The death penalty has long been a contentious issue in U.S. history – and even more so when the condemned is a woman. The following is a list of women whose crimes in a cruel and unforgiving era granted them no leniency and led them to the gallows.
Photo credit: New Mexico Historian
Martin Miguel was a 22-year-old man who had a wife and five children. He came from a prominent New Mexico family, and although his life seemed to be the epitome of bliss, he was secretly conducting a turbulent affair with Paula Angel. When he decided to end their romance in 1861, Paula viciously stabbed himself to death with a butcher knife. She was immediately arrested, and five days later Governor Abraham Rencher issued a warrant for her death.
She spent the rest of her days being taunted by a prison guard who repeatedly shouted, "I'm going to hang you until you're dead, dead, dead." On the day of her execution, she accompanied the coffin with She would soon be buried – was loaded onto a wagon and taken to a poplar tree. After the noose was tightened around her neck, the horses pulled the cart away and left Paula hanging. The sheriff, however, had forgotten to tie Paula's hands together, causing her to desperately reach for the noose.
The horrified crowd that gathered pleaded for mercy, but their sympathetic cries fell on deaf ears. Her execution was temporarily halted so the sheriff could tie her hands back together. The second attempt was a success, and to this day Paula is the only woman ever hanged in New Mexico.
9Sarah Jane Whiteling
In November 1888, Sarah Jane Whiteling was convicted of first-degree murder in a Philadelphia courtroom. She had been sentenced to death for the cold-hearted deaths of her husband and two young children, whom she slowly poisoned in order to preserve her life insurance of about $125 per soul.
Although she confessed to the heartless and unimaginable crime, she unsuccessfully argued against an insanity defense based on her "physical condition," menopause. When her sentence was handed down, the vicious murderess covered her face and sobbed. "Most diabolical murders reported", as they were described at the time, were common in newspapers across the country, and reporters referred to her as an "unnatural mother.".
On the morning of her execution, Sarah sang religious hymns and repented of her sins. She believed that she would be rightly sent to another world. She went boldly to the gallows and offered no final testimony before the trapdoor fell beneath her, ending a life that many had to understand.
8May Carey and Sons
When Robert Hitchens was killed on the night of 5. November 1927, coming home from his job, he was clubbed, shot in the head and then doused with alcohol. His body was found the following day by a concerned employer.
The case remained unsolved for seven years until Robert's nephew Lawrence was arrested in December 1934 on a theft charge. Lawrence adored his uncle, and although he was not responsible for the murder, he told investigators everything he knew. On that fateful November night, Mayh Carey's mother asked May H. Carey the help of her two eldest sons, Howard and James, to her brother for a life insurance policy of 2.KILLING $thousand. Her sons agreed to support their uncle's murder on the condition that May would buy them a car.
After Lawrence's shocking allegations, May and her two sons were arrested. The murderous trio was found guilty; James was sentenced to life in prison, while May and Howard received the death penalty. Mother and son were bitten on 7. June 1935 in the Sussex County jail in Delaware hanged one by one. Despite Lawrence's hurtful testimony against his family, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for burglary.
Martha Grinder, known as The Pittsburgh Poisoner, told a jury in 1865, "I love to see death in all its forms and phases, and left no opportunity to gratify my taste for such sights. If I could have had my own way, I probably should have done more. "Grinder murdered three women despite investigators' suspicions that they poisoned their food with arsenic. When the women had succumbed to their terrible fate after violent vomiting and purges, Grinder stole their belongings such as money, jewelry and cash.
Suspicions about her sudden inheritance of wealth and the relentless questions families left behind led to an investigation that unraveled the diabolical scheme of Grinder. After her arrest, she confessed to only two murders and was arrested on 19. January 1866 hanged in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, Grinder's neck didn't break, and she struggled for a few minutes before becoming still. According to reports, she went to the gallows smiling.
In December 1884, Roxalana Druse shot and killed her husband over breakfast. With the help of her 18-year-old daughter, Mary, he dismembered Mr. Druse and burned his remains in the house's wood stove. Witnessing the murder was Mary's young son George and nephew Frank Gates, whom she threatened to kill if they didn't keep quiet.
As the body burned, neighbors noticed the foul smell coming from the chimney and thought it odd that the windows were covered with newspapers. Their distrust only grew when they were denied entry into the residence. In the days that followed, after persistent questions from citizens, Frank confessed to.After the trial, daughter Mary was sentenced to life in prison, George and Frank were released, and Roxalana was sentenced to be hanged in February 1887. The enormous outcry from women's rights activists writing in defense of Roxalana led to the passage of a bill to abolish the death penalty Women in New York, replacing first-degree murderer with life in prison the gallows.
