Hanged on Christmas Eve…In Durham prison, young Herbert paid the penalty The last hours of a condemned man waiting for the drop Liverpools hypnotic killer
True Detective January 1996
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Hypnosis has been long been regarded with tremendous suspicion- the theme of people being made to act in a way they do not really want to has been the basis for films galore. Yet respectable practitioners reassure people that nobody can be persuaded to do what they do not want to do. Which is true? Liverpools Hypnotic Killer exercised tremondous power over a variety of young women, but this only one of the facets of the story in the brilliant series ‘Murder Stranger than Fiction’
Did you know that no recorded executions have ever taken place on Christmas Day in prison? It seems it was always a day off for hangmen – yet Herbert Appleby was hanged in Durham Prison on Christmas Eve. How curiously inappropriate a time to call out a hangman when he ought to be engaged in the more gentle pursuit of helping his children or grandchildren hang their christmas stockings up for Santa to fill. But hangmen must have always been a thick skinned lot, if they were anything like James Billington. Read of his most distressing job, and his astonishing resilience to the grief.