Archive for the Firing squad Category

7 January 2003 – Congolese death row inmates

Posted in Firing squad with tags , , on January 7 by Last Writes

A firing squad riddled 15 convicts full of holes in a secret execution in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A group of inmates on death row in Kinshasa jail were removed from their cells and decamped to a military area near to Ndjili airport. A day later on 7 January 2003 they were shot at dawn and buried in a mass grave in the area. Their crimes have not been made public.

Also on this day

1913 – Albert Rumens

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28 December 1937 – Finnish Expats

Posted in Death penalty, Firing squad with tags , , , on December 28 by Last Writes

Today is a busy day on the execution front, thanks largely to Stalin.

In a KGB killing fest, skilled foreigners, who’d originally been drafted in to help Stalin strengthen Russia, met their deaths.

After Stalin had taken control of the country by fair means and foul, he’d embarked on his five-year plan – this comprised rigorous farming quotas and enlisting skilled labourers among other things. Where there was a skills shortage he looked elsewhere.

Canada and America happened to have a wealth of Finnish expats who’d settled across the Pond. But they were easily seduced by Communism and the lure of an egalitarian society where they could help make a difference.

And they did for a while until the very leader who had welcomed them into Russia turned on them.

For Stalin was getting paranoid. Party members were starting to vote against him and no wonder. His reforms for the greater good were relentless and they claimed the lives of many.

With waning popularity and the irresitible rise of right-wing Fascism rife throughout the rest of Europe, he began to hunker down.

Foreigners bore the brunt of his genocide. This included 141 Finnish expats.

In 1937, Samuel Ivanovich (Juho) Eskola, August Olavich (Olavi) Hakkarainen and Andrew Osvaldovich Hannula were three of many to face a firing squad. Exactly one year later Evert Stepanovich (Teppo) Helin and Karl (Kalle) Karlovich Huuki met exactly the same fate among others.

Of course, Stalin didn’t stop there. Millions were deemed to be expendable in the Russian purges – sentences ranged from hard labour, to deportation and death.

25 December 1989 – Elena and Nicolae Ceausescu

Posted in Death penalty, Firing squad with tags , , , on December 25 by Old Sparky

Nicolae Ceausescu

Nicolae Ceausescu

Who needs a televised ‘Queen’s Speech’, when you can watch the demise of a dodgy dictator on the box instead.

So the bullet-riddled bodies of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu graced Romanian TVs on this day in 1989. They were executed by firing squad for crimes against the state.

Good thing went at last

Ok so he promoted agriculture and trading ties with the likes of China and the West, but it didn’t take him long to realise he was on to a good thing. And the once Communist leader soon became corrupt and started siphoning off public funds in true dictator style.

Couple this with poor foreign policies and all too soon the people started to lose the faith.

The tide turned in December 1989 when the despairing masses rose up and overthrew their incumbent leader.

But that wasn’t enough. The public demanded more. Ceausescu was tried and found guilty. And the punishment was death.

Bodies of evidence

Ceausescu and his wife both faced their firing squad on Christmas morning, and to satiate the Romanians’ desire for proof, their corpses were emblazoned on tv as the ultimate Christmas present to a disgruntled nation.

And a merry Christmas to all our readers too.

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18 November 1915 – Joe Hill

Posted in Death penalty, Firing squad with tags , , , on November 18 by Old Sparky

Joe Hill

Joe Hill

Joe Hill joked that he wouldn’t be caught dead in Utah. How wrong he was.

So, what could he say as he faced a row of armed executioners but ‘fire’? And a volley of shots soon met the Swede’s instruction when he was executed by firing squad for murder in Utah. But he was had up for a crime he may not even have committed. A butcher shot an armed robber in Salt Lake City before being shot himself.

Strangely Hill turned up at a doctor’s surgery with a similar wound, saying he’d been shot in an argument over a female. It’s alleged that he wouldn’t name and shame the married woman behind his injury, and it was his gentlemanly discretion that inevitably led to his death.

During his life he’d been a political activist – a songwriter, a left-wing Labourite and staunch member of the Industrial Workers of the World. His song-writing became a theme after his death too when his life was immortalised in folk songs.

There’s even a film about his life, which was made in 1971 and he’s also credited with coming up with the phrase ‘pie in the sky’.

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8 November 2008 – The Bali Bombers

Posted in Death penalty, Firing squad with tags , , , , , on November 8 by Old Sparky

The Bali Bombers

The Bali Bombers

It was a sultry day in a heaving part of town in Bali. And 12 October 2002 was like any other day with hundreds of tourists flocking to a popular party district…that is until three bombs suddenly shattered their lives.

Two went off in by a couple of popular nightclubs, while the other was detonated at the nearby US consulate’s office. The latter didn’t claim any lives, but the former two certainly made up for it. In total 202 people died in the surprise attack.

