Execution of the Day – 2009 (Part 16)

Posted in Death penalty with tags , , on April 16 by Old Sparky

16 April 1920 – Miles McHugh
You’d think dumping a girl would be far easier than bumping her off. Not for 32-year-old Miles McHugh.

17 April 1917 – William Robinson
A 26-year-old was gallows bound on this day in 1917. William Robinson was hanged at Pentonville for murdering his victim, Alfred Williams.

wilhelm-von-grumbach18 April 1567 – Wilhelm von Grumbach
Grumbach, what a great name… So it’s a shame he was dismembered on this day in 1567. As personalities go, Wilhelm von Grumbach was pretty special. A knight and an adventurer by trade, he was to become a hapless pawn in the power struggle between the Church and the ruling classes in Germany.

john-martin-scripps19 April 1996 – John Martin Scripps
John Martin Scripps redefined obnoxious Brit abroad after he was hanged for murder in Singapore. A butcher by trade, he used his profession to grisly ends after he targeted three people in the Far East. Amazingly they were all foreigners like him. But that was all part of the grand plan.

abdullah-shah20 April 2004 – Abdullah Shah
Such was Abdullah Shah’s belief in his cause that his animosity spilled over into his private life. He was even prepared to kill his wife. And for that he was executed on this day in 2004. A true Taliban hardliner, Shah was found guilty of killing more than 20 people. He was part of a team headed up by a commander by the name of Zardad.

robert-alton-harris21 April 1992 – Robert Alton Harris
The gas chamber marked California’s return to the death penalty in 1992 – the first execution for over 25 years and certainly since the sentence was reinstated in 1976. It was the dubious honour of callous killer Robert Alton Harris to christen the noxious enclosure, after he was found guilty of the senseless murder of two young lads.

22 April 1983 – John Louis Evans
‘Yellow Mama’ got an outing on this day in 1983 with electrifying effects. We are, of course, talking about Alabama’s home-made electric chair, which was used for the first time in nearly 20 years on John Louis Evans. The chair had been made in 1927 by a former inmate at Holman Prison and it was probably past its best as Evans shockingly found out.

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Execution of the Day – 2009 (Part 15)

Posted in Death penalty with tags , , on April 9 by Old Sparky

simon-fraser-lord-lovat9 April 1747 – Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat
A Scottish toff put his neck on the block in the mid-18th century after being found guilty of treason. Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat was the last person to be executed at Tower Hill after he was sentenced for a string of crimes.

10 April 1917 – Alec Bakerlis
As if there wasn’t enough bloodshed with a war on, a 24-year-old lost his life today in 1917. Alec Bakerlis was sent to the gallows in Cardiff for wiping out his girlfriend, Winifred Ellen Fortt.

louise-peete11 April 1947 – Louise Peete
A Southern belle, who could have given Scarlett O’Hara a run for her money, was planted in the gas chamber today in 1947. Brought up in the heart of Louisiana, Louise Peete was executed for murder following a life devoted to the lusty pursuit of sex and money, which was to take her all over America.

12 April 1999 – Marion Albert Pruett
A $4,000 coke habit – that’s apparently what fuelled mass murderer Marion Albert Pruett’s lethal spree. He even went as far as to call himself a ‘mad-dog killer’ for his actions. Pruett’s murderous activities took place in 1981 and his victims included his common-law wife Pamela Sue Barker in New Mexico, who he hammered to death, then set light to in a bid to burn the evidence.

13 April 1920 – Frederick Rothwell Holt
An ex-World War I soldier put his crime down to post-traumatic stress disorder, but he still ended up on the gallows. Lieutenant Frederick Rothwell Holt had murdered his girlfriend, then tried to plead insanity. But there was a huge question of a £5,000 life insurance policy hanging over the case…

richard-hickock-and-perry-s14 April 1965 – Richard Hickock and Perry Smith
There are only so many times you can elude death and for Perry Smith, it was third time unlucky after he was executed for murder along with his mate Richard HIckock on a rainy day in April 1965. And had it not been for a fellow felon, they may even have got away with their crimes.

fritz-haarmann15 April 1925 – Fritz Haarmann
The Germans may like their meat. But maybe not in Hanover in the early 1920s, when a shed load of male prostitutes and down-and-outs were rumoured to have made it on to the menus.

