Archive for the Garrotte Category

29 October 1927 – Baldomero Rodrigues

Posted in Death penalty, Garrotte with tags , , on October 29 by Last Writes
Baldomero Rodrigues

Baldomero Rodrigues

If you cheat death during execution, it’s common that you’d be set free. But that wasn’t the case today in 1927.

Cuban Baldomero Rodrigues earned a fatal spell in the clutches of a garrotte after he was found guilty of murder, according to the 1947project.

This contraption was designed by the Spanish to strangle offenders. Or so they thought…

On this occasion, they took his seemingly lifeless body and laid it out on a slab only for Rodrigues to come back to life. He was wrestled back into the vice-like grip of the garrotte and they finished the job off good and proper, leaving him there for a full-on 20 minutes to ensure the job was done.

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29 August 1533 – Atahualpa

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


Curiosity killed the Inca today in 1533.

Once a former ruler of one of the most golden dynasties – the Incas – Atahualpa was executed after he served his useful purpose.

This was at a time when the Spanish were on the look-out to extend their territories. Christopher Columbus had been busy sailing the ocean blue 40-odd years back and they were now keen to extend their lands and gather booty as they went, headed up by Francisco Pizarro. So the Incas provided a real goldmine, literally.

The Spaniards were hell-bent on pillaging the lands and Atahualpa was inadvertently making it easy for them. They needed someone who could make pave the way for their takeover by minimising the resistance. Cue Atahualpa, who gave them an invitation, pretty much.

Don’t get us wrong, he was no pushover. He’d bumped off his milder-mannered half-brother (who was the legit heir) to get to where he was, just before the Spanish had appeared.

Andes realm

Naturally, the new leader was curious to know who they were, so he gave the Spaniards an invitation to enter the notoriously defensive Andean realm completely unopposed.

Having given up the supreme Incan advantage of inaccessibility, the tribe was now vulnerable and the Spanish wasted no time casing the joint and really liking what they saw.

But this was only a small deputation led by Pizarro’s brother, so the Spanish cunningly reciprocated by inviting the Inca ruler to meet their leader too. However, Pizarro had no intention of being friendly – his motives were far more sinister. They planned to jump Atahualpa as he unsuspectingly left his place of safety.

What good were the Incas’ axes and slingshots against Spanish guns – the relative weapons of mass destruction of the day? The Incas didn’t have a hope – many were killed, while others just legged it.

Rich pickings

Completely beaten into submission, Atahualpa soon cottoned on that they coveted gold and jewels, so he offered to provide them with a room full of riches.

This bought our man some time, but ultimately he became a burden and the Spanish sought ways to dispense with him. They used his religion and the fact that he’d killed his bruv to sentence him to death.

As for the date of his death, Atahualpa, Atabalipa or Atawallpa as he was also known is thought to have died on this day in 1533, aged roughly 31. Some sources, such as Wikipedia, go with 26 July 1533, however we’ve gone with the likes of and the encyclopaedias.

Burning issue

On one thing they all agreed, the sentence for heresy was burning.

The Inca leader was beside himself – if he was burned, his soul would never proceed to the Incas’ coveted afterlife. So he was forced to become a convert, thus earning himself the more palatable method of garrotting.

If you had the gruesome and unenviable choice, which method would you opt for? Vote in our macabre poll…

Also on this day

29 August 1800 – Thomas Wilmott
29-August 1801 – Edward Hughes
29 August 1803 – John Clarke

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20 August 1897 – Michele Angiolillo Lombardi

Posted in Death penalty, Garrotte with tags , , , on August 20 by Old Sparky

Michele Angiolillo

Michele Angiolillo

Italian assassin Michele Angiolillo Lombardi was executed for killing the Spanish Prime Minister at the end of the 19th century.

Angiolillo was sentenced to death for shooting Antonio Cánovas del Castillo in revenge for the PM’s harsh and swift reprisal against numerous Spanish activists. The Prime Minister’s wife ran in on the crime in Mondragón, Guipúzcoa and alerted everyone by branding him a murderer.


The Italian replied ‘Pardon, Madame. I respect you as a lady, but I regret that you were the wife of that man.’

