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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: November
Christiaan Pienaar – South Africa
Justice took some strange turns during the Boer War. Two brothers, Rudolf and Andries Pienaar, who were fighting with the Boer Army against the British at Winburg in the Orange Free State, returned to... more »
George Redding – USA
A killer was terrified when the ghost of his victim appeared out of the ground and beckoned to him. After that he couldn’t confess his guilt fast enough.
George Redding probably had a lively imagina... more »
Richard Sorge – Japan
The coded message that arrived in Moscow’s secret intelligence HQ in 1941 was crystal clear. “Hitler intends to invade the Soviet Union,” it said.
Soviet intelligence bosses shook their heads. “Unbe... more »
Chin Lung and Soo Hoo Wing – USA
For two years there had been a truce in the tong gang wars among Chinese immigrants in America, and on March 23rd, 1927, it was due to expire. What would follow – peace or war?
The answer was soon f... more »
Roland Roberts – South Africa
The specialist who examined Roland Roberts, an 18-year-old South African sailor, concluded that he had behavioural problems – Roberts habitually chewed his beard and smashed his head against lockers o... more »
Nahashon Njoroge – Kenya
Kenya’s political stage was in transition in the early 1960s. The Mau Mau conflict was recently concluded, and Britain wanted to hand over the reins of government. The country’s constitutional framewo... more »
Jack Itumo – Malaysia
A great night out on the town in Kautan, Malaysia, for Private Jack Itumo and some of his mates threatened to come to an untimely end when they were ordered back to barracks. Itumo, a Kenyan serving w... more »
Maria Groesbeek – South Africa
“My husband wouldn’t give me a divorce, so I poisoned him with arsenic,” Maria Groesbeek told police when they came to arrest her. She had scarcely ever been happy in her marriage to Christian Buys. F... more »
Charles O’Leary – Australia
“Fire!” yelled the timber mill workmen when they saw their rest hut going up in flames at Nangwarry in South Australia. They raced to the hut and dragged out two of their colleagues who were inside. T... more »
Fifteen people – South Africa
One white man and 14 blacks were paraded for a mass execution at Pretoria Prison on Monday, November 14th, 1960. For the first time ever in South African judicial history the lone white man’s identity... more »
Solomon Ngobeni – South Africa
Taxi drivers anywhere in the world are particularly vulnerable to armed robbers. Short of cash, Solomon Ngobeni hired taxi driver Mackson Kubayi in the Northern Province of the Transvaal one night in ... more »
Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte – India
“Mahatma!” chanted the crowd as the frail old man came forward, leaning on a stick, his matchstick-thin arms supported by followers on both sides. They bowed their heads reverentially as the great lea... more »
Natalla Habbibulla – Australia
“I can only die once,” Natalla Habbibulla said in his death cell when told his life would not be spared for the murder of his wife at their Bristol Street home in Adelaide.
He went calmly and unpert... more »
Wong Kai-Kei – Hong Kong
A salesman who brutally murdered the night watchman at his place of work made off with £7,000 in two cash boxes. The salesman, Wong Kai-Kei, 25, was speedily caught and in September 1966 sentenced to ... more »
Joseph Watson – USA
“We’re going to the seaside for the rest of the summer, Joe,” Henry Osborn told his houseboy, 18-year-old Joe Watson. “Would you like to come with us?”
“No, sir,” Watson replied. “I don’t like the s... more »
Naceur Damergi – Tunisia
After he came to power in 1987 President Ben Ali of Tunisia developed a reputation for commuting death sentences, but even he stopped short when the man known as “the monster of Nabeul” was sentenced ... more »
Justin Obi – Liberia
An English girl gave evidence that she saw Dr. Justin Obi, 65, a Nigerian and a professor of biology, shoot Bishop Dillard Brown, a black American, and his assistant Claude Nadar, and on her testimony... more »
Three murderers – Japan
On Thursday, November 19th, 1998, three middle-aged murderers were hanged in Japan. Masamichi Ida, 56, went to the gallows in Nagova Prison for a murder during a robbery in which three people were kil... more »
Peter Mwainaina and Katana Mundu – Kenya
Kenya put the clock back somewhat in 1972 with new legislation that introduced the death penalty for robbery. It was not used until Friday, November 21st, 1975, when Peter Mwainaina and Katana Mundu w... more »
James Hendricks – France
“I’m going out to get some,” 21-year-old James Hendricks, a black GI from North Carolina, announced to his barrack room on the night of August 24th, 1944. He had spent the evening drinking 140-proof C... more »
Glen Valance – Australia
When farmer Richard Strang, 37, sacked labourer Glen Valance, 23, he made an enemy he hadn’t reckoned with. In June 1964, Valance, bent on revenge, broke into Strang’s farmhouse after tying up three f... more »
Adrian Lim, Tan Mui Choo and Hoe Kah Hong – Singapore
A man, his wife, and his girl friend belonged to a cult that believed sacrificing children could bring them good luck. They took two children, aged eight and 10, tortured them with electrodes, sexuall... more »
Job Williams – USA
The wedding was only one day away and the bridegroom was stony broke. Desperate, he sneaked into his employer’s bedroom on the farm where he worked to steal cash that he knew was kept there.
Having ... more »
George Scheepers, Johannes Wessels and three others – South Africa
Hanging three black men was a routine affair in the South Africa of apartheid days, but when two white men were hanged with them at the same time there was something of a stir across the country. The ... more »
Borg Pisani – Malta
The Second World War provided an ideal opportunity to liberate Malta from the British – at least, so thought Maltese student Borg Pisani, 27. He joined the Italian fascist party and became the first s... more »
Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya and Vera Voloshina – Russia
“You can’t hang 190 million of us,” 18-year-old Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya jeered at German soldiers as she was placed on a stack of boxes under a simple gallows on Saturday, November 29th, 1941. A Russian... more »
Simon Mpungose – South Africa
In Empangeni in South Africa they called 35-year-old Simon Mpungose the Hammer Man because he would break into homes in the dead of night and kill the occupants with a hammer before robbing them of th... more »
Donald Brooks – USA
Mary Finn was a superstitious person, and she was a bit afraid of being alone in her flat on the last night before her marriage. To be attacked, burgled, or even killed on the night before her wedding... more »
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