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Execution of the Day – 2009 (Part 14)

Posted in Death penalty with tags , , on April 2 by Old Sparky

There’s a big week coming up.

It seems fitting that in the run-up to Easter, we’re featuring a certain main man who came a-cropper on a cross. Ok so he was resurrected as the story goes, which begs the question, does Christ strictly qualify to be on Execution of the Day? Well maybe not, but the others certainly do.

Among them we have one of your favourites. Elmo Smith has been languishing in the top ten most popular posts for a very long time, in part due to his infamy as the last person to be executed in Pennsylvannia.

Talking of infamy, one person who’d been missing from the site was Georges Danton, but not any more. Read his story in the latest post to be added to the site.

And we’re not stopping there. One José Garcia Briseno is living out what could amount to his last week on death row. Come back later in the week to find out if he manages to eke out a longer existence on Earth, or whether the sherrif-slaying felon cops a dose of the lethal injection just a few days before Easter.

elmosmith2 April 1962 – Elmo Smith
The last ever electric chair execution in Pennsylvania was saved for the ever so coolly named Elmo Smith. His crime, on the other hand, was not so cool. He’d been sentenced to death for raping and murdering 17-year-old Mary Ann Mitchell in 1959.

jesus3 April 33 – Jesus of Nazareth
It was always going to controversial to pin Jesus’s death down to a day and year, but hey, it’s worth a go. Conflicting reports put his death somewhere between 32 and 36 AD and as for the day, well that’s based on the educated guesses out there.

james-hanratty4 April 1962 – James Hanratty
A letter to the home secretary saying ‘I did it’ would be enough to warrant a stay of execution wouldn’t you think? Especially when that man had precise details of the murder and knew things only a murderer or someone on the inside could.

elmo-patrick-sonnier5 April 1984 – Elmo Patrick Sonnier
Elmo Patrick Sonnier may have made the ultimate sacrifice for his brother on this day in 1984. He carried the can and went to the electric chair for murder, but was the killer his brother Eddie all along? The two siblings were found guilty of murdering 18-year-old Loretta Anne Bourque and 16-year-old David Le Blanc.

donald-e-harding16 April 1992 – Donald Harding
A truly gruesome death took place on this day in 1992. Donald Eugene Harding’s last few minutes of death were as agonising as imaginable, prompting Arizona to rethink their stance on execution method. The double murderer had been sentenced to die.

nicholas-ingram7 April 1995 – Nicholas Ingram
Conservative Prime Minister John Major might have been able to save a British citizen’s life had he stepped in, but he kept quiet leaving Nicholas Ingram to his fate in Georgia. Ingram was the first Brit to be executed since 1936 and the first ever to die in the electric chair after he was sentenced to death for killing J C Sawyer and injuring his wife, Eunice during a robbery.

ann-bedingfield8 April 1763 – Ann Beddingfield
Strangled by his bedclothes while he was asleep – that was the original verdict of accidental death awarded to John Beddingfield, but how wrong that was. In actual fact it was his lascivious wife’s extra-curricular lovelife that held the key to his death.

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7 April 2009 – Jose Garcia Briseno?

Posted in Death penalty with tags , on April 2 by Last Writes

**Latest update **
Jose Garcia Briseno was granted a stay of execution on 3 April 2009 so the court could consider his appeal. The case surrounds the claim that the jury were not asked to consider the mitigating circumstances, according to Associated Press.


Can’t say it’s looking good for José Garcia Briseno.

At 6pm on this day the serial felon was scheduled to be laid out on a Texan gurney for murder.

Amid some pretty hard-hitting forensics stacked up against him, Briseno was found guilty of killing and has been on death row since 1992.

Of course, a jail break and several stays later, the periods between appeals are getting shorter and shorter. And it really doesn’t help that Briseno’s victim was a lawman.

He shot the sheriff?

Sheriff Ben Murray of Dimmit County in Texas was found stabbed and shot in his own home following signs of a struggle.

Briseno was said to have been denied a DNA expert during his trial as the evidence was too flaky. But in actual fact the prosecution’s case hinged on the fact that his blood was found at the sheriff’s house. And it was this very evidence that eventually led to him being sent him down

But that’s not all. It was during Briseno’s consequent jail break that fellow crims were told details about the murder, including where the gun had been deposited. And it was retrieved shortly after the escapees were apprehended.

