Add comment January 21st, 2017 04:26am Robert Elder
(Thanks to Robert Elder of Last Words of the Executed — the blog, and the book — for the guest post. This post originally appeared on the Last Words blog here. Fans of this here site are highly likely to enjoy following Elder’s own pithy, almanac-style collection of last words on the scaffold. -ed.)
“I must make a statement in regard to this matter. I feel it my duty to God and to man to do so. I am guilty of killing the two men. My soul is stained with blood and my punishment is just. I hope all will forgive me. I pray God to guide and prosper this country. I am the murderer of William Spence. And George W. Sisney. That is all I have to say.”
—Marshall Crain, convicted of murder, hanging, Illinois.
Executed January 21, 1876
Crain, a twenty-year-old hired assassin, murdered Sisney and Spence in 1876. The double murder, labeled by the press the “Williamson County Vendetta,” was part of a long- standing feud between the Bulliner and Henderson families of Carbondale, Illinois. Before Crain’s execution, he was remanded to a jail in Marion County in order to avoid a lynching at the hands of an angry mob.
The Chicago Tribune noted: “He was born, raised, educated, married, committed his crimes and was executed within a radius of 10 miles.”
(Williamson County, Illinois has an impressively vast catalogue of highlight-reel violence to its history; there’s more about the Great Vendetta and other skeletons in Williamson’s closet in Bloody Williamson: A Chapter in American Lawlessness.
On this day..
- Daily Double: Saddam Hussein crushes a coup - 2016
- 1970: Twenty-two in Baghdad - 2016
- 1932: Two-Gun Crowley - 2015
- Feast Day of Saint Agnes - 2014
- 1535: Six Protestants for the Affair of the Placards - 2013
- 1880: Daniel Searles, the first hanging in Tioga County - 2012
- 1943: Hemu Kalani, Sindh revolutionary - 2011
- 1670: Claude Duval, gentleman highwayman - 2010
- 2001: Larry Keith Robison - 2009
- 1793: Louis XVI - 2008