Archive for Rape

26 January 1996 – John Albert Taylor

Posted in Firing squad with tags , , , , on January 26 by Old Sparky

John Albert Taylor

Firing squads ceased to be offered as a death penalty method following John Albert Taylor’s execution in Utah in 1996.

Taylor was executed by firing squad in Utah on 26 January 1996 in an alleged sensational bid to embarrass the largely Mormon political population. A commentator at the time said ‘he wanted to cause more trouble for the state’.

Taylor purported that he didn’t want the lethal injection because he didn’t want to flap around ‘like a dying fish’, but many believe it is because he was making a point.

Out dated

You see, the Mormons were desperately trying to phase out firing squads as a method of ‘blood atonement’, ie, a death for a death. It was felt that the execution method was anachronistic – it no longer seemed fitting in the modern day.

Similarly, Utah was keen to stop offering death by firing squad, because it enabled murderers to exit in a blaze of glory.

Cue, paedophile Taylor, who was convicted of the 1988 rape of 11-year-old Charla King who he then strangled to death. His own fingerprints were found on the cord wound tight around the child’s neck, linking him unequivocally to the murder. And in turn, the murder led to his death penalty.

Shot to the heart

Five rifles were used to put Taylor the death and, according to the ‘New York Times’, the shooters apparently took aim at a white circle on his blue jumpsuit, which helped them target his heart.

The execution took place within the confines of the Utah-based prison, but not without controversy. The 36-year-old is currently the last person to have been executed in the United States by firing squad, and the penalty only remains legal in Idaho and Oklahoma.

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17 January 1977 – Gary Gilmore

Posted in Firing squad with tags , , , , on January 17 by Old Sparky

Gary Gilmore

‘Let’s do it’, said Gary Mark Gilmore as he faced his firing squad on this day in 1977.

The American murderer was sentenced to death for killing a Utah motel manager Bennie Bushnell in 1976.

Gilmore had the choice of hanging or being shot and he chose the latter.

As is the rule in Utah, and so no one would carry the can for Gilmore’s death, one of the five-man firing squad had a gun loaded with blanks in a grim take on Russian roulette. Within a year of the death penalty having been made legal again, he became the first person to executed.

Also on this day

17 January 2006 – Clarence Ray Allen

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11 January 1985 – Joseph Carl Shaw

Posted in Electric chair with tags , , , , on January 11 by Last Writes

Condemned necrophiliac Joseph Carl Shaw was the first person to be executed in South Carolina since the penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Shaw, or JC to his friends, was slammed in the electric chair for repeatedly raping 14-year-old Carlotta Hartness and killing her, plus her 17-year-old boyfriend Thomas Scofield Taylor, in 1977. He is even said to have returned to the scene of the crime repeatedly over the next few days to have sex with Hartness’ rotting corpse.

Shaw was electrocuted at the Columbia Central Correctional Institution (CCI) on 11 January 1985, aged 35.

Another accomplice was James Terry Roach, who was executed just under a year later.

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6 January 1989 – George Mercer

Posted in Lethal injection with tags , , , , on January 6 by Last Writes

George Mercer was the first person to be executed in Missouri since 1976 after he murdered his birthday present.

Mercer was sentenced to death for raping and murdering Karen Keeton on 31 August 1978 in Kansas. Apparently his friends had brought the 22-year-old waitress over to his house as a celebratory gift to help him enjoy his birthday.

At gunpoint he then proceeded to rape her, despite the fact that his 11-year-old daughter was home. Mercer then killed Keeton in cold blood.

The 44-year-old was put to death by lethal injection in 1989, 10 years on from the crime, by the State of Missouri.

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5 January 1993 – Westley Allan Dodd

Posted in Hanged with tags , , , , , on January 5 by Last Writes

Westley Allen Dodd

‘I must be executed before I have an opportunity to escape or kill someone else’ said US sex offender and serial killer Westley Allan Dodd.

