On this date in 1860, Johannes Nathan was hanged in Maastricht for murder.
Nathan murdered his mother-in-law over a pig. Most executions in the Netherlands at this point were commuted by royal prerogative but it was felt that Nathan’s acknowledgment of guilt was late, partial, and insincere — rendering him an unfit object for mercy.
Although the execution took place on the Markt, it “was not a public amusement as it was in the Middle Ages: Nathan walked through dead streets, the curtains were closed in the houses, children were held in.”
Werewolves could likewise be rolled up via the familiar machinations of the witch-hunter. In John the Wolf’s case, he was accused out of the trial against Henry Gardinn of having used their transmogrifying beast personas to devour a child in Limburg. Gardinn burned in 1605; John was able to flee to Heusden but was recognized in 1607 and returned to Maastricht for the inevitable.
Though John tried claiming that Henry’s indictment had been to revenge himself for an altercation between the two, torture soon changed The Wolf’s story and placed he, Gardinn, and a third companion into a forest coven with a devil-avatar with whom they danced and feasted on human flesh.
After execution, his remains were exhibited on a pole surmounted by a wooden illustration of a werewolf.