So on the basis of confessions from other prisoners who’d broken free with him, Briseno’s many attempts to get his sentence overturned have been rejected.

Vein hope

According to a report on the BBC, the court is currently considering ‘mitigating evidence of childhood deprivation, abandonment by his parents, limited intellectual functioning, alcoholism, drug abuse, and lifelong poverty’.

However, on the point about limited intellectual functioning, the last stay was in January. It was felt that he was mentally able to understand the gravity of his crimes and the enormity of the sentence he has been given.

But apparently some sources state he was granted a stay so a campaigner from the Malverns – Cathy Walters – could visit him!

Indeed Walters is now appealing for support of her chum, who she believes is as much a victim as the sheriff, after she struck up a friendship with Briseno thanks to correspondence and her visit to see him on death row.

That brings us to 7 April and as the minutes drip by, the outcome of this last-ditch appeal hangs in the balance. Will José Briseno escape the lethal IV needle? Watch this space…

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Execution of the Day – 2009 (Part 13)

Posted in Death penalty with tags , , on March 26 by Last Writes

There are lots of lust-filled crimes this week. But sadly we’re quite light on pictures mainly because most of the cases we’ve featured date back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

But one picture we do have is for a big hitter. Judy Buenoano, the infamous serial killing arsenic addict has already proven a popular post. She’s is currently bubbling under in the top 10 most popular posts on Execution of the Day. So give her a boost by checking out her poisonous ways.

Other lusty individuals include a nefarious niece, hell-bent on bumping off her uncle for his money and a murderous meddler who coveted her best friend’s hubbie.

26 March 1796 – Thomas Brown, John Horton and James Nightingale
It was a busy day in Stafford Prison when three men were sent to the gallows for their crimes on this day in the 18th century.

27 March 1866 – Charles Bentley
The second to last public hanging in Stafford took place today in 1866. And it was reserved for a soldier.

28 March 1752 – Elizabeth Jeffries Illicit lust plus avarice make for great motives in a murder case. Elizabeth Jeffries stood accused of masterminding the killing of her uncle, Joseph Jeffries, with the help of her green-fingered lover and another servant.

29 March 1904 – James Clarkson
A 12-year-old girl was the victim of a senseless crime just four years into the 20th century. Elizabeth Mary Lynas was killed for reasons unknown. She was last seen leaving church one evening, but she was never to return home.

Judy Buenoano30 March 1998 – Judy Buenoano
Be careful who you love – especially if she goes under an alias. We are, of course, talking about Judias ‘Judy’ Buenoano or Judias Welty, Judias Goodyear and Judias Morris, for these are the known aliases for an arsenic poisoner.

Mariette Bosch31 March 2001 – Mariette Bosch
Another woman’s husband apparently brought out the murderess in Mariette Sonjaleen Bosch. So what that he was married to her best friend, Bosch’s love for him prompted her to bump off his wife and bag him for herself.

1 April 1872 – Williams Frederick Horry
If she can’t live with him and he can’t live without her, what’s a couple to do? Bump her off; at least that’s what William Horry thought.

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Execution of the Day – 2009 (Part 12)

Posted in Death penalty with tags , , on March 19 by Old Sparky

19 March 1913 – Edward Palmer
A scrap of paper and the whispered words ‘My fiancé did it’ were enough to send Edward Palmer down for murder. Palmer, known to his friends as Ted, was hanged for viciously slitting the throat of Ada James after she reacted angrily to news that he was going to find his fortune in the West Indies.

giuseppe-zangara20 March 1933 – Giuseppe Zangara
Italian immigrant Giuseppe Zangara was sent to the electric chair for trying to kill the American President. Having travelled over from Italy to find his fortune in America, he was hit by the depression of the 1920s and early ‘30s.

thomas-cranmer21 March 1556 – Thomas Cranmer
homas Cranmer was a wily old dog. He was pretty in touch with the changing world under the Tudors…that is until his luck finally ran dry. Cranmer was executed on this day in 1556, for his support of Lady Jane Grey against Mary I.

hans-kohlhase22 March 1540 – Hans Kohlhase
Vengeance fuelled the lawless activities of Hans Kohlhase in Renaissance Germany. He felt let down by the law in Saxony so he decided to wreck his revenge on the area that had seen his spectacular demise…whilst wearing a cool hat and cape combo!

john-d-lee23 March 1877 – John D. Lee
John Doyle Lee a Latter-day Saint in the eyes of the Mormons, was put in front of a firing squad for his role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. His Mormon group was fiercely protective of its territory and that turned out to be very bad news for the Fancher–Baker party.