The authorities caught up with him and wasted no time condemning him to death. He was garrotted in true Spanish style in Vergara. Angiolillo was just 26 years old.

Also on this day

20 August 1901 – John Joyce

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4 August 1815 – Juan Crisóstomo de San Vítores

Posted in Death penalty, Garrotte with tags , , , on August 4 by Old Sparky

Juan Crisóstomo de San Vítores met a painful end for his crimes in 1815.

The Spaniard was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death by being garotted in Madrid.

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2 March 1974 – Salvador Puig Antich

Posted in Garrotte with tags , , , , on March 2 by Last Writes

Salvador Puig AntichCatalan activist Salvador Puig Antich was executed for murder during Franco’s right-wing dictatorship.

Copped a shot

Born in Barcelona, Antich’s anarchic actions during the ’60s and ’70s were in response to the fascist regimen that had gripped Spain under General Franco. There was a shoot-out and he was captured, but not before a Guardia Civil policeman copped a fatal shot.

Keen to fit someone up for the murder, the blame fell on Antich. He was court martialled and found guilty of the crime – the sentence was death.


Supporters Europe wide called for the penalty to be overturned, but Franco was steadfast in his resolve to have Antich executed.

The 25-year-old was unceremoniously garrotted in his cell at about 9:40am on this day in 1974.

Also on this day

2 March 1946 – Fidél Pálffy ab Erdod
2 March 1909 – Ernest Hutchinson

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17 February 1872 – Jose Burgos

Posted in Garrotte with tags , , , , on February 17 by Old Sparky

Jose BurgosThe most vocal of the trio of Gomburza martyrs, Jose Burgos was sentenced to be garrotted for treason in the Philippines.

José Apolonio Burgos teamed up with a host of followers in Cavite and fellow Spanish-Filipino priests from the surrounding area to promote liberal ideas. These activities were in direct opposition to the overwhelming Spanish influence.


Filipinos fight back

Based at Manila Cathedral, Burgos campaigned for liberalising laws and it was this kind of action that ensured support from the locals. On 20 January 1872 there was an uprising and 200-odd locals killed their Spanish officers.

The Spanish hit hard and within two days the uprising had been quelled. The trio of priests were slung in jail and had up for treason. A mock trial was then staged and the three clergymen were found guilty.

Burgos was the first to be garrotted in Manila, aged 35, followed by the other two clergymen. The iron collar was said to gradually strangle the victims, often taking two days to kill.

Also on this day

17 February 1872 – Reverend Mariano Gómez and Father Jacinto Zamora
17 February 1903 – William Hughes

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17 February 1872 – Reverend Mariano Gómez and Father Jacinto Zamora

Posted in Garrotte with tags , , , , on February 17 by Old Sparky

Priest MartyrsThe two other members of the Gomburza martyrs, Reverend Mariano Gómez (standing to the left in the picture) and Father Jacinto Zamora (seated) were Filipino priests who were executed for treason.

Along with Jose Burgos (pictured centre) they were sentenced to death following a pseudo-trial in which they were really had up as examples to dissenters.

Reverend Mariano Gómez, having been born in the suburb of Santa Cruz in Manila, trained as a priest and was posted to Cavite. This area was controlled by the Spanish much to the monastery’s displeasure and it wasn’t long before cracks in the uneasy relationship started to appear.

Home truths

Needless to say dissension was brewing as home-grown friars were being overlooked in favour of the influx of Spanish priests. Ironically of mixed Chinese and Spanish blood, the Reverend worked hard to protect his fellow Filipino-Spanish priests and used the local newspaper ‘La Verdad’ (‘The Truth’) to publish anti-Spanish information.

As a clergyman, he had power in the area, so the Spanish in turn arrested him on charges of treason, sedition, and taking active part in Cavite’s armed revolution along with Jose Apolonio Burgos and Jacinto Zamora. The trio were given the death sentence after having been tried in a military court.

Father Gomez was about 73 years of age when he was garrotted in Bagumbayan. He was followed by 37-year-old Father Jacinto Zamora, who’d also been at Manila Cathedral.

Father Zamora had teetered on the brink of madness, due largely to his imprisonment and trial. So his death came not a moment too soon. And their work was not in vain either. For their actions, the three men were hailed as martyrs to their cause.