Archive for Death penalty

Execution of the Day – 2009 (part 47)

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

19 November 1903 – Tom Horn
Tom Horn was hanged in Wyoming for a murder he probably did not commit. The hired gun was a day shy of his 43rd birthday when he was strung up for allegedly killing Willie Nickell, the 14-year-old son of a sheep farmer.

20 November 1864 – James Grippen and Benjamin Redding
The leaders of a brutal gang of rapists were strung up for sexually assaulting three women over a two-day rampage during the American Civil War.

21 November 1910 – Henry Thompson
Henry Thompson went to the gallows for murdering his wife in 1910. The 54-year-old was hanged in Liverpool for killing Mary Thompson.

22 November 1780 – Mary Gardner
Mary Gardner obviously didn’t know her own strength after she was hanged alongside eight men for literally bringing a house down during the Gordon riots of 1780.

23 November 1910 – Hawley Harvey Crippen
OK, so the man to the left may look harmless enough. But in his case looks were truly deceptive. For today is reserved for Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen – a seemingly mild-mannered GP with a far from perfect bedside manner.

24 November 311 – St Peter of Alexandria
St Peter of Alexandria was beheaded in Eygpt in 311 for being too lenient. During his 11 years as Pope of Alexandria, Peter had drawn up guidance on readmitting people back into the arms of the Catholic church after they’d strayed from the path of righteousness.

25 November 1912 – Gilbert Smith
Gilbert Smith was sent to the gallows for murder in 1913. Smith hanged at Gloucester prison for killing his wife Rosabella Smith. He was 35. Sorry, it is a bit dull today isn’t it?

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Execution of the Day – 2009 (part 46)

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

12 November 1660 – Thomas Harrison
General Thomas Harrison lost his life and a lot more for being a staunch roundhead, during the 17th century Civil War. It was his duties of taking the deposed King Charles I to trial and incriminatingly signing his death warrant that led to Harrison’s execution.

13 November 1849 – Maria and Frederick Manning
Husband and wife team, Maria and Frederick Manning were publicly hanged for bumping off Mrs Manning’s lover. Swiss immigrant Maria worked as a lady’s maid in Britain. But it was a trip to France that threw into the path of her victim Patrick O’Connor. He was older than her and worked in customs at London docks. He attracted her because he had a fair penny put away.

14 November 1949 – Nathuram Godse
Nathuram Godse gained notoriety for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi on 30 January 1948. He along with other activists believed that Gandhi’s actions played to the minorities rather than defending the majority Hindu interests when India and Pakistan were split.

15 November 1996 – Ellis Wayne Felker
Ellis Wayne Felker was sentenced to death in Georgia for killing a student but there is doubt as to whether he was guilty…he also looks like Ugly Betty’s dad. Intriguing.

16 November 1998 – Kenneth McDuff
Freed from one death sentence, Kenneth McDuff was unleashed, allowing him to go on another brutal killing spree. McDuff was born in central Texas and began his life showing signs of antisocial behaviour. He was a bully, unless his victims stood up for themselves, in which case he would back off.

17 November 2005 – Elias Syriani
At 67, Elias Syriani Elias Hanna Syriani was one of the oldest people to be executed in America since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

18 November 1915 – 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.

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Execution of the Day – 2009 (part 45)

Posted in Death penalty with tags , , , , , on November 5 by Old Sparky

5 November 2001 – Terry D Clark
Terry D Clark had the dubious honour of being the first inmate in New Mexico to be put down by lethal injection. Clark was had up for murder – a murder he may never have had chance to commit had he not been allowed out on bail following a similar offence.

6 November 2008 – Elkie Lee Taylor
Today is reserved for Elkie Lee Taylor, aka Ronnie Lee Watkins, whose life currently hangs in the balance – he is due to be executed by lethal injection later today for murder. The 46-year-old is on death row after he strangled a 64-year-old nine years ago. Taylor did it using wire coat hangers in the victim’s very own home, during a robbery.

7 November 1845 – Lavinia Burnett
Lavinia Burnett made murder a family affair when she roped her husband and son into killing for money in Arkansas. And the rope is precisely what they got. Burnett and her husband Crawford were hanged for topping Jonathan Selby, who was said to keep piles of money in his house near Fayetteville. Ironically it was another family member that shopped the murderous trio.

8 November 2008 – 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.

9 November 2005 – Charles Thacker
Charles Daniel Thacker got a shot of the lethal injection for raping and murdering a Texan woman in her own flat.On 7 April 1993, Karen Crawford, 26 had just been to the supermarket and stopped to collect her post before unloading her car.

10 November 1960 – Francis Forsyth and Norman Harris
Part of a gang, Francis Forsyth and Norman Harris robbed and kicked a man to death. In 1960, Forsyth (18) and Harris (23) together with fellow gang members Christopher Louis Darby (23) and Terrence Lutt (17) set upon Allen Jee in an alley in Hounslow. They kicked him unconscious and stripped him of his cash and left him bleeding from head injuries.

11 November 1880 – Ned Kelly
The Lips himself starred as our next bloke. Yep old Mick Jagger played the eponymous Ned Kelly in a flop of a film dating back to 1970. The main reason why it was such a flop was probably because the chumps had chosen to get a Brit to play the Aussie ‘hero’.

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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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