This week in 1935

July 7th, 2013 by admin

“All set, warden, I’m ready to go. Lead me to it. I’ve had a swell time here and I’m not anxious to get rid of any of these swell fellows. The warden has treated me wonderfully.”

— Leonard Belongia, convicted of murder, gas chamber, Colorado.
Executed June 21, 1935

Working as a sheep rancher for room and board, Belongia lived with the family of Albert E. Oesterick. Needing more money to get married and feeling that he was underpaid, Belongia murdered Oesterick, wounded his wife, and beat their son with a rifle. During his trial he admitted his crime, and a physician testified that Belongia had “the mentality of a ten-year-old.”

Making no attempt to appeal, Belongia donated his body to a Denver medical school, which later rejected him because no one wanted to pay ten dollars to ship the body.

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