My second Executed Today entry is up: John Gregson, who died on this day in 1870, hanged in England for a brutal-but-banal domestic homicide. Had he committed the crime ten years earlier he might have gotten off with a manslaughter conviction, since he clearly did not intend to kill his wife. But by the late 1860s, British judges and juries were starting to get tired of these sorts of crimes, and he DID kick her repeatedly with iron-soled shoes after all.
I’m going to update today, finally, and resume updating regularly. This year hasn’t gotten off to a great start for me. The Headache has decided to resume kicking me around. Often the pain isn’t really that bad — sort of hovering in the “annoying” range — but it’s just that it. never. goes. away. and it really wears you down.
I had a frank and rather uncomfortable conversation with my family doctor, Dr. Han, about it all, and she basically said she did not think she was able to help me. Fortunately, there’s a new pain management clinic — been around less than a year — and she’s referred me to them. They’ll call me on Monday. At present I’m pain-free, but that’s only because of Vicodin.
On the other hand, mentally I’m doing much better. I had to have three medication adjustments between September and December. Finally I’m back on an even keel there.
You’ll recall that back in October I was interviewed by Ed Dentzel for the “Unfound” podcast. Well, I suggested that Ed interview Tad DiBiase, the “No Body” Guy. Ed did interview Tad and the interview is here. I recommend you check it out. Tad works gratis as a consultant for MWAB cases and I think that’s awesome, great community service. One of my personal mottoes is “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Meaning: use whatever resources and talents you possess to improve that world. That’s what Tad does.
On the sixth I had my first Executed Today entry of the year: Floyd Hewitt, a sixteen-year-old who was executed for a horrific double homicide 90 years ago. It’s a very sad story; Floyd had the mental capacity of a ten-year-old and didn’t seem to understand the seriousness of what he had done. Nowadays, due to both his age and his mental disability, he would have gotten a life sentence.
I had an Executed Today entry posted yesterday: Richard Hale, who murdered his seven-year-old daughter in the West Midlands in England in 1864. His common-law wife and partner-in-crime, Cecilia Baker, got a life sentence because she was pregnant.
My first (of two, unless I write another) Executed Today entry of the month: Cordella Stevenson, a black woman who the victim of a horrific lynching in Columbus, Mississippi 101 years ago today. She didn’t even do anything “wrong,” not that anyone deserves that kind of death — she died because her son was suspected of arson. (Oh, and she was black.) The locals couldn’t find him so they took out their rage on her family. Of course no one was brought to justice. TJ Jarrett wrote a poem about her in her 2013 book, Ain’t No Grave.
I had an Executed Today entry posted today: Joseph Morley, a seventeen-year-old boy who, in 1887, brutally murdered his landlady for no apparent reason. He was hanged one month and ten days after the killing. The wheels of justice ground much more quickly then, although not so fine.
Forgot to mention that I had an Executed Today entry run yesterday, my first since September. This is a quite ordinary case of wife-murder but I felt compelled to write it up because of the heartbreaking detail about the unborn baby.
I had my latest Executed Today entry run today: Gennady Modestovich Mikhasevich, an astonishingly prolific serial killer from the Belarusian SSR who murdered somewhere between 36 and 55+ people in fourteen years.
There were two huge problems that prevented the cops from capturing him sooner. The first problem is that, as with the Andrei Chikatilo case, the investigators believed serial murder was the product of decadent capitalism and could not possibly exist in a socialist paradise like the Soviet Union. The second problem is that Gennady Mikhasevich was a member of the Soviet equivalent of the Neighborhood Watch and was therefore much better informed about the movements and activities of the police than the average person.
This is a really interesting story. HBO made an awesome movie about Chikatilo, called Citizen X, which you can stream for free if you have Amazon Prime. I think the Mikhasevich story would also be movie-worthy. As far as I can tell there are no English-language books at all about this man, although there is probably something in Russian.