Archive for Electrocution

22 July 1991 – Andrew Lee Jones

Posted in Death penalty, Electric chair with tags , , on July 22 by Last Writes

A jealous lover got back at the woman who dumped him in a depraved and callous crime.

Andrew Lee Jones took his wrath out on his ex-partner’s child after he abducted the little girl as she slept.

Jones broke into the house and swiped the 11-year-old in the early hours, leaving behind a tell-tale piece of evidence – a footprint.

Sister act

Yet he managed to wangle an alibi. He was living with his sister and her partner and they vouched for him – actually going on record as saying that he’d been with them on the night in question.

So Jones was off the hook for a few hours at least, until his sister got an attack of conscience. She phoned the cops to say she’d got it wrong and confessed that she could not account for his whereabouts for the half-hour in question.

Right there and then, the story unravelled. And it was just as well, for the small body of Tumekica Jackson had turned up. The innocent child had been raped, beaten and strangled.

The police got a warrant and found trainers to match the tread of the footprint, as well as other damning evidence to link Jones inextricably to the murder.

Trial and errors

That said, his trial was not standard. He did not testify, nor did the defence put up an opposing argument. Yet Jones did not want to die. ‘I’m like anyone else…I don’t want to die or anything like that.’

His words were to leave a lasting social legacy. Amicus is said to have been founded in his memory, and was established to ensure defendants get the right to fair trials and appeals.

Ironically it was set up too late to help Jones, who was given over to the clutches of Louisiana’s Old Sparky, where he kicked the electric bucket, aged roughly 36. He was also the last inmate to be executed by electrocution in the State.

Also on this day

22 July 1612 – Mary Barber
22 July 1902 – William Churcher

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20 July 2006 – Brandon Hedrik

Posted in Death penalty, Electric chair with tags , , , , , on July 20 by Last Writes

Brandon Hedrik

Brandon Hedrik

Having an IQ of 70 or less can render you unexecutable in the US. So Virginia faced a controversial decision 2006 when it sent Brandon Wayne Hedrik to his death.

He’d been found guilty of the protracted crime of kidnapping, robbing, raping and shooting one woman – a 23-year-old by the name of Lisa Crider.

His victim’s last hours were spent facing the whole gamut of crimes, before she was finally put out of her misery when Hedrik shot her in the face.

Mental ability

Hedrik was guilty that’s for sure, but the sticking point was his penalty. There were doubts as to whether he was equipped to comprehend what execution meant, much less choose his method of dispatch.

You see, the convicted killer had to make the agonising toss-up between the relatively new lethal injection and the state’s established method – the electric chair.

The problem was that he had an IQ of 76, just six above the legal minimum, so what about the margin of error, stated his defence. Yet the argument didn’t wash and he was sent to Virginia’s electric chair on this day on 2006, aged 27.

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9 June 1939 – Ray Anderson

Posted in Death penalty, Electric chair with tags , , on June 9 by Last Writes

Feigning nonchalance, Ray Anderson tried to die grinning. But fear set in and his panic was on full view for all to see as he was strapped to the electric chair.

Anderson had been sentenced to death in America for assault and rape of a matron in Birmingham. He’d obviously tried to steel himself against his fate, but it came round sooner than he expected and his steely nerves gave way to jellied terror.

The 26-year-old handyman had to be assisted to the chair and the wardens then sensitively brought out the coffin – his bed for the rest of eternity. ‘Have mercy Lord! I think I’m living to meet my fate’ Anderson cried just before 2200 volts coursed through his body.

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25 May 1979 – John Arthur Spenkelink

Posted in Death penalty, Electric chair with tags , , , , , , on May 25 by Last Writes

John Arthur SpenkelinkFellow inmates rattled their cages as a send-off for condemned colleague John Arthur Spenkelink, according to anti-capital punishment observer Rick Halperin. The death row inhabitant’s time was up and he was strapped to Old Sparky to face his electrifying ending.

Chills multiplying

Necking two tots of whiskey before he met his maker, Spenkelink was Florida’s first execution since the penalty was resumed in 1976 and the second in the US.

But, chillingly, all may not have been as it appeared. He had resisted his sentence throughout, never more so than in those last few hours leading up to his death.

Halperin reported that there were rumours Spenkelink was beaten into submission and gagged before being dragged to the chair. Indeed other sources went even further, touting that the criminal was dead before he even hit the chair. Such was the powerful intensity surrounding the damaging and ever-multiplying claims that, posthumously, Spenkelink was exhumed for another autopsy.

Lost control

Some reports state that he was convicted of murdering an accompanying hitchhiker who’d forced an incensed Spenkelink to commit a sexual act on him at gunpoint, before playing Russian roulette. But a transcript of an appeal makes no mention of these, instead basing the killing on the fact that the hitchhiker had, in fact, pocketed Spenkelink’s money.

Whatever the motive, Spenkelink took a gun to the hitchhiker’s head and blew a bullet into the left side of his brain before firing another shot into his back in self defence apparently.

However, prosecution reports state that there were gunpowder residues on the motel room’s pillow, which indicate the hitchhiker’s head was on it at the time of death – hardly a struggle.

He then made for a fast getaway with another mate, but they were apprehended soon after and accused of murder. Spenkelink was found guilty and sentenced to death. However, his lawyer said that he’d been offered a plea bargain – second-degree murder would have earned him life. But he flatly refused and was to pay for the decision with his life.


In a moment of profundity, Spenkelink is said to have accurately observed that ‘Capital punishment means those without capital get the punishment’ and with that he was alleged to have died of a broken neck from being beaten up, before he was placed on the chair and given three fatal shocks to his system.

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