This week in 1932
“I don’t mind it. My love to mother and tell Mrs. Lawes I appreciate all she did for me.”
Waving to a guard:
“How is it, Sarge?”
— Francis “Two-Gun” Crowley, convicted of murder, electric chair, New York.
Executed January 21, 1932
Crowley killed patrolman Frederick Hirsch after the officer asked for his driver’s license. Characterized by the press as a “petty city thug,” Crowley had been wanted for questioning in another murder case. After fleeing, Crowley, his girlfriend, and an accomplice staged a two-hour standoff with police, during which he wrote the following: “Underneath my coat will lay a weary kind of heart what wouldn’t hurt anything. I hadn’t anything else do to. That’s why I went around bumping off cops.”
Crowley’s last words previously had been reported as “You sons of bitches. Give my love to Mother,” but no original record of this account could be found.
This week in 1891
“Oh, Jesus, I give myself to Thee; Thy will be done. I hope that this will be a warning to others.”
— James M. Eubanks, convicted of murder, hanging, California.
Executed January 19, 1891
Eubanks shot his daughter, Ana, in the chest, then turned the shotgun on himself, but missed. Relatives’ testimony revealed that Eubanks was a hard drinker who repeatedly abused his daughter and admitted, according to a female relative, to having an incestuous relationship with her that resulted in a pregnancy.
He wrote in his confession: “I am a nuisance to the world; so I leave it in disgust. But I could get along in it sometime yet if I had no children; so good-bye.”
This week in 1855
“I am perfectly willing to die. The man you have got in jail for aiding me is perfectly innocent, and ought to be let go; but that Blair deserves all I’ve got. He was as much to blame as I was. . . . Yes; I hate this world and my own life and I’m going to leave it. I’ll be in Paradise before sundown. Now, farewell, farewell, meet me in the other world. I want to see you all in Heaven. Whisky brought me to this—I expect you along in a few days. Farewell, all my friends.”
— Stephen Short, convicted of murder, hanging, Kentucky.
Executed January 19, 1855
An inebriated Short shot a Mr. McFarland, his employer at Clinton Furnace, who had fired Short’s son and, according to a newspaper report, “endeavored to keep his hands from drinking whisky.”
The Blair mentioned in his final speech was, according to Short, the man who told him to shoot. Short spent the time before his execution hanging rats in his cell and “speculating on the analogy between the death struggles of these animals and men.” More than six thousand people were present to witness the double execution of Stephen Short and fellow murderer William Hanning, who parted with “I haven’t got anything against any man in the world. I hope nobody’s got anything against me now.”