Tag Archives: executions

Dec. 2, 1938: California’s First Use of Gas Chamber Horrifies Witnesses; Hanging Is ‘Quicker and Better’

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project.   The Times editorialized: Kessel and Cannon were two of five convicts who twisted a wire around the warden’s neck and dragged him into the prison … Continue reading

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Oklahoma’s Executioner: Rich Owens

Note: This is an encore post that originally appeared in 2006. Ray Parr’s story about Rich Owens, the longtime executioner at McAlester State Penitentiary, has been knocking around my home office for ages, passed along by a former co-worker many … Continue reading

Posted in 1948, Crime and Courts | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Jan. 5, 1947: Two Black 15-Year-Olds Set for Electric Chair After Losing Plea

Note: This is a post I wrote in 2006 for the 1947project. Jan. 5, 1947: “The majority of Americans belong to one minority group or another,” said Dr. Will Durant, author and lecturer, yesterday in outlining the scope of the … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, African Americans, Crime and Courts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Snake Killer Dies on Gallows

May 2, 1942: Major Raymond Lisenba, better known as Robert S. “Rattlesnake” James, becomes the 214th and last person to be executed by hanging in California. James was hanged because the murder of his wife occurred in 1935, before the … Continue reading

Posted in 1942, Art & Artists, Comics, Crime and Courts, Homicide, World War II | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments