On May 3, 1946, in picturesque St. Martinville, Louisiana, a seventeen year-old black boy was scheduled for execution by electric chair inside of a tiny redbrick jail. Once the inmate is strapped to the chair, and the voltage is turned on and off, the prisoner is legally dead. Overland Park, Ks 66215 913-742-0548. Only two people know the truth about that fateful confrontation at the house of the Cajun bachelor and the black teenager who once worked for him. The flash fired. He became known as the "Killer Clown" thanks to the numerous parties he attended where he worked as a children's entertainer wearing a clown suit and full-face makeup. At first doctors declared Al Ghamdi had died of natural causes. He argued the case from the Bayou all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where it caused a rift between the Justices. Your email address will not be published. Into the fray stepped a young Cajun lawyer just returned from WWII, Bertrand DeBlanc. I'll be watching over you. Willie’s story had made front-page headlines around the country as the United States Supreme Court grappled with questions about what the State of Louisiana was permitted to do with regard to double jeopardy and cruel and unusual punishments. Dreams they leave and die. “I wasn’t after money,” Willie insisted to a reporter before he went to the chair a second time. Please call of wirte me. Catalogue information. It was on May 9, 1947 that a 17-year old black teenager walked his last mile. Listen online, find out more about your favourite artists, and get music recommendations, only at Last.fm The last words of another controversial American military leader, Benedict Arnold, are also the stuff of national folklore. After his first botched execution, Francis gave a rare insight into what it felt like to have electricity surge through his body. I scanned it onto my computer and ran it through Photoshop, adding contrast and burning and dodging until the words could be read. the cast     st. martinville     excerpt from the book     about the author     reviews     the book     contact info and book club     news and appearances     links. But not for the first time. It was obvious to me that there was more to Willie’s story than the version presented in trial and to the public. But he disputed the prosecution’s accusation that he was trying to rob the pharmacist. There were two really big things wrong with this whole case and execution. The world's largest online music service. Willie Francis never denied killing Andrew Thomas. Americans of all colors and classes were transfixed by the fate of this young man. His court-appointed attorneys neither called nor cross examined any witnesses, and did not even make a case in defense of their 16-year-old client. All additional information, photographs of the aircraft and crew members and other photographs of downed aircraft for a second article, are appreciated, feel free to contact us or reply to the article. Willie Francis never denied killing Andrew Thomas. Join Facebook to connect with Willie Francis and others you may know. The 17 year old black youth had been sentenced to death by electrocution in 1945 for murdering a white drugstore owner in his native St. Martinville, Louisiana, but faulty wiring and drunken executioners prevented the chair from completing its gruesome work. Explore releases from Willie Francis at Discogs. Gilbert King, author of [The Execution of Willie Francis], told the story of Willie Francis, who was sentenced to death, strapped in the electric chair and electrocuted, but didn't die. On May 9, 1947, Willie Francis was executed in the same electric chair that he had walked away from a year and a week earlier, when a drunken prison guard and trustee bungled the wiring. The second? I will be waiting all my cares are for you. 10569 Gillette Street 2:32. Willie Wortel. John Wayne Gacy (March 17, 1942–May 10, 1994) was convicted of the rape and murder of 33 men between 1972 and his arrest in 1978. options. He packed his own bag and drove himself to hospital. Winston Heywood & The Upsetters Long Long Time & Dub - … The crime: He allegedly killed a white … His most notorious crime, and the one was he was convicted of, was the kidnap, rape, and murder of 8-year-old Nichole Lopatta in June of 1985. 16. Had he been saved from death by the hand of the Almighty? You can’t execute a dead person. May 3rd was supposed to be Willie’s last day on earth. Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Capital Punishment,Children,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Diminished Capacity,Disfavored Minorities,Electrocuted,Execution,Guest Writers,History,Louisiana,Murder,Notable Jurisprudence,Other Voices,Racial and Ethnic Minorities,USA, Tags: 1940s, 1947, gilbert king, may 9, supreme court, willie francis. But he disputed the prosecution’s accusation that he was trying to rob the pharmacist. A well-wrought tale of murder, secrets, lies and state-sponsored and state-botched retribution. The first? This picture was never used by any of the newspapers. Letters and telegrams began pouring into St. Martinville from across the country—spurred on by editorials and radio commentaries. Willie screamed and writhed under his restraints. Episode 2 of Crime Historian: the Podcast features John Francis Wille, born in 1964, who allegedly began committing murders when he was as young as sixteen years old. Mai 1947 ebenda) war ein zum Tode verurteilter Amerikaner, der eine elektrische Exekution überlebte.. 1944 war der Apothekenbesitzer Andrew Thomas in St. Martinville, Louisiana, ermordet worden.Der Verdacht fiel auf Willie Francis, seinen farbigen, knapp 16-jährigen Beschäftigten. Not yet in collections. Read the first here.). But Willie Francis did not die. Which is what they did to Willie Francis, probably because he is black. Add to my search list. Charged with the murder of a local Cajun pharmacist, Willie Francis’s trial had been brief and a guilty verdict was never in doubt. Change item Copy item Add picture Suggest catalogue value Link to another category History. We’ve compiled a photographic gallery of heart-wrenching images which capture the last moments before disaster of several United States Army Air Force bombers during World War II. Could Louisiana really electrocute someone twice? I'll be watching over you. He committed the crime as a juvenile. “You look like an angel.” “I’m a nurse and was previously working at an assisted living community on the dementia/Alzheimer’s unit. Willie’s appointed lawyers called no witnesses, presented no evidence and had not filed a single appeal once he was sentenced to die by electrocution. An extraordinary and troubling story of a brutal crime, community vengeance, legal heroism, and constitutional law, The Execution of Willie Francis offers a historical examination of race and capital punishment – issues that remain all too timely today. Richard Feynman, a physicist, author, musician, professor, and traveler, died in Los Angeles in 1988. Charged with the murder of a local Cajun pharmacist, Willie Francis's trial had been brief and a guilty verdict was never in doubt -- strapped Willie into the electric chair. Is it really legal to kill a person twice? Francis is a very attractive male, usually of Italian descent, but does not flaunt his nationality to attract females. Willie Francis is best remembered for getting out of the electric chair, shaken but alive, minutes after being strapped into it. I could feel my arms jumping at my sides … I thought for a minute I was going to knock the chair over…I think … On May 3, 1946, in picturesque St. Martinville, Louisiana, a seventeen year-old black boy was scheduled for execution by electric chair inside of a tiny redbrick jail. “It felt like a hundred and a thousand needles and pins were pricking in me all over and my left leg felt like somebody was cutting it with a razor blade. Rather he shows his unsurpassed sporting and academic ability, and may remove his shirt from time to time to seal the deal. Zst!” he said. Willie wrote, “Practically I killed Andrew by accident. Both are dead, and the official story does not ring true. Both are dead, and the official story does not ring true. My name is Rev Willie Francis, and I was born in the state of Louisiana an I want to know if the state of Louisiana will right the wrong of Willie Francis. For sale 0; Collectors 0; In search list 0; None for sale yetYou can place this item in your search list. But Willie Francis did not die. After a visit from Willie’s shaken but resolute father, DeBlanc resolved to take on Willie’s case—in the face of overwhelming local resistance. You will be notified immediately when it is offered for sale. Willie Harris will be the Chicago Cubs’ new third-base coach, a source confirmed to the Tribune. In 1946, Louisiana guards attempted to execute 16-year-old Willie Francis … The Execution of Willie Francis: Race, Murder, and the Search for Justice in the American South Gilbert King, Basic Civitas, 362 pp., $26 In 1946 Willie Francis, a 17-year-old African American, sat in an electric chair, about to die. In addition to accounts of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, August 6, 1945, editions of Louisiana newspapers carried news of the arrest of Willie Francis, a black, stuttering, semi-literate teenager accused of the murder of small-town pharmacist Andrew Thomas. One of the things that drew me to this story as I was working on my book, The Execution of Willie Francis, was the shroud of secrecy that surrounded the Willie Francis case. One minute he was joking around with us and the next bright red blood was spewing out of his mouth. As the noontide church bells began to toll, a crowd of townspeople gathered in the streets surrounding the jailhouse. Shop for Vinyl, CDs and more from Willie Francis at the Discogs Marketplace. 