5 Elizabeth Potts
In 1888, the Brewer family moved to Carlin, Nevada, and rented a house vacated by the Potts, who had abruptly moved east to Wyoming. Soon after, the Brewers were convinced the house was haunted, constantly hearing knocks on the headboard of beds, knocking on doors, and footsteps in the kitchen. The unrelenting and muffled sounds prompted Mr. Brewer to investigate the basement, which led to the discovery of human remains that were cut into small pieces and burned to a curd. The body was that of Miles Faucett, a lonely old man who had last entered the Potts' residence before their departure. A dispatch was sent to Rock Springs, Wyoming, where Elizabeth and Josiah Potts were taken into custody. In February 1889, the couple was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to hang.
A murderous mastermind, Elizabeth had gained weight in prison and was nearly decapitated by the noose while her husband twisted relentlessly for 14 minutes before suffocating to death. To this day, Elizabeth is the only woman executed in Nevada.
In 1903, seven-year-old Annie Williams was tortured for months by her guardian, Dora Wright, who burned the child with a red-hot poker and whipped her until Annie's little body could stand nothing more. It took an Oklahoma jury only 20 minutes to find the "negro woman" referred to in the murder conviction press and sentence her to death.
Newspapers reported that the child had been "literally torn to pieces with switches," and Dora's only explanation for the cruel murder was that she was punishing her for "associating with white boys". Hundreds of citizens left for tickets to Dora's execution and for those without took fences, climbed trees and sat on rooftops hoping to catch a glimpse of the hillside. Am 17. July 1903, she became the ninth woman in U.S. history to be executed. The last words Dora uttered were to prison guard J. C. Wilkinson, as he placed the noose around her neck: "Don't make it so tight."
3 Eva Dugan
In 1927, wealthy Arizona cattle rancher Andrew Mathis had disappeared, and neighbors immediately became suspicious of Eva Dugan, Mathis' housekeeper of two months. She, too, had disappeared, and nearly a year later, Mathis' body was found in a shallow grave near his ranch. Sheriffs soon discovered that Eva was living in White Plains, New York, and had her captured and extradited to Arizona, where she would be charged with murder.
During the trial, it was revealed that the former cabaret singer and prostitute had been syphilitic for 30 years, and despite medical testimony that her mental condition was compromised, Eva was found guilty and sentenced to jail time. On 21. February 1930, Eva walked to the gallows singing the folk song "I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way."Due to a miscalculation by the executioner, Eve was beheaded by the noose She sent her head to 60 witnesses, all of whom fled in horror. The botched execution led to the introduction of the gas chamber in Arizona, making Eva the only woman hanged in the Grand Canyon State.
2 Hannah Ocuish
Photo credit: Hartford Courant
In July 1786, the mutilated body of six-year-old Eunice Bolles was found along a Connecticut road. Her head showed signs of extreme trauma, her back and one arm were broken, and heavy rocks were placed on her small body. Investigators learned that five weeks before her murder, Eunice had been involved in an argument with another girl whom she had accused of stealing strawberries. The girl in question was Hannah Ocuish, a 12-year-old Pequot Indian described by historians as mentally retarded and the daughter of an impoverished, neglected alcoholic.
Although Hannah adamantly denied involvement, investigators were dubious and brought the child to Eunice's battered body, whereupon she broke down in tears and confessed. Although Hannah's trial did not list a criminal defense attorney, her confession was more than enough for the court to convict her of murder. On 20. December 1786, a frightened and distraught Hannah was led to the gallows and hanged in front of a crowd of curious and morbid onlookers.
Image credit: Go to Portsmouth
In December 1768, 31-year-old Ruth Blay sat in a jail in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where she had been held for five months. Unlike the other women on this list, Blay had not committed violent crimes. Instead, it has been a victim of circumstances during this period.
The only teacher had given birth to a stillborn child out of wedlock, whose remains she hid under the floorboards of a barn. She was not convicted or accused of killing the child, but of carrying the pregnancy of a "bastard" -child concealed, a death penalty that could be punished by death. In the early hours of the morning, Ruth was taken from her cell to a hill where thousands of people gathered.Author Carolyn Marvin describes how parents made their children witness the disturbing spectacle, as if Ruth's punishment was nothing more than "precautionary theater". Ruth, the last woman hanged in New Hampshire, was buried in an unmarked grave not far from the hill where her life came to an untimely and unjust end.