Gaughan murder

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Gaughan murder - Uld- and T. Week VHt N T. The Hot Seat Tork...
Uld- and T. Week VHt N T. The Hot Seat Tork EDITOR'S NOTE: Leslie Charteris, British writer of mystery stories, suave character The Saint has tracked down criminals in such popular as Saint Overboard and The Saint New York, covered for the United the final scene in a real life crime night. Re descrioes in the following article the execution of four youths Sing Sing: with paper party their Believing the party Social radical The its it vote which to at a in be has On would By LESLIE CHARTERIS 1 saw four men die in the chair. I wish every young man has ever felt the lure of easy money could have been with me. Perhaps those four had seen such a thing years ago, I might not have watched them slouch one by one through brown door over which is posted the one word Silence, to be jolted into last silence of all. Four men, young men--the eldest twenty-seven^ the youngest twenty-two --Charles Kropowitz, George Rosenberg, Frank Russo and Vincent De Martino. These four Brooklyn youths, years ago, believed that crime could made to pay. It paid them §70, but they killed Thomas Gaughan and last night they paid off the debit balance. Four lives for one. They came into the death house in that order--Kropo- witz, Rosenberg, Russo, De Martino. Fifty-seven men saw them--wardens, doctors, official witnesses and reporters. There should have been more. It was not pleasant to watch. Two in the industry or from sure men asked to be let out before it over. Another, his face almost green, wanted to slip out, but he was too far the door and the warden whispered him not to watch. Even one of the doctors didn't watch. He stood with his head bowed, staring at his feet, until was time to make his examination, the corner close to me, another man stood with his face to the wall, queer hiccoughing noises. Kropowitz was first--a thin dark? haired weedy youth. A guard walked on each side of him, holding his He slouched listlessly, as if he was almost too weary to walk those few His salmon face was almost white. stub of a cigar hung in the corner his mouth, and got in the way they slipped on the chin strap that the electrode on his head. A priest a crucifix for him to kiss, and then black mask was placed over his face. This was the dreadful moment. I drivbn here cheerfully enough, hoping at the back of my mind that I have the stomach to see it through. Now the time was here. This was man, only a little while ago he was walking, thinking, moving -- perhaps even hoping, as a man must. Now was going to die. The-executioner stepped back through the door and the other attendants stepped away and for an instant there was indescribable silence, a terrible stillness. Then the switch thudded, the current swiged with a fearful whining buzz through the man in the chair. His body leaped horribly under the contraction of his muscles, the straps around his arms and legs, the broad strap across his chest, held him from plunging cut toward us. The wind pumped out of his lungs in a long fading whistle. His muscles were locked rigidly, so that I saw the crease of the flesh the straps were cutting. Saliva drolled down his chin. His hands turned upwards and back, very slowly, from the wrists. There was a crisp, sizzling noise from the electrode below his knee, and a wreath of smoke curled upward in front of him. An acrid smell stung nostrils. Is this what was then meant when they talk so lightly and casually about being burned--when they say, "He's going to fry." The switch thudded again, and the body slumped down. The doctors walked out with their stethoscopes. They were very quick. One spoke quietly as they turned away: "This man's dead." They took him out of the chair and laid him on metal table and wheeled him out. His face was waxen, his open and his jaw dropped. His eyes glazed; his lids half closed. But it was just beginning. They brought in Rosenberg. He walked briskly and firmly. While he was being fastened in, he looked squarely at us and spoke: "I just want to say, Gentlemen, I hope my sacrifice will help others profit by my experience." They stepped away from him as he prayed aloud. The switch was thrown and the current choked off the prayer. And so they went--Kropowitz, Rosenberg, Russo and De Martino; about three minutes for each--twelve minutes to pay for the life of Thomas Gaughan and $70. I am sorry there is only a comparatively small number of men who have seen what I saw. If there is to be capital punishment, if it is to be claimed that the death penalty is a deterrent crime, everyone should "know exactly what it means. a the in but

Clipped from
  1. Middletown Times Herald,
  2. 29 May 1936, Fri,
  3. Page 4

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  • Gaughan murder

    annie18 – 08 Sep 2013

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