10. In my research, I came across a photograph taken on the evening Willie had survived his own execution. Willie Francis - Topic 556 views. He’d been brought back to his cell, and the sheriff allowed reporters and a photographer to visit with Willie, where he told them that death tasted “like peanut butter” and looked a lot “like shines in a rooster’s tail.” The photographer asked for a few pictures, and Willie, holding his dog-eared Bible, stood in front of a dull pink wall. In fact, Willie Francis, just as he had when he wrote in his confession that “it was a secret about me and him,” alluded to something different than the robbery-turned killing prosecutors accused him of. Three hundred pounds of oak and metal, the chair had been dubbed “Gruesome Gertie.” At 12:08 PM, the executioners flipped the switch. Willie Williams - This Magic Moment - Duration: 2 ... Motherless Children - Duration: 2:32. Despite the fact that the murdered pharmacist was one of DeBlanc’s best friends, and the knowledge that his own family was rooted in white supremacy, DeBlanc would battle those on both sides of the color line in the hope of saving Willie Francis from an inhuman fate. That clearly shows the racist and hyporcrisy of this country he was a child and they did not hesitate to kill him before they knew the truth.Those people were evil and the residents of that time should have been ashamed to be a part of that or allowed that to happen! His last words before he died were ‘Why is this happening to me?’ It still haunts me years later.” —Awk_Ward1. Willie was accused and convicted of killing 53-year-old Andrew Thomas, a Cajun pharmacist who was something of a mystery to the people in the small town of St. Martinville, Louisiana. Willie Francis (Ska/Reggae singer) Willie Francis, born Wilbert Francis March 18, 1943 in Farm District in South Manchester, Jamaica is a Ska/Reggae singer who went to prominence in the late 1960's and throughout the 1970's and known for hits such as 'Oh What a Mini' which was a top ten hit in the Jamaican charts. The former White Sox player replaces Will Venable, who left last … The BBC artist page for Willie Francis. In this confession, Willie wrote, “it was a secret about me and him,” which was never explained. our one-of-a-kind custom playing card deck, 1948: U Saw and the assassins of Aung San, 1947: Willie Francis, this time successfully, 1935: John Stephenson Bainbridge, ten-minute alibi, 1800: Three Canadian pirates in Philadelphia, 1961: Alvin Table Jr. and Billy Wayne Sees, Bahamas pirates, 1979: Rahim Ali Khorram and Habib Elghanian, millionaire businessmen, 1474: Peter von Hagenbach, war crimes milestone, 1766: Thomas Arthur de Lally-Tollendal, undiplomatic, 1794: Four members of the Targowica Confederation, 1628: Johan Bernhard Reichardt, a nine-year-old witch, 1946: Not Willie Francis, who survived the electric chair, 1933: Giuseppe Zangara, who is not on Sons of Italy posters, 1936: Bruno Richard Hauptmann, The Most Hated Man in the World, 1936: Rainey Bethea, America’s last public hanging, 1855: The slave Celia, who had no right to resist, ExecutedToday.com » 1879: Three botches in three states, ExecutedToday.com » Executed Today’s Second Annual Report: Once Bitten, Twice Die, ExecutedToday.com » 1946: Not Willie Francis, who survived the electric chair, 1617: A miller of Manberna, the hangman’s last, 2009: Ehsan Fatahian, Iranian Kurdish activist, 1066: John Scotus, sacrificed to Radegast, 1801: Hyacinth Moise, Haitian Revolution general, 1738: George Whalley and Dean Briant, wife-murderers, 1971: Ishola Oyenusi, smiling to his death, 1943: Michal Kruk, Przemysl Pole who aided the Jews, 1959: Charles Starkweather, Nebraska spree killer. Was the boy innocent—the victim of secrets and lies told by powerful whites in the cursed town of St. Martinville? The ensuing legal battle went all the way to the Supreme Court, asking: Could the state electrocute someone twice? His head had been shaved