Worldwide Hangings

John Harris

Apartheid was a repugnant political philosophy to thinking people and some were prepared to carry their antagonism to extremes. One such was John Harris, who put a bomb in a suitcase on July 24th, 1964, and left it on a train seat in Johannesburg central station before casually walking off. The bomb went off at

John Martin Scripps

British traveller Simon Davis told the receptionist at the Singapore hotel where he was staying: “I’ve kicked out my roommate. He made a homosexual advance towards me. I’ll be paying the bill.” The receptionist was hardly to know that Mr. Davis’s companion was still in room 1511, murdered, cut into 10 pieces and stuffed into

Jozef Tiso

Having made a deal with Hitler, on March 14th, 1939, Slovakia declared itself independent of Czechoslovakia and next day Germany invaded the remaining Czech lands. Heading the independence deal was Slovakia’s Monsignor Jozef Tiso, an anti-Semitic active Catholic priest turned politician, whose political party now functioned, with the blessing of the Nazis, as almost the

George Green

A torn milk bill with chimney soot on it and an address – that was the only clue left at the murder scene when police discovered the bodies of Mrs. Anne Wiseman, 65, and her 17-year-old niece strangled with flex in their suburban home in Melbourne on Sunday, November 13th, 1938. The milk bill, detectives

Rudolph Hoess

The Nazis had a trick of finding the right people for their dirty work, and in Rudolph Hoess they found a perfect one. In 1923, when he was 23, he served four years for manslaughter. When Hitler came to power the ex-convict joined the SS and worked in several concentration camps until he was put

“John”

That was his name: just John. No one seemed to know if he had a surname, so they hanged him as John at Salisbury (now Harare) Prison on Thursday, April 2nd, 1959. John was the servant of Mrs. Lettie Digby-Ovens, 29, who was a celebrated fashion model. He stabbed her to death when she was

Edward Williams

Desperately poor and desperately worried about the future of his three young daughters, who were all under five, music teacher Edward Williams, 52, cut the children’s throats in their bedroom at his lodgings in Sydney and then went on the run. Several days later, on February 10th, 1924, he gave himself up. “I did it

Leo Mantha

The lower deck situation on the Canadian Navy ship Naden at Victoria naval base in British Columbia wasn’t exactly shipshape. Two sailors were sleeping together, and this at a time, in the summer of 1958, when gay sex was illegal in Canada and severely punishable under military law. Aaron Jenkins, 23, wanted to become a

Teh Sin Tong

Singapore made drug dealing a capital offence in 1975 and that law has been widely publicised ever since. The first man to die under it was Teh Sin Tong, 28, a Malaysian labourer, who was hanged at dawn on Friday, April 28th, 1978, at Changi Prison. In the next decade 20 drug-dealers were hanged in

Gervaise Boutanquoi and Simon Chemouth

Two Frenchmen who served as mercenaries in the old Rhodesian army turned to crime after the 1980 war that created Zimbabwe. In 1981 they shot dead a caf? owner, Erhard Kraft. For this Gervaise Boutanquoi and Simon Chemouth were sentenced to death and despite appeals for clemency from France they were hanged at dawn on

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