ET: Con O’Leary

Another Executed Today post: Irish fratricide Cornelius “Con” O’Leary. He was convicted of the murder of his brother Patrick and hanged in 1925. It was a pretty brutal crime — the victim brutally attacked, probably as he slept, then dismembered.

All of the family members who still lived at home were charged with murder: Con, the family’s elderly mother and two sisters, Maryanne and Hannah. If there were witnesses to the crime, they never talked; all the evidence was circumstantial. I’m sure Con was guilty. As for the others, I think they may well have guilty knowledge, but I’m not at all convinced they were directly involved in Patrick’s murder.

The mother (I don’t remember her name) was released without being tried due to ill health. Maryanne, who was probably not involved, died of cancer while awaiting trial. Hannah was convicted — unjustly, I believe. I don’t know whether she was guilty or not, but the case against her was very weak and the judge, I think, biased. She served 17 years in prison before being released.

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