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.
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.
This is my latest Executed Today entry, which went up today: Not Anne Greene, who SURVIVED her execution for infanticide in 1650. And it turns out she was innocent anyway — the baby was a late term miscarriage. Details at link.
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.)
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.
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.
I had another Executed Today entry posted, this time out of Botswana: Kedisaletse Tsobane, who was hanged on September 19, 2008. He had killed his ten-year-old illegitimate daughter, supposedly to get out of paying child support. But the judges aren’t sure that’s the real reason he did it, because
a) Tsobane had not paid any child support at all since the girl’s birth, and no one seemed to be pressing him particularly hard to start doing so.
b) Even if he was under pressure to start making payments, he was only obligated to pay the equivalent of $4 a month, and I calculated that his total debt was only $480. Tsobane could afford to pay this. Botswana is one of the most prosperous nations in Africa and has a per capita income of nearly $18,000 annually.
So, although Tsobane’s actions were clear enough, and he confessed, the case is still a bit of a head-scratcher.
I did not get picked to serve on the jury. I have not had the world’s greatest week; my bipolar disorder has been kicking my butt and I’ve been having suicidal thoughts and stuff, to the extent that the people at my psychiatric clinic thought it might be best if I went to spend some time with Dad. He can stay with me and keep me safe, he’s a calming influence, and Mom got all the sharp knives in the divorce settlement.
I saw my psychiatrist, Dr. Bruno, yesterday. He’s taken me off that medication that’s making me fat and put me on another drug that doesn’t make you fat, and which might improve my mental state as well. We’ll see.
I returned to Michael that same day. We had missed each other a lot and it was so good to see him. I have been doing some behind-the-scenes Charley Project work today. Updates will resume tomorrow.