Category: Press And Politics

Political and media bits that caught my eye.

On This Day in 1958: Virgil Richardson, cop killer and Sing Sing’s 600th electrocution.


The chances are that former clerk Virgil Richardson isn’t a familiar name today. To NYPD officers in 1956 (and especially the family of Patrolman William Long) his name was all too familiar. Virgil Richardson was Patrolman Long’s murderer and later the 600th convict to sit in Sing Sing’s electric chair. Only fourteen more would follow…

On This Day in 1944, Helen Ray Fowler and George Knight.


Neither is likely to be familiar, especially murderer George Knight. Had Knight alone been condemned for the murder and robbery of William Fowler on 30 October 1943 neither would have been even a footnote in history. Helen Fowler would have disappeared into New York State’s penal system and obscurity. George Knight would probably have vanished…

On This Day in 1901: Leon Czolgosz, Presidential Assassin.


When disturbed loner and some-time Anarchist Leon Czolgosz was convicted for assassinating President William McKinley, Judge Truman White’s sentencing was brief. The crime had been committed on Septmber 6 1901, President McKinley dying of infection from Czolgosz’s bullet on September 9. Now, on September 23 only two weeks after the President’s death, his assassin was…

On This Day in 1934; The last British hanging witnessed by a journalist.


When Frederick Parker and Albert Probert mounted the gallows at Wandsworth Prison, they died never knowing they’d taken a singular place in Britain’s chronicles of crime. Theirs would be last execution in British prison to be witnessed by a gentleman (or lady) of the press. Until the Capital Punishment (Amendment) Act of 1868 executions were…

George Kelly, falsely convicted and quickly hanged.


For most crime buffs the name ‘George Kelly’ inspires memories of rattling Tommy guns, bank robberies and the kidnapping of Charles Urschel, all attributed to American crook George ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly. Kelly, a second-rate gangster at best, was made out to be far worse than he actually was, spending the remainder of his life in…

Killing Them Nicely? The Myth Of ‘Humane Execution.’


Arizona’s botched execution of Joseph Wood, during which he received a lethal injection that took almost two hours to actually kill him, was the latest in a long, long line of botched executions in the US. The method used is immaterial. All execution methods are evolved with human experimentation, by executioners testing new methods or…

Oklahoma: The Botched Execution of Clayton Lockett


Here’s an interesting link for the inside track on this debacle. It’s a preliminary summary from Robert Patton (Director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections) to Mary Fallin (Oklahoma State Governor):   https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8bT8f-N8gQvT0liN0I3d1NIRlU/edit?pli=1     Here’s the text in full. Further comment by me is probably unnecessary: