This week in 1902

March 27th, 2015 by admin

“Boys, let me kneel and pray. I want to pray for all of you and send a message to my blessed little wife. I love her dearly and want you to tell her that I pray that you will have the papers print it. I pray for you, Charles Ricker, and for all of you. I never had a grudge against Sheriff Ricker; never in God’s world. I never meant to shoot him. For God’s sake don’t choke me to death.”

— Charles Francis Woodward, convicted of murder, hanging, Wyoming.
Executed March 28, 1902

Imprisoned for the shooting death of Sheriff Charles Ricker, Woodward was taken from jail by “twenty-four masked men” and lynched from the scaffold that had been erected for his legal execution. He had been granted a stay of execution by the U.S. Supreme Court, but an angry mob seized him, demanding immediate justice. Before his captors could spring the trap themselves, Woodward jumped from the gallows, hanging himself.

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