October 29th, 2013 Headsman
On this date in 1927, Cuban murderer Baldomero Rodrigues was garroted in Pinar del Rio prison.
But when his body was laid out on a stretcher for disposal and the official witnesses were filing out of the death chamber, Rodrigues began showing signs of life.
It was “a defect in the garrote or due to careless adjustment of the metal band which fits about the victim’s neck to cause strangulation,” an Associated Press wire report ran.*
In present-day Iran, one of the most aggressive death penalty states going, a drug dealer managed to survive a hanging just weeks ago as I write this in 2013. That man got shipped to the hospital and placed on life support, with the justice minister eventually announcing that he wouldn’t be noosed again.
Gerardo Machado‘s Cuba was not so squishy.
With nary a pause to await further instruction, the execution-chamber guards forcibly subdued Rodrigues, who had reanimated sufficiently to “put up a furious struggle.” They forced their thrashing victim back onto the garrote, double-checked the metal band this time,** and tightened it until it asphyxiated Rodrigues a second time … then left the now-actually-lifeless body on the machine a full 22 minutes to make good and certain of their work.
* Here quoted from the Oct. 30, 1927 Los Angeles Times. Also see the New York Times from the same date for a truncated paraphrase of the same report.
Also on this date
- 1792: Three of the H.M.S. Bounty mutineers
- 1812: Claude-Francois de Malet and his conspirators
- 1935: Del Fontaine, punch drunk boxer
- 1268: Conradin of Swabia
- 1901: Leon Czolgosz, William McKinley's assassin
- 1618: Walter Raleigh, age of exploration adventurer