“Beautiful world . . . I’ve forgiven everybody. . . . I haven’t a thing to say. Turn ’er loose. . . . Good-bye, Doc. . . . You’re
a wonderful old boy. I haven’t got a thing against anybody in the world. I forgive everybody. I can do that because
of this wonderful Jewish rabbi. That’s all. Good-bye.”
— Charles Birger, convicted of murder, hanging, Illinois.
Executed April 19, 1928
A gang leader in southern Illinois, Birger was convicted of hiring two men to murder the mayor of West City. Birger scoffed and jeered during his sanity trial while deputies were trying to testify, and at one point he got up and remarked, “We’ll take a smoke on that, judge, as you can’t do any more to me than you already have.”
When asked where he wanted to be buried, Birger said, “A Catholic cemetery because that’s the last place the devil would look for a Jew.”