This Week in 2009

“Is the mic on? My only statement is that no cases have ever tried have been error free. Those are my words. No cases are error free. You may proceed Warden.”

– Dale Devon Scheanette, convicted of rape and murder, lethal injection, Texas. Executed February 10, 2009.

Scheanette sexually assaulted, strangled, and drowned Christine Vu in the September of 1996. Two months later, the body of Wendie Prescott, who lived in the same apartment complex as Vu, was also found in similar condition. The murders remained unsolved for nearly four years until fingerprints and DNA samples were resubmitted to the FBI, leading the authorities to Scheanette, who had been serving a 12-month sentence for “criminal mischief.” Dubbed the “Bathtub Killer,” Scheanette was later connected to the sexual assaults of four other women in the area. While not tried for Vu’s death, Scheanette was convicted of Prescott’s murder.


This Week in 2011

“The state says killing is wrong, so why do they do it? For revenge. Where is the closure? There is none. The death penalty is an act of revenge. Many men sit on death row, some innocent, some not. So what happens when a man is executed and it’s later learned he was, in fact, innocent? He can’t be brought back.”

– Martin Link, convicted of kidnapping, rape, and murder, lethal injection, Missouri. Executed February 9, 2011.

Link kidnapped eleven-year-old Elissa Self while she waited for the bus that would take her to school. He was connected to her death after police pulled him over for a broken headlight. A jar of petroleum jelly with his fingerprints and flecks of blood, later determined to be Elissa’s, was found in his vehicle.


This week in 1866

“I don’t know as I’ve got anything to say; I am going to be hanged, and don’t want to make a stump speech.”

— Barney Olwell, convicted of murder, hanging, California.
Executed January 22, 1866

Working for a hog farmer, Olwell was owed forty-two dollars, which his employer kept promising to pay him. After an argument Olwell shot him dead, later telling the arresting officer: “Any man who owed me money and did not pay me, I would kill him.” Olwell was eventually granted a second trial after the court accepted evidence of insanity. He was again found guilty and sentenced to die. After Olwell delivered his last words, according to the California Police Gazette, a priest “leaned forward and whispered in his ear a mild rebuke for this seeming levity.”


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