Also known as Satan’s disciple, Dodd was branded ‘incurable’ by his own admission. The murderous sex offender from Richland, Washington was convicted of killing 3 boys. He stabbed 11-year-old Cole Neer, and his brother William, 10 in a park on 4 September 1989 in cold blood as one of them imploringly cried out ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry’. He stabbed the boys multiple times and one even tried to escape during the frenzied attack.

He then went on to target 4-year-old Lee Joseph Iseli. Following a two-day marathon of rape and torture, Iseli was hanged and his little body was finally dredged from Lake Vancouver.

Dodd’s motive? ‘I was getting bored. I didn’t have a TV’ said the callous killer. But the law finally caught up with him after he botched an attempt to abduct another unnamed boy.

Younger days

The eldest of three brothers, Dodd grew up in a loveless household. His younger brother Gregory even referred to him a nerd and said that when Dodd was growing up other school children would make fun of him. Gregory Dodd even went on the hypothesise that his serial killing spree was a form of revenge for his childhood persecution. Throughout high school and beyond Dodd went on to sexually abuse a wealth of children, some say as many as 50. But he managed to evade lengthy punishments his crimes.


Washington State instead tried to rehabilitate him and failed. Dodd said of the attempts to cure him that ‘I have said all along the system does not work. I knew what I was doing, I knew it was wrong. I knew I could get the death penalty if caught. I killed them.’

And finally the law caught up with him and he was sentenced to death for the murders. The 31-year-old chose hanging over lethal injection as the method of execution, saying of his victims,’they didn’t get an nice, neat, painless, easy death. Why should I?’. So, on 5 January 1993, his became the first legal hanging in America since 1965.

Also on this day

1923 – Lee Doon

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31 December 1898 – Joseph Vacher

Posted in Death penalty, Guillotine with tags , , , , , on December 31 by Old Sparky

Joseph Vacher

Joseph Vacher

A French version of Jack the Ripper was beheaded after he confessed to murdering a feast of victims, among them shepherds and shepherdesses.

Aged just 29, Joseph Vacher, was guillotined for strangling and mutillating, raping or disembowelling, even gorging himself on blood from the necks of his chosen victims in south-west France.

Early signs

Even as a child, he had been given to killing animals and slapping his 14 brothers and sisters around. But his ultimate decent into depravity was borne out of his lack of luck with the ladies.

Before Vacher had even reached the age of 20, unsavoury encounters with a prostitute landed him a sexually transmitted disease, so part of his testicles had to be lopped off.

Following that, he was thwarted in love. So at 25, Vacher first tried to shoot the object of his affection, before turning the gun on himself. When those attempts failed, he began targeting women, girls and lone shepherd boys.

With conservative reports ranging from 11 to 23 victims, Vacher was finally caught after he tried to kill a woman in a field. But her screams luckily brought her husband and son to her rescue. Vacher was overpowered and packed off to the police station where his crimes soon caught up with him.

Rabid results

He put his gruesome killing spree down to the possibility that his blood had been poisoned after a rabid dog bit him as a child. The ensuing herbal medicine he was given to combat the rabies apparently left him short tempered and given to bouts of brutality. People even testified that his personality had changed as a result of that encounter.

Nevertheless, he was finally put to death on New Year’s Eve 1898 in Bourg-en-Bresse, Ain Province.

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22 December 1903 – Charles Ashton

Posted in Death penalty, Hanged with tags , , , on December 22 by Last Writes

Charles Ashton was a mere teenager when be was hanged at Hull in 1903. Indeed it was his age that prompted appeals for leniency.

However, it was the viciousness of his crime that may well have put the kibosh on a reprieve. For Ashton’s crime was one of murder.

A farm labourer at a Yorkshire farm, Ashton took a shine to a co-worker, a servant girl by the name of Annie Marshall.

But rather than ask her out as is the social norm, he antisocially took Marshall by force, raped her and sank a fatal bullet in her. He then disposed of the body by dumping her in a nearby river, according to

Ashton earned himself an equally fatal end when the death penalty was doled out. He became one of 17 19-year-olds to be hanged in the 20th century.

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