This week in 1901
“I killed the president because he was an enemy of the good people—of the working people. I am not sorry for my crime. I’m awfully sorry I could not see my father.”
— Leon Frank Czolgosz (aka Leon Frans Czolgosz), convicted of murder, electric chair, New York.
Executed October 29, 1901
Czolgosz assassinated President William McKinley after waiting in line to shake his hand in Buffalo. Czolgosz’s reasons for doing so were not entirely clear, though he did express grievances against the United States and claim that the American dream was a lie. Eight weeks after the murder, he was electrocuted; his body was dissolved in acid as it was buried.
This week in 1997
“First and foremost I would like to tell the victims’ families that I am sorry because I don’t feel like I am guilty. I am sorry for the pain all of them have gone through during holidays and birthdays. They are without their loved ones. I have said from the beginning and I will say it again that I am innocent…”
— Kenneth Ransom, convicted of murder, lethal injection,Texas.
Executed October 28, 1997
Ransom was one of the three men who stabbed employees at a Houston amusement center, in what was considered one of the worst mass slayings in the city’s history. Ransom was the second of the group to receive the death penalty. Before him was Richard J. Wilkerson, a former pit attendant at the facility.
This week in 1659
“This is the day of your visitation, wherein the Lord hath visited you. This is the day the Lord is risen in his mighty power, to be avenged on all his adversaries. I suffer not as an evil doer. Mind the light that is within you; to wit the Light of Christ, of which He testified and I am now going to seal with my blood. Now ye are made manifest; I suffer for Christ in whom I live and in whom I die.”
— William Robinson, convicted of disobeying banishment, hanging, Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Executed October 27, 1659
Robinson was a Quaker living in Rhode Island. Upon hearing of the nearby Massachusetts colony’s law exiling members of his religion, he went with several others to protest the law and was arrested and exiled. After he violated the terms of his exile, he was executed.