The scene on the gallows at Fort Saskatchewan Prison, Canada, on Wednesday, May 23rd, 1923, was described by officials as “testing” when a terrified Mrs. Florence Lassandra, 22, was dragged, begging for mercy, to her execution.

In collaboration with her friend, Emilio Picariello, 43, who, like herself, was an Italian immigrant, she had been smuggling alcohol between Alberta and British Columbia during Prohibition. Both admitted they were armed and both admitted firing at and hitting Constable Stephen Lawson when he challenged them. The officer was killed in the shooting.

Both were hanged. Mrs. Lassandra was the first woman to go to the gallows in Canada for 24 years. Only seven women were hanged there in the whole of the 20th century.