Archive for Robbery

22 January 1992 – Joe Angel Cordova

Posted in Lethal injection with tags , , , , on January 22 by Old Sparky

Joe Angel Cordova

While Wyoming was executing its first victim since the ’60s, across state lines down south, the Texans were banging them out.

Joe Angel Cordova became the 43rd death row inmate to be executed in Texas, over the course of a 10-year period.

Cordova was put to death, aged 39, by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas. He’d been done for robbing and killing a man in 1982.


He was found guilty of bundling 32-year-old Masel Williams out of a phone booth and taking him to a remote wooded area. There Cordova cold bloodedly blasted him with a shotgun, as Williams pleaded for his life.

Texas duly slapped a death sentence on the trigger happy Cordova, in keeping with its reputation for doling out the most death penalties in America.

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16 January 2002 – Jermarr Carlos Arnold

Posted in Lethal injection with tags , , , , on January 16 by Old Sparky

Jemarr Carlos ArnoldHappiness enveloped Jermarr Carlos Arnold, who sang Amazing Grace as the lethal cocktail of drugs entered his veins on this day in 2002.

He craved death and was sentenced to meet it in Texas for the shooting of Christine Sanchez during an armed robbery when he was just 24 years old.

Arnold admitted casing the joint – a jewellery store – before bursting in as it opened on the morning of 15 July 1983. With a handgun trained on Sanchez, he began stuffing his bag full of merchandise. He then demanded money. But the fiesty 21-year-old girl grabbed a gun instead and pointed it at Arnold.

Arnold overpowered her, turned the gun around and shot her in the head but he fled and wasn’t caught until he was arrested in California on completely unrelated robbery charges and the details of the killing emerged. He was promptly shipped off to Texas to be tried for the murder where he pleaded guilty and actually requested the death penalty for his crime. The court obliged.

Blood lust

But the killing didn’t stop there. He’d said of the death penalty during his trial that ‘if you miss this opportunity, there’s a good chance that I will kill again’. And Arnold wasn’t wrong. While on death row, he turned on a fellow inmate and shoved a carefully crafted, sharp bolt through the man’s temple, before proceeding to dance around the victim’s lifeless body.

As they prepared Jermarr Carlos Arnold for his lethal injection, he told the family of his victim ‘I am giving my life. I hope you find comfort in my execution’. He was finally executed aged 43.

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22 November 1910 – Johan Alfred Andersson Ander

Posted in Death penalty, Guillotine with tags , , , , , on November 22 by Old Sparky
and the Swedish Record for the longest name goes to...

and the Swedish Record for the longest name goes to...

Johan Alfred Andersson Ander was the last and only person to be sent to the guillotine in Sweden.

Saddled with debts, Ander decided to rob an exchange agency and in doing so he battered Victoria Hellsten until she died of her injuries.

All he got for spoils was 6,000 Swedish crowns and he didn’t even have long to spend that.

He was arrested and beheaded in 1910, aged 37.


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22 October 1828 – Bell M’Menemy and Thomas Conner

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

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.

Seaman stopped

Her victim was a boatman by the name of McKinnon, who’d had a good day selling his eggs in Glasgow. The seaman was unsuspectingly going about his business when he was accosted by M’Menemy.

The assailant had teamed up with accomplice Thomas Conner, and together they did the sailor in, with Conner bashing him over the head, all for his money.

One report says the haul was a princely £10, while a Glaswegian printer by the name of John Muir reckoned the crime was carried out for a mere 40 shillings.

The callous couple were promptly caught and taken into custody where it transpired that Connor was an old hand at the whole crime thing. Like M’Menemy, he had come over from Ireland, but the fact that he had previous was thanks largely to his mum, who was always inciting him to commit crimes, according to Muir.

He’d come before a court of law once already, prompting lawmen to observe that he’d been a ‘bad boy ever since he was able to crawl’. Indeed M’Menemy was also dragged into it after she met Connor and his mum through work.

See a M’Menemy

They were tried and found guilty of robbery. Of course if Connor hadn’t have had a criminal record, he may well have got off lightly. Instead, the pair of them got the maximum sentence – death. And many came from far afield to see the spectacle, for it was rare for a woman to be hanged in those parts, so, the novelty really drew the crowds in.

M’Menemy was around 25 and Connor roughly 21 when they faced their executioner, and poignantly, reports state that they each asked the other to forgive them before nooses were slung round their necks and they were hanged for their crimes.

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14 October 1767 – John Spires and William Bryan

Posted in Death penalty, Hanged with tags , , , on October 14 by Old Sparky

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.

Irishman Bryan had been in London just three months when he met up with drinking buddy Spires, which was ultimately to be the death of him.

The co-conspirators were found guilty of stealing from widower Elizabeth Bibby, plus two other female travellers en route to Islington on 13 August 1767.

Their defence was that pistols had been planted on them while they’d been sleeping and that they’d been fitted up by a fellow felon by the name of Patrick Handon, who’d broken out of jail countless times.

Even Bibby couldn’t identify her assailants. Nevertheless the two men were found guilty of robbing 25 shillings and 6 pence from the three ladies and the penalty was death by hanging.

Also on this day

14 October 1767 – Thomas Davis
14 October 1767 – William Guest

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1 October 1957 – Jacques Fesch

Posted in Death penalty, Guillotine with tags , , , , on October 1 by Old Sparky

Jacques Fesch

Jacques Fesch

Jacques Fesch was a French cop killer who miraculously reinvented himself while on death row.

He turned devout Roman Catholic while waiting for the guillotine to fall during his incarceration between 1954 and 1957.

The Frenchman had been trying to reinvent himself when the crime happened too. Up to that point Fesch had led a louche life, leaving his wife and daughter for a mistress and another illegitimate child.

Fair cop

However, he had dreams of sailing the South Pacific. And to fulfil his vision, the Frenchman was attempting to rob money to buy a boat, when it all went horribly wrong. Fesch bungled it and shot policeman Jean Vergne, who was in pursuit.


Of course the press went into overdrive and stirred public opinion into a frenzy. And naturally, amid such a furore against him, Fesch was sent down for the crime.

But within a year of his incarceration Fesch suddenly found God and his life became one of humble piety. Such was his reinvention that there was talk of his posthumously becoming canonised after his head was cut off in 1957.

So far though, the argument for and against a sainthood for Fesch hasn’t come to a head…

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29 September 1827 – George Heyworth

Posted in Death penalty, Hanged with tags , , , on September 29 by Old Sparky

George Heyworth and his two sons were sent to the gallows for robbery.

The Heyworth clan was hanged at Lancaster Castle in 1827 for highway hold-ups.

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