This week in 1879

“I have nothing at all to say. I will die like a Game Man. That is all I have to say.”

— Martin Bergin, convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, hanging, Pennsylvania.
Executed January 16, 1879

Prior to his execution, Bergin spent time with his wife and time in prayer, including a two-hour mass. After a final meal of bread, butter, eggs, and coffee, Bergin prayed some more before two priests escorted him by candlelight to receive his punishment. Bergin had killed a coal mine clerk in a murder-for-hire scheme to protect another man’s secret.


This week in 2003

“Their death should not have happened, but it did. I’m so sorry that all of this took place. Now I have devastated my family as well, but my heart has grown in the last few minutes because I was forgiven by the family of Mr. and Mrs. Kenney, and Ms. Arnot. Thank you. You have given me more hope than I have had in a long time. If I could change things I would, not for my sake but for all those who have loved me over the years, and for those who have forgiven me. Thank you for all that you have given me.”

— Samuel Gallamore, convicted of murder, lethal injection, Texas.
Executed January 14, 2003

Gallamore was convicted of beating and stabbing Clayton Kenney (eighty-three), his partially paralyzed wife, Juliana (seventy-four), and her daughter, Adrienne Arnot (forty-four). Gallamore had once cared for Juliana in a nursing home. He confessed to police, saying that he and an accomplice had robbed the Kenney family in order to buy drugs. Refusing to say any last words, Gallamore had his written statement distributed after his execution.


This week in 1882

“Folks, hear me, as I’se to be hanged. I’se free from any guilt about Nash Carter. I had a child by another man, but was smart enough to keep my husband from knowing it.”

— Matilda Carter, convicted of murder, hanging, North Carolina.
Executed January 13, 1882

Carter was sentenced to death for the murder of her much older husband, Nash Carter, after he voiced concerns about her acquaintance with a group of young men. While he was sleeping, prosecutors said, Mrs. Carter and three accomplices slipped a noose around Mr. Carter’s neck and pulled. On the scaffold, fellow convicted murderer Joe Hay admitted to adultery with Mrs. Carter.


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