And here is my post about him on Executed Today. Alaska doesn’t have many executions to write about and hasn’t had any at all since it became a state sixty years ago. But Mr. Segura committed quite an ordinary, forgettable murder which I wouldn’t have found worth writing about were it not for the fact that he was from Montenegro, a tiny Balkan kingdom 5,000 miles away, and I thought that was kind of unique.
Turns out there were quite a few Montenegrins in Alaska (relatively speaking) in the early 20th century, and there are about 80,000 people of Montenegrin descent living in America today, about a quarter of them in Anchorage. Now, 80,000 Montenegrin-Americans make a pretty small ethnic minority compared to, say, Irish-Americans or Chinese-Americans, but you have to consider that the present-day nation of Montenegro has only 300,000 citizens. Consider this your historigraphical lesson for the day.
Another more ET: Coleman Gillespie, hanged in 1900 for the robbery and murder of 77-year-old Christina Edson. Christina’s farm had been burned down and her husband and three small sons (along with 20 other pioneers) murdered by Rogue River Indians in Oregon in 1856. Decades later, the government’s Indian Depredation Fund awarded her compensation in the form of a monthly pension. She got her very first check on September 18, 1899, and the next day Coleman Gillespie tortured and killed her for it and burned down her house. So she was, sort of, the last victim of that long-ago massacre.
I suppose you could say Coleman Gillespie was actually the last victim, since he wouldn’t have committed the robbery/homicide were it not for the massacre. But his execution was his own fault. Christina was a truly innocent victim.
I’ve taken a bit of a break from Charley-related work, but here’s another ET entry for you: George Chapman, a serial killer in turn-of-the-century Britain who might have been Jack the Ripper.
I have written 70 guest entries for that blog thus far since I discovered it nearly two years ago. Of those, 24 have yet to run. I’ll keep writing them for as long as the Headsman maintains the blog, for I find it a most engrossing diversion from my usual topics of research. A breakdown (which may not be entirely accurate):
19 Holocaust entries
9 World War II related entries that weren’t from the Holocaust
16 executions of multiple people at once
27 executions for murder (that is, 27 entries; I don’t count more if more than one person was executed)
11 mass or serial killers
3 executions for nonfatal sex crimes
11 executions of minors
9 executions for treason
7 wrongful executions (that is, either the guy was probably innocent or the trial was grossly unfair)
11 executions in the United Kingdom
12 executions in the USA (counting colonial America)
6 entries where the person did not actually die
15 borderline “executions” (many people would call plain ol’ murder)
25 books I have read because of the blog (either for research or because they were mentioned in the entries)
6 books I plan to read because of the blog
I will also note that, in a list of the good things that came out of my encounter with Rollo (and there are a few; there’s rarely an event so terrible that at least SOME good doesn’t come from it), my work on Executed Today is one of them. On the first anniversary of the attack, I was feeling very bad and desperately pawing through the internet trying to find some distraction, and found that blog, and the rest is history. Given my interests in true crime and history, I probably would have found it anyway eventually, but I found it at a most opportune time. It was a terrific distraction from my depression and unease.
There will be several ET entries by me this month, five in all I think. This is the first: Louisa Masset, hanged on January 9, 1900 for the brutal murder of her three-year-old illegitimate son. It was apparently premeditated and it was horrific: she beat him with a brick in a train station bathroom, then suffocated him.
The author John J. Eddleston, in whose book I first read about Louisa, lists her in another book he wrote about wrongful executions. That is, he suggests she may have been innocent. Not having read this particular book, I’m not sure why he thinks this. The evidence, though circumstantial, seems conclusive enough.