24 March 1908 – Robert Lawman & Joseph Noble
Lawman and Noble hardly lived up to their names as they were both executed for murder on this day in 1908.

25 March 1981 – Hoyt Franklin Clines, James William Holmes and Darryl Richley
In a bid to scrimp and save money, Arkansas bumped off a trio of men on this day in 1981. All this took place, despite their valiant efforts to plead the Sixth Amendment.

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Execution of the Day – 2009 (Part 11)

Posted in Death penalty with tags , , on March 12 by Old Sparky

So, who do we have for you in this week’s daily dose of death? Well, we have a truly international flavour this week with all the cases coming from across the Pond or Europe, with a Filipino to represent the Far East.

Save for a Medieval knight from the Middle Ages, the rest have, perhaps shockingly, all taken place in the last 40 or so years, with the last one as recent as 2000.

To add to that, we also have some history makers this week. The last person to be executed in America before they abolished it in 1976, albeit temporarily, is coming up.

France offers up two cases in the shape of a failed French assassin who was unable to kill a president despite pumping out hundreds of bullets, plus a fried soldier who slow-burned at the stake, despite having built a reputation on his involvement in the then lauded Holy Wars.

Talking of notoriety, not a week seems to go by without a serial killer, and this week’s no different. Well, maybe a little, because there is not one, but two, with one depraved example actually hunting his prey in a pack of four.

And here’s a thought for the week. Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but you might want to leg it if you see one coming towards you in a truck, Olga Hepnarová stylee.

jean-bastien-thiry11 March 1963 – Jean Bastien-Thiry
They say there’s a bullet out there with your name on it. Well French President Charles de Gaulle had over 200 fired at him and he managed to evade them all. Jean Bastien-Thiry was completely set on killing when he oversaw a plot to murder the then President.

olga-hepnarova12 March 1975 – Olga Hepnarová
Mad at the world and her family Olga Hepnarová took her revenge out on some innocent commuters. Full of bitter hatred, Hepnarová steamrollered a truck over a crowd of about 25 people who were waiting for a tram in Prague. What a cow!

steven-morin13 March 1985 – Stephen Morin
It took 40 minutes to find a vein to inject serial rapist and killer, Stephen Peter Morin with his killer injection on this day in 1985. He’d been found guilty of raping and killing three women. But that was just the surface of a whole ream of crimes.

ponchai-wilkerson14 March 2000 – Ponchai Wilkerson
Give him his dues, Ponchai Kamau Wilkerson did his level best to evade execution on this day in 2000. He had been found guilty of armed robbery and murder and while banged up he tried to escape, which failed so he took a warder hostage.

victor-feguer15 March 1963 – Victor Feguer
Victor Harry Feguer made his name as the last person to be executed in America before it was banned as a sentence until 1976. He remains the last person to be put to death in Iowa after he was found guilty of killing a doctor, possibly in the fruitless pursuit of drugs.

andrew-kokoraleis16 March 1999 – Andrew Kokoraleis
As many as 18 women – that’s how many victims the Chicago Rippers were said to have targeted. And Andrew Kokoraleis paid for his bloodlust on this day in 1999. He was one of a depraved quartet of cannibalistic men who’d target young women, torturing them, gang raping them and stabbing them.

flor-contemplacion17 March 1995 – Flor Contemplacion
42-year-old mother of four, Flor R Contemplacion was executed in Singapore for an apparent double murder. Originally from the Philippines, Contemplacion worked as a domestic servant who was accused of strangling a fellow Filipino woman.

jacques-de-molay18 March 1314 – Jacques de Molay
The last man to lead the Medieval Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay from Burgundy was cooked slowly from the bottom up today in 1314. The Frenchman was burned at the stake along with a mate for, well, we’re not really sure what for.

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