was found guilty of murdering two infants and a toddler.