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|What did the robbery of a Royal Mail train travelling between Glasgow and London in the early hours of Thursday 8th August, 1963, at Bridego Railway Bridge, Buckinghamshire, become better known as?
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Hanging has been the execution method of choice for murder in far more countries than just the UK. This section focuses on judicial hangings in the 20th century around the world.
Worldwide Hangings: June
Arnold Sodeman – Australia
A group of young girls playing in the Melbourne suburb of Armadale had no inkling of the deadly sexual predator watching them from a nearby hotel bar. His drink finished, Arnold Sodeman, a 30-year-old... more »
Sandra Smith and Yassiem Harris – South Africa
Spectators in Cape Town Supreme Court shuddered as they listened to the story of how schoolgirl Jermaine Abrahams was murdered by two burglars.
Sandra Smith, 22, and her boy friend, Yassiem Harris, 1... more »
Harold van Venison – USA
They called Harold van Venison the “Covington Negro” after his home town of Covington, Kentucky, because he was a well-known local singer, and something of a ladies’ man as well.
But the white peopl... more »
K. A. Weersinghe – Sri Lanka
Solomon Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), effectively abolished the death penalty in his country in 1956 – and three years later he was shot dead by a Buddhist monk.
Concerned b... more »
Nine men – Trinidad and Tobago
Four members of a Trinidad family were said to have insulted Dole Chadee, a local drugs baron – and for that they were brutally gunned down in 1994 by Chadee and his gang. But the gang – nine of them ... more »
Patrick Griffin and Elmer Brewer – USA
Fifty people, including two women, witnessed the double execution of Patrick Griffin, 36, and Elmer Brewer, 33, at Fort Madison Prison, Iowa, on Wednesday, June 5th, 1935. It was the first hanging eve... more »
George Rowe – Canada
“Take us to London,” George Rowe and his friend Russell Bechard told cabby John Jolly in Windsor, Ontario. “We haven’t any money on us now but we can pay you when we get there.” London, it should be e... more »
Nora Parham – Belize
“Under the British laws at the time she was found guilty and sentenced to die. Today it would probably have been different.”
So said George Price, the first black prime minister of Belize, recalling ... more »
Mervyn Fallows – Australia
On December 29th, 1960, the body of 11-year-old Sandra Smith was found in bushes in North Beach, Perth, Western Australia. She was accosted and lured to the killer's house where she was raped and then... more »
May and Howard Carey – USA
“I’ll buy you a car if you help me kill your Uncle Robert,” Mrs. May Carey, 52, told her sons Howard, 28, and James. She had set her sights on the insurance money on the life of her brother, Robert Hi... more »
Seven war criminals – Germany
The last executions in Germany took place on Thursday, June 7th, 1951, when seven Nazi war criminals were hanged in Landsberg Prison, Bavaria. They were Paul Blobel, Werner Braune, Eric Naumann, Otto ... more »
Stefan Svitek – Slovakia
Classified by psychologists as a psychopath, serial sex offender Stefan Svitek raped and murdered his two little daughters and his pregnant wife. He became the last person executed in Slovakia when he... more »
Clarence van Buuren – South Africa
A medium called in by South African police to help solve the disappearance of 18-year-old Myrna Aken was able to lead investigators to the teenager’s naked body, hidden under a road drain 60 miles awa... more »
Arthur Stanley – South Africa
An ex-soldier hoped he would find diamonds in Kimberley, Cape Province, to reverse his ill fortune. He failed – so he turned to crime instead.
On March 7th, 1923, Arthur Stanley and an accomplice amb... more »
Edward Grammer – USA
A wife and a mistress is a dangerous combination, as Baltimore salesman Edward Grammer, 35, found to his cost. He decided his wife would have to go, and killed her, covering up the murder by staging a... more »
Stephanus van Wyk – South Africa
Convinced that his former partner in crime Jan Moller had swindled him, habitual criminal Stephanus van Wyk came out of prison in July 1930, and went in search of Moller. The two men went for a car ri... more »
Frank McCullough – Canada
“It was an accident,” he said. “I didn’t mean to shoot him.” It was also a hopeless excuse, for Frank McCullough was a drifter, probably a liar and most definitely a thief.
But he was also handsome, ... more »
John Smith – Australia
When two trappers went hunting in a rabbit reserve in Perth, Western Australia, in May 1930, only one came back. A search party discovered the remains of the missing man, Louis Carron, when they stumb... more »
Hambia Zacharia, Michael Hiletikos and Lazaris Demetriou – Cyprus
Cyprus gained its independence from Britain in 1960 but for its first executions the Cypriot Government sent to England for hangmen Harry Allen and John Underhill. On Wednesday, June 13th, 1962, they ... more »
Francisco Dusso, Carmine Lanzillo and Carmine Pisaniello – USA
Morris Goldstein, a New Hampshire tailor, made the mistake of flashing a large bankroll when he agreed to buy a watch from Carmine Lanzillo, one of his customers. Lanzillo went to four Italian immigra... more »
Henry Malanik – Canada
“Help! My boy friend has stabbed my husband!”
That frantic call to Winnipeg Police on the evening of July 15th, 1950, was made by Olga Kafka, and Detective James Sims, who took it, sighed the sigh of... more »
Ten women – Iran
Following the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979, a reign of terror swept the country. Tens of thousands of people were killed and there were – and still are – hundreds of legal executions for offe... more »
Dennis Gunn – New Zealand
A murderer hanged on Tuesday, June 22nd, 1920, became the first man ever to be executed in New Zealand almost entirely on fingerprint evidence.
Dennis Gunn, 25, killed Augustus Braithwaite, postmaste... more »
James Latham and George York – USA
James Douglas Latham and George Ronald York, from Jackonsville, Florida, were 19 and 18 respectively when they escaped the US Army disciplinary barracks at Fort Hood, Texas. They had been serving term... more »
Thomas Houghton – Egypt
Serving with the RASC in the Suez Canal Zone, Acting Corporal Thomas Houghton, from Hull, fell in love with a Greek girl who worked for the army. The girl didn’t return his interest and even complaine... more »
Jindrich Bazant – Czech Republic
“I was destined to be a murderer,” Jindrich Bazant, 33, told a prison doctor when he was arrested. The son of wealthy parents, he kept three lovers at the same time and, suddenly growing tired of them... more »
Duncan Moodie – South Africa
The dubious distinction of being the only South African to be tried, found guilty and sentenced to death twice for the same murder belongs to Duncan Moodie, 27, who shot his estranged wife Anita at he... more »
Dr. Dalip Singh – Trinidad and Tobago
An Indian doctor who assisted at a post-mortem on a woman in Port of Spain, Trinidad, failed to tell the authorities that the corpse was that of his own German-born wife Inge, and that he had murdered... more »
Shlomo Ben Yossef – Israel (then Palestine)
During their mandate over Palestine the British hanged 108 terrorists between 1936 and 1939. Of these, 107 were Arabs and one, Shlomo Ben Yossef, 20, was Jewish.
Ben Yossef was one of three men who f... more »
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