Archive for October, 2009

Execution of the Day – 2009 (part 44)

Posted in Death penalty with tags , , , , on October 29 by Old Sparky

29 October 1618 – Walter Raleigh
El Dorado. By that, we don’t mean the really cringey soap from the ‘90s, but the destination that caused the ultimate downfall of our next subject. The fall from grace was nothing short of spectacular for the writer, poet, sailor, pioneer, discoverer and queen’s favourite Sir Walter Raleigh (or Ralegh).

30th October 2008 – Gregory Wright
This is a truly poignant case where two homeless men attacked a would-be benefactor – 52-year-old widow Donna Duncan Vick. She was stabbed after she allowed Wright alongside accomplice John Wade Adams into her home for a bite to eat, money and some welcome respite from the elements.

31 October 1589 – Peter Stubbe
As it’s Hallowe’en, here’s a depraved individual for you to savour. Peter Stubbe (Stumpp, Stubbe or however it’s spelled) had a pet name – the Werewolf of Bedburg – and not without reason. Apparently he was executed in 1589, having feasted his flesh-eating way round Cologne, targeting children, pregnant women and even unborn foetuses, according to various sources.

1 November 1920 – Kevin Barry
The first person to be hanged during the Irish War of Independence paid the price for his beliefs today when he was hanged for his part in an IRA raid.

2 November 2001 – Mona Fandey
A pop-singing witch doctor turned murderess, Maznah Ismail aka Mona Fandey was hanged for beheading and dicing a client. Malaysian Fandey, born Maznah Ismail was sentenced to death for killing a politician – Mazlan Idris – in 1993.

3 November 2003 – John Dennis Daniels
High on coke, John Dennis Daniels killed his aunt and attempted to kill his wife and son in a drug-fuelled frenzy. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection for murdering 77-year-old blood relative Isabella Daniels Crawford in 1990.

4 November 1941 – Arndt Juho Pekurinen
HG Wells and Einstein understood, but it needn’t take a genius to see Arndt Juho Pekurinen’s point. So why on earth was he done for treason after he refused to bear arms for his country?

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Execution of the Day – 2009 (part 43)

Posted in Death penalty with tags , , , , , on October 22 by Old Sparky

22 October 1828 – Bell M’Menemy and Thomas Conner
Our second female to be executed in Scotland this month is Bell M’Menemy (the first being Susan Newell. And both shared the same fate but for different crimes. While Newell murdered a child, M’Menemy was a robber and her motive was financial gain, according to lurid newspaper accounts written at the time.

23 October 1971 – Ion Rîmaru
In the run-up to Hallowe’en it seems apt that we have details of a vampire-like murderer for you to savour. And Romania is the venue for today’s serial killing rampage by one Ion Rîmaru. In a scourge that lasted two years, the sex-mad sadist would prey on young women, raping them before finishing them off or at least attempting to finish them off in most cases.

24 October 2006 – Danny Rolling
Today’s a corker of a day – a hymn-singing serial killer plus a self-proclaimed prophet who claimed he had the ear of God. But first to the serial killer, whose name was Danny Harold Rolling. He got a heart-stopping dose of toxins today in 2006 following a spate of macabre felons in Florida.

25 October 1964 – Eric Edgar Cooke
The Nedlands Monster turned a sleepy Perth town on its head after he went on a murderous rampage, which claimed 22 people. The monster was actually Eric Edgar Cooke, who sent the Aussie inhabitants of Nedlands into turmoil after he randomly picked off inhabitants, indiscriminately running people over in his car or knocking on their doors and shooting them at point-blank range to name just a couple of methods.

26 October 2005 – Marlin Gray
Two sisters stood no chance after a murderous foursome jumped them, gang-raped them and then chucked them over the side of a disused bridge in America. Marlin Gray was executed on this day in 2005 for his part in the assault and murder of the two girls.

27 October 1441 – Margery Jordemaine
With Hallowe’en just around the corner, it seems fitting that we’ve unearthed someone who was slow roasted for being a witch. Margery Jordemaine (or Jourdemaine or Jourdemayne) was flung on the barbecue at Smithfield after she was found guilty of witchcraft in the 15th century. But not just any old witchcraft – she’d apparently used her sorcery skills in an attempt to bring about the death of Henry VI.

28 October 1868 – Steve Long
A fittingly unlawful end met the equally lawless Steve Long, who was a supposed upholder of all things legal in the American Wild West. Yeah right! The gun-toting Wild Westerner would shy away from incarcerating would-be felons, not least because he preferred to flex his law-making muscles either in face-offs or out-and-out gun battles.

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Execution of the Day – 2009 (part 42)

Posted in Death penalty with tags , , , , on October 15 by Old Sparky

15 October 1917 – Mata Hari
It’s been ages since we had a really saucy little minx on the execution block. And today’s fruity-flavoured subject doesn’t get much saucier. Mata Hari, or Margaretha Zelle as she is more pedestrianly known, was in the firing line for the ropiest of reasons.

16 October 1793 – Marie Antoinette
Accusations of louche living and diamonds were to be the downfall of today’s supposedly dastardly damsel. Visions of a life rife with excesses fuelled 18th century Frenchmen to harangue their queen, Marie Antoinette, with accusations of crimes against the proletariat; supposed crimes that were ultimately to turn a nation against her.

17 October 2007 – a Cambodian cow
Apparently a serial killer cow was executed on 17 October 2007 in Phnom Penh, following a murderous rampage. The bovine’s brush with the law came after the cow escaped only to become a catalist to udder chaos. It roamed free on the roads on the outskirts of the Cambodian capital, with fatal consequences.

