I had an Executed Today entry posted this day, for Oscar Jackson, who was lynched in Wright County, Minnesota on April 25, 1859. His execution/murder was the flashpoint for an interesting but little-known event in Minnesota history known as the Wright County War. Fun fact: one of the suspected lynchers was later elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives.
I do believe (and the Headsman seems to believe) that this is my best entry so far for 2017, although I actually wrote it last summer.
I had another Executed Today entry from last week I forgot to post here: Robert Dean, an apprentice watch engraver hanged on April 8, 1819 for the murder of five-year-old girl. He killed her for no apparent reason. Later on it turned out he DID have a reason, albeit one that doesn’t make a lot of sense.
My 218th Executed Today entry was published yesterday: the hangings of William Dyon and his son John, who had murdered William’s brother (another John) in Doncaster, England in 1828. The two killers weren’t terribly bright; they went around telling everyone who would listen that they hated the victim, they even said they wanted to kill the victim, they allowed themselves to get spotted in the area with their rifles, and William left distinctive boot prints at the crime scene.
Executed Today entry by moi: Anne Castledine, who killed her baby and was hanged on this day in 1784. It’s what maybe-but-probably-didn’t-really happened afterward that caught my eye and lead to me writing up her story.
Another Executed Today entry: one John Smith, who mixed arsenic into flour and gave it to his pregnant fiancee. Apparently he didn’t give any thought to the idea that she might wind up poisoning others with that flour, or perhaps he didn’t care. Six people in all got sick, but only Smith’s fiancee died.
(BTW, if y’all are wondering about the whole “sheep washing” thing, farmers often used arsenic-based sheep dip to kill any mites or other parasites infesting the fleeces.)
I’ve got an Executed Today entry today: John Holloway and Owen Haggerty, hanged in England in 1807. This is an absolutely dreadful story. First you’ve got a murder, and then two innocent young men, wrongfully convicted on the testimony of an alleged “accomplice” who got a really sweet deal for his testimony (a full pardon, plus a previous sentence respited). Then you’ve got a horrific stampede at the scaffold with numerous fatalities — almost as if God was expressing displeasure at the injustice going on.
I’ve got an Executed Today entry that was posted on the 16th: Robert Newcomb and John Mueller, hanged in 1906. Newcomb shot up the streets of Chicago and killed three people, including a cop; Mueller murdered his wife and two toddlers.