Famous Last Words

Posted in History, The Death Penalty, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 31, 2013






There used to be a blog called Execution of the day. It is still available, but last put up material in September of 2011. The next to last post is about Troy Davis, who met his maker about that time. The last post is about the last words of those about to die, some of which are funny. EOTD published a feature in 2009, about an economical Englishman named John Christie, that was adapted for use here. It is recycled today. Pictures by “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

Electric Chair “I’d rather be fishing” Jimmy L. Glass 12 June 1987
“How about this for a headline for tomorrow’s paper? ‘French Fries’!” James French 10 August 1966
“Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel.” George Appel 9 August 1928

Firing Squad “Why, yes, a bulletproof vest.” Domonic Willard
“Take a step forward lads – it’ll be easier that way.” Robert Erskine Childers 24 November 1922

Poisoning “You guys doin’ that right?” Stanley ‘Tookie’ Williams 13 December 2005

Hanging “Please don’t let me fall.” Mary Surratt 7 July 1865
“Is it safe?” William Palmer 14 June 1865.
“I’ll be in Hell before you start breakfast! Let her rip!” Tom ‘Black Jack’ Ketchum’s 26 April 1901.
“Hurry up. I’d like to be in hell in time for dinner.” Edward H. Ruloff 18 May 1871
“If anyone has a message for the Devil, give it to me – I’ll deliver it!” Lavinia Fisher February 18, 1820.

Baked Goods “Pardonnez-moi, monsieur. Je ne l’ai pas fait expres” Translation: Pardon me, sir. I did not do it on purpose. Stepping on the toes of her executioner should have been the least of Marie Antoinette’s worries on 16 October 1793.






While eating breakfast, PG perused something called “execution of the day“. On July 15, 1953, John Christie was hung in England. He was 54. Chamblee 54, who is 55, sees a pattern. The original source says it all better:
“Albert Pierrepoint was given the job of dispatching him, so Christie was hanged at Pentonville Prison on this day in 1953, aged 54.”
Mr. Christie lived at 10 Rillington Place, which was the title of a movie about his exploits. He was in the habit of murdering people and hiding the bodies in the house. He also had two middle names…his full handle was John Reginald Halliday Christie. He married a girl named Ethel Waddington. Do you have any trouble believing he was British?

The first known murder was in 1943. There was a war going on, and killing was quite the fashion. Mr. Christie had a girlfriend named Ruth Fuerst. She did not survive a nooner. In his eventual confession, Mr. Christie said
“‘I left her there in the bedroom. After that I believe I had a cup of tea and went to bed”. … “The second was in 1944 – a neighbour, who was convinced he was a doctor. He didn’t persuade her otherwise and the 32-year-old was gullible enough to listen when he told her to inhale some gas scented with friars’ balsam. The carbon monoxide rendered her virtually unconscious enabling Christie to have his way with her. As with Fuerst, he strangled her either before or during the rape. You may be wondering what he did with these two bodies…he buried them both in the garden and in one report he may even have used one of their leg bones to support fencing.”
Things were quiet for a while…well not really, there was this family of three…but things were relatively quiet until 1952. At that time Ethel Christie met her maker, with the help of her husband. He wondered what to do with the body, until he saw loose floorboards in the living room.

Within a few weeks, more women passed away, with his assistance, and were stored in various parts of the house. John Christie moved out of 10 Rillington Place. The new tenants complained about the aroma, and before long John Christie had a noose around his neck.






3 Responses

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  1. shawnbrucepruett said, on July 31, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Poor, poor Marie Antoinette! Hers were the only last words I was somewhat familiar with…the others were quite macabre, but then again so is killing someone. Each of those people probably had plenty of time to decide which last words to say before the inevitable. Some were very clever! Why were an overdose of sleeping pills ever used as punishment? Just lay down and take an extended nap. Last words of a sleeping pill overdose as capitol punishment recipient: Good night, sweet dreams…. I must admit, you picked a heck of a story to read with breakfast!

    • chamblee54 said, on July 31, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      Capital punishment is one of my favorite topics. It is good for generating traffic, which I appreciate. The bizarre business of killing prisoners with a pharmaceutical injection is a recent fascination. The most recent Georgia execution is in legal limbo because of that, with a cash strapped state government spending thousands of dollars on legal maneuvers to kill a man. So much of what is wrong with our system of government is seen in that issue.

  2. Famous Last Words | Chamblee54 said, on August 7, 2014 at 5:16 am

    . This is a repost. […]

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