This week in 1999

“I want to start out by acknowledging the love that I’ve had in my family. No man in this world has had a better family than me. I had the best parents in the world. I had the best brothers and sisters in the world. I’ve had the most wonderful life any man could have ever had. I’ve never been more proud of anybody than I have of my daughter and my son…I’m dying tonight based on testimony, that all parties, me, the man who gave the testimony, the prosecuter he used knew it was a lie…It’s bad enough that a prosecutor can take truth and spin on it and try to re-doctor it. But when they actually make facts up and present to the public as trial’s evidence. That goes beyond fail, that’s completely unforgivable…”

— James Beathard, convicted of murder, lethal injection,Texas.
Executed December 9, 1999

Beathard assisted Gene Hathorn Jr. in the murder of Gene Hathorn Sr., Linda Sue Hathorn, and the couple’s fourteen-year-old son. Hathorn promised Beathard he’d pay him $12,500 from his father’s estate. The men tore apart the Hathorn home, stealing several items and a van to make it appear that the murders had been committed in the course of a robbery. Hathorn, who later learned his father had cut him from his will just weeks before the crimes, also received the death penalty.


This week in 1905

After taking off her eyeglasses:
“These are for my sister. Please see that she gets them.”

— Mary Mabel Rogers, convicted of murder, hanging, Vermont.
Executed December 8, 1905

Rogers, age twenty-two, faced her execution “with the stoical calmness she has maintained since her arrest.” She had chloroformed her husband Marcus and rolled him into a river to drown with the help of “a half witted boy,” Leon Perham. Granted two reprieves by the state of Vermont, Rogers waited three years before her death sentence was carried out after a decree from the U.S. Supreme Court.


This Week in 2009

“Bye, I’m ready.”

– Bobby Wayne Woods, convicted of murder, lethal injection, Texas. Executed December 3, 2009.

Woods broke into the home of ex-girlfriend Schwana Patterson through an open window. He attacked Patterson’s daughter, Sarah, and sexually molested her. After kidnapping both Sarah and her younger brother, Cody, he drove them to a cemetery where Cody was beaten and left unconscious. Woods then drove away with Sarah and cut her throat. His execution was delayed half an hour to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider an appeal claiming Woods was mentally retarded.


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