General stuff on my end

Some unexpected — but awesome — things have happened as a result of the Longreads article that came out a few days ago. I don’t want to say anything more because nothing may come of it.

I’m working on hammering out the dents etc. on the new website format. Right now, my priority is re-adding the cases that mysteriously vanished off the face of the earth. Then I will focus on re-adding the details of disappearance to cases where that information vanished off the face of the earth. This is a pain and is taking awhile but I shall prevail.

I have a new Executed Today entry, one I had agonized over for quite awhile and am very proud of. The reason being that the executed person was almost certainly transgender, but this all happened in the 1940s before most people knew transgender was a thing. I wanted to do right by her/him without playing down the seriousness of the crime.

Anyway, back to work.

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ET: Patrick Dougherty

Patrick Dougherty was executed in Dublin on this day in 1782 for robbing a guy and stealing stuff worth £15, a small fortune in those days. What followed was a riot at the scaffold, a body-snatching and a police chase — as in, first the police were doing the chasing, then they were being chased themselves by the people they’d been chasing earlier. What fun!

In the entry I quoted from a book about executions in Dublin, noting, in part: Surgeons were regarded with suspicion as their dissections prevented families and friends of deceased felons from waking their bodies.

I realize that “waking” in this instance means “holding a wake with the bodies as per the Irish tradition” but I think the author’s choice of words was unfortunate. It sounds like they were trying to wake the dead person back up.

My mom, who’s a bit of of a Hibernophile, says the reason wakes were so popular in Ireland is cause the British curtailed freedom of assembly, and a wake was one of the few events where Irish people could gather without risk of arrest.

My apologies

Yeah, sorry I dropped out of sight. I had the stomach flu for a few days and wasn’t able to get anything done. Yesterday I finally started to feel better and spent the day lying around on the “bananas and water” diet the Internet said was good for getting used to food again after you’ve been sick. Late that evening I was able to eat pizza and today I am back to work.

ET: Margaret Savage

I’ve got an Executed Today entry for today about armed robber Margaret Savage, who was hanged in Dublin, Ireland on this day in 1787. She was one of the many victims of the UK’s Bloody Code, which levied the death penalty for all the manner of minor offenses that would have been punished with probation or a fine today. The idea seems to have been “the easier it is to commit a crime, the more harshly it should be punished.” It didn’t work.

(And before any of you tell me that Dublin isn’t in the UK, it was back then.)

Another ET entry, from yesterday

I had another Executed Today entry posted yesterday: Piotr Jarzyna, who was executed in Auschwitz on October 22, 1943, after he was caught smuggling medications into the camp. Twice.

I wrote to Yad Vashem to see about getting Pan Jarzyna listed as a Righteous Gentile. Yad Vashem replied that I had to produce notarized affidavits by Jewish survivors he helped. Obviously I don’t have those. But it seems to me that:

A) Those affidavits may very well exist, albeit in the Auschwitz Museum in Poland.
B) In the case of Karolina Juszczykowska, there can’t have been any affidavits from Jewish survivors because there were no survivors in that case — she was caught hiding two Jewish men in her apartment and all three of them wound up getting killed. Yad Vashem named Karolina a Righteous Gentile based on the records of the court case against her. So why couldn’t they do that for Jarzyna?

Unfortunately I don’t know how to pursue this further.

Got to go away for a bit, duty calls

Yeah, so my oldest brother who lives in Pennsylvania has had a heart attack (he’s fine, just a bit scared) and Mom is running off to see him tomorrow sometime — not sure when. I’m to hang out at her house for four days and feed her pets until she gets back. She has promised not to take the router with her like she did that one time but without my precious Orville I won’t be able to update Charley. I hope to get an update in tomorrow before I have to leave.

I suppose I shall be bored out of my mind. Mom lives eleven miles from the nearest traffic light, twelve from the nearest store, and has no Netflix, Hulu, nothing. I’ll bring lots of books and my Kindle Fire.

In the meantime I’ve got a new Executed Today entry: the Jews of Trunovskoye, a small village in Russia, who were gassed on this day in 1942. The event was recorded in a letter by a teenage survivor who was still alive in Moldova as of 2009. It would be really cool if she found my entry and commented on it, or if her kids did or something. That’s happened before; on my entry for Holocaust victim Max Hertz, for example, one of his grandchildren commented.