Bin pardoned

This was a well-planned terrorist attack designed to bring misery to foreign nations – Australia was particularly hard hit – and the police immediately made links to a fundamentalist group known as Jemaah Islamiah. Indeed, Osama Bin Laden came out in support of the terrorists, saying they were ‘zealous sons of Islam’, according to a report by the BBC.

These zealous sons were a mechanic called Amrozi bin Nurhasyim and his older brother Mukhlas, aka Ali Gufron. And while their younger bruv Ali Imron went on record as saying he did it, the third Bali bomber charged with the massacre was Imam Samudra, who was named as the key coordinator.

Of course, there are other primes suspects who’ve either been killed or are still at large, but for these three men, the end of the road came today in Indonesia.

Rocky road

But the road has been rocky. Even the execution method was contested. They fought for beheading rather than a firing squad, which is not viewed as a humane method – not least because instant death is not guaranteed. And they had a point. A case that surely highlighted the concern took place in 1979 – a Thai female by the name of Ginggaew had a particularly gruesome dispatch.

However the battle was lost and with their alotted number of appeals exhausted, the three Bali bombers were put into isolation before they were frogmarched out and came face to face with a firing squad in Nusakambangan maximum security prison. Once they’d been tied to posts and hooded, they were riddled full of bullet holes.

But the drama doesn’t end there. The challenge now will be how to return the Bali Bombers’ bodies to their respective families, says tvnz.co.nz. For the concern is now that the murderers’ mates will be out in full force to avenge their deaths. But they will nevertheless be airlifted out and taken for burial, says Cindy Wockner for the Aussie paper, the ‘Herald Sun’.

Yet, the question also remains, is it really all over? After all, there are others still at large and there is always the threat of more reprisals…

Also on this day

8 November 1942 – Eddie Leonski

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26 October 1915 – Irvin Guy Ries

Posted in Death penalty, Firing squad with tags , , , , , , on October 26 by Last Writes

A clutch of spies were found and executed during World War I. And it was Irving Guy Ries’s turn to die today in 1915.

American-born Ries had been found guilty of spying for German and of treason following a spate of unusual activities and dealings with known secret agent contacts.

His cover was blown open by the infant organisation MO5, which was later to morph into MI5 in 1916. The then recently formed organisation busted the covert operation to feed Germany secrets, according to the National Archives.

Ries (his alias) was court martialled and found guilty of espionage and automatically banged up in the Tower of London, where his execution was to take place. The 55-year-old sat tied to a chair facing his firing squad, which was made up of the Scots Guards before being peppered full of bullets.

Other spies before and after him received the same fate over a period of 14 months. Only two bucked the trend by being hanged at London’s Pentonville and Wandsworth prisons.

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23 October 1971 – Ion Rîmaru

Posted in Death penalty, Firing squad with tags , , , , , , , on October 23 by Last Writes
Ion Rîmaru

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.

Many cite domestic violence as the trigger as his dad would duff his mother up until they finally separated. There is even conjecture that his dad had in fact set the serial-killing precedent in the Rîmaru household, having killed a clutch of women in the 1940s. So the root of pure evil is said to have stemmed from father to son.

People got the measure of him early on. As a teenager he was found to be banging the jailbait daughter of a teacher and he was done for theft. Rîmaru showed signs of being well dodgy and actual evidence of self-harming as well as a voracious sexual appetite.

Piece meal

As he was training to be a vet, so he showed signs of pure animal behaviour. First he would target waitresses late at night, using whatever implements he could get his hand on, from axes, knives and bars to hammers.

However, Rîmaru hungry for more, he turned his hand to more vicious methods – biting bits out of his victims, even taking chunks out of the girls’ genitals. Our Romanian is pretty poor but translations of his crimes suggest he was a necrophiliac to add to all his other depraved activities.

Thirsty work

One girl actually survived an attack where he drank her blood as he took her home. And if you’re thinking she got off lightly, the blood-fest took place after he’d raped and stabbed her.

Copious amounts of his hair and the shape of the bite marks apparently linked him to the crimes, many of the victims of which had survived. Unconfirmed reports suggested that his dad was in on the crimes, often washing his clothes after the attacks, but no-one would testify against him so he walked free.

Not so Rîmaru, who felt the full wrath of the law. And there wasn’t a shortage of witnesses either and with all that damning evidence, he didn’t stand a chance.

He was found guilty and there was no hanging around with the execution either. He was put before a firing squad on this day in 1971, just 12 days after his 25th birthday. But his desire to live was strong and as he stood tied to the stake awaiting his fate he demanded his dad witness his death.

According to Wikipedia he branded his dad as ‘the only guilty one’ before crying ‘I want to live’. Well there was fat chance of that as the serial rapist and murderer was peppered with bullets as he tried to worm his way off the stake.

Also on this day…

23 October 1945 – Vidkum Quisling

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