18 October 1917 – William Alexander
The First World War claimed many lives on the battlefields, and for that their memories are held dear. But what of the men who died in cagier circumstances? We are, of course, talking about those soldiers who were executed for desertion. One such person was William Alexander, who had been a British soldier, before he emigrated to Canada.

19 October 1928 – William Edward Hickman
Nicknamed the ‘Fox’, it was US-born William Edward Hickman’s turn in the noose today in 1928 for a particularly gruesome crime involving a 12-year-old girl. The motive was money and Hickman abducted a girl from school with the express intention of extorting money from her parents by holding them to ransom.

20 October 1865 – Champ Ferguson
OK, so today’s condemned man is controversial. Apparently there are many people out there who still worship Champ Ferguson as a hero. Today people are happy to defend his actions as a guerrilla rebel who targeted many a Yankee soldier or sympathiser during the American Civil War.

21 October 1875 – William Smedley
You don’t want to mess with a man who makes knives for a living, as Elizabeth Firth found out the hard way. She was the common-law wife of one William Smedley, a Sheffield man who made blades to earn an honest crust. But it turned out that there wasn’t much of a crust to be had and his partner was so sick of the hand-to-mouth existence that she kicked him out one night.

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Execution of the Day – 2009 (part 41)

Posted in Death penalty with tags , , , , , on October 8 by Old Sparky

8 October 1586 – John Adams
John Adams, a Catholic priest, became a martyr when he was executed in 1586. He was around 40 years of age when he was hanged, drawn and quartered alongside two fellow priests, John Lowe and Robert Dibdale at Tyburn for their faith.

9 October – Aileen Wuornos (2002) and Che Guevara (1967)
Today was clearly a big old day of death with US-born highway hooker and serial man-killer Aileen Wuornos and the history forming Che Guevara both done for on October 9th.

10 October 1923 – Susan Newell
The last woman hanged in Scotland, Susan Newell let her temper get the better of her when she strangled a 13-year-old paperboy to death. Glaswegian Newell had lived on the breadline since before the turn of the 20th century and had a history of beating her philandering husband, John.

11 October 1878 – William P Longley
Controversy shrouds our next man. For over a hundred years, doubt has been cast over whether a mass-murderer actually kicked the bucket or survived his hanging. His alias was Wild Bill and apparently the subject of this uncertainty was gun-toting Texan outlaw Bill Longley and his father helped put it about that the family had bribed their way out of their son’s lethal sentence.

12 October 1984 – Linwood Briley
A trio of notorious numbskulls frittered away the lives of others in a series of wrongdoings that was ultimately to cost them their lives too. But one was to gain true infamy when he led a near-successful prison break, which ‘Time’ magazine termed ‘the largest death-row breakout in history’ back in 1984.

13 October 1998 – Jeremy Vargas Sagastegui
In a dire case of the babysitter from hell, Jeremy Vargas Sagastegui was executed in America for killing three people including a three-year-old boy. Toddler Kievan Sarbacher was left in the so-called care of Sagastegui, along with his infant sister on the night of 18 November 1995 in Washington. While his mother was out, the helpless little boy was sexually abused, beaten, stabbed and finally drowned.

14 October 1767 – John Spires and William Bryan
The gallows at Tyburn were busy on this day in 1767. Two highway robbers were also strung up. John Spires and William Bryan were done for a hold-up at Lisson Green, probably on what’s now known as the A41 into London.

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Execution of the Day – 2009 (part 40)

Posted in Death penalty with tags , , , , on October 1 by Old Sparky

1 October 1943 – Janka Boissevain, Gideon Boissevain and Louis Boissevain
At a time when Europe was gripped by the irresistible rise of the Nazi machine, three young lads forfeited their lives on this day in 1943. Janka Boissevain, Gideon Boissevain and cousin Louis Boissevain were three family members who were literally wiped out in one fell swoop for daring to resist Nazi control during World War II.

2 October 1833 – Robert Tennant
It’s not often we head north of the border. The last Scot was William Wallace, but even he was executed down south. Not so our next condemned individual. For today is the turn of Robert Tennant, who was strung up in Stirling for murder, aged just 24.

3 October 2003 – Edward Hartman
Edward Hartman was sentenced to death in North Carolina for murdering his mum’s ex-boyfriend. Hartman was living with Herman Smith Jr, who was 77 at the time of his murder in 1993. A steaming Hartman shot him at close range merely for money and to get his hands on Smith’s car.

4 October1996 – Larry Gene Bell
Today is given over to one particularly unsavoury character, who was convinced he was Jesus Christ up to the day he died. His name is Larry Gene Bell and the American was sent to his death for murdering the sister of a former beauty queen hailing from South Carolina, among others.

5 October 1744 – Sarah Cox
We’re always on the look-out for famous namesakes. We’ve had Homer Simpson, today it is the turn of Sarah (albeit with an ‘h’) Cox. Far from being a British DJ, this Ms Cox was a highway robber who was rampant in the 18th century.

6 October 1909 – Martha Rendell
Martha Rendell was the first woman executed in Western Australia. She was said to have killed her three step-children with hydrochloric acid in 1908. But she claimed she was treating Arthur, Annie and Olive Morris for diptheria.

7 October 1943 – 91 US Prisoners of War
As many as 91 US soldiers copped bullets today in what could have been a revenge attack during World War II. The Japanese had the men executed on a war-torn island in the Pacific that was the subject of much wrangling between the two superpowers. Wake Island comprised three islands, which offered a strong foothold to the Far East. And the battle for control was to prove bloody.

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