1912: Alexander Kompovic, “nurderer” 1837: Luis Candelas, urban bandit

1959: Guenther Podola

November 5th, 2020 Headsman

On this date in 1959, Guenther Podola became the last man hanged in Great Britain for killing a police officer.

A German emigre, Podola had been deported from Canada for committing a series of thefts and burglaries.

He’d just moved to London in May of 1959, not six months before his execution, when he tried to ransom stolen jewelry and furs to an American model he’d stolen them from. The model notified police and when they tracked him down, Podola shot Detective Sergeant Raymond Purdy straight through the heart.

Grasping for straws at his trial, he offered the soap opera-esque claim that he (now) labored under amnesia from a knock on the head suffered during his arrest. “I do not remember the crime for which I stand accused,” he told the court. “I am unable to answer the charges.” A Crown psychiatrist, the jury, and anyone’s common sense figured that he was shamming, which Podola himself also admitted after conviction.

Podola’s was the last British hanging of the 1950s. Five years and nineteen executions later, Britain binned capital punishment.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Hanged,Murder

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8 thoughts on “1959: Guenther Podola”

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  4. A Crown psychiatrist, the jury, and anyone’s common sense figured that he was shamming, which Podola himself also admitted after conviction. check out with https://whatisketamine.com/

  5. will james says:


  6. Paper Helper says:

    Petty criminal Guenther Podola was hanged for the shooting of DS Raymond William Purdy in 1959. He was the last man executed for killing a police officer in Britain. Thirty police officers had been shot dead before Purdy, with many of their killers being hanged.

    Serial burglar Alfred Moore was hanged for the murders of PC Arthur Gordon Jagger and DI Duncan Alexander Fraser, who were shot near Moore’s farm, one night in 1951. It now seems probable that the officers were shot by the black marketeer who fenced Moore’s stolen goods, and who had been on his way to see him when he ran into a hastily-arranged police cordon around the farm.

    1. ronaldkompel says:

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