and his pant leg had been torn so that current could cleanly surge through the body of the 17-year-old Louisiana youth as he sat strapped into the electric chair known as “Gruesome Gertie.” I find this kind of unfair. But he never came home. Not yet in a search list. But there was some writing on the wall image that was barely legible. After departing his homeland a traitor, the Connecticut-born hero of Saratoga, settled in New Brunswick, Canada before relocating to London in 1791. Willie Francis (Ska/Reggae singer) Willie Francis, born Wilbert Francis March 18, 1943 in Farm District in South Manchester, Jamaica is a Ska/Reggae singer who went to prominence in the late 1960's and throughout the 1970's and known for hits such as 'Oh What a Mini' which was a top ten hit in the Jamaican charts. I don’t know if this man is are was related to me, If so I want to know.??? William Francis Sutton Jr. (June 30, 1901 – November 2, 1980) was an American bank robber. The chair shuddered and slid across the floor. Yet he would never elaborate, and took whatever “secret” there was between him and Thomas to his grave. That’s where he finally expired on June 14, 1801 at the age of 60. Yet he would never elaborate, and took whatever “secret” there was between him and Thomas to his grave. Pool / … When asked if he had any last words, Gacy snarled: "Kiss my ass." “The best way I can describe it is: Whamm! He was a juvenile offender sentenced to death at age 16 by the state of Louisiana in 1945 for the murder of Andrew Thomas, a Cajun pharmacy owner in St. Martinville who had once employed him. Willie Francis (January 12, 1929 – May 9, 1947) was an American best known for surviving a failed execution by electrocution in the United States. Timothy McVeigh. And shed a little tear. “I wasn’t after money,” Willie insisted to a reporter before he went to the chair a second time. Thomas’ brother Claude was the town’s chief of police, and Willie was convicted by twelve Cajun jurors and sentenced to death by a Cajun judge. View the profiles of people named Willie Francis. There was a lot of glare on the wall, and the photographer had gotten a much better one of Willie smiling — the picture that ended up on the front page of many newspapers the next day. Felix Frankfurter, tortured by his vote to allow Willie to face the electric chair a second time, would make an unprecedented and covert last-ditch effort to overturn his own decision and save the life of Willie Francis. But the Sheriff had also taken Willie’s words out of context, reading only select portions of the writing, and mischaracterizing others. The handwriting matched Willie’s. Willie Francis (* 12.Januar 1929 in St. Martinville, Louisiana; † 9. Isn't it lovely, when the dawn brings the dew. Having miraculously survived, Willie was soon informed that the State would try to kill him again in six days. According to Ms Etty, his last words to her as he left for hospital were: "Take care of the children and be careful." Find the best clips, watch programmes, catch up on the news, and read the latest Willie Francis interviews. Here’s another strange but true case, this one courtesy of the State of Louisiana. A new book revisits an old case about a Louisiana prisoner who was executed by electrocution — twice. During his forty-year robbery career he stole an estimated $2 million, and he eventually spent more than half of his adult life in prison and escaped three times.For his talent at executing robberies in disguises, he gained two nicknames, "Willie the Actor" and "Slick Willie". The prosecution based its entire case on a confession obtained while Willie was in police custody without the aid of a lawyer. Not surprisingly, the sheriff had testified under oath that Willie had confessed to killing Andrew Thomas in writing on the wall of his cell a month before he was scheduled to die in the chair. Goodnight, God bless. Race, Murder and the Search For Justice in the American South. Your email address will not be published. Goodnight, sleep tight. I'm just gonna close my eyes, think about my family. Wille was 21… Inside, the executioners – still smelling of liquor after spending a late night in the local taverns -- strapped Willie into the electric chair. His last words were, “I’ll show you that it won’t shoot.” 23. Required fields are marked *, © Copyright 2020 ExecutedToday.com :: All Rights Reserved :: A WordPress joint Theme originally by WarAxe at Negative99, modified by Brian at Logjamming Contact the Headsman. 1948: U Saw and the assassins of Aung San 1994: John Wayne Gacy, scary clown, (Thanks to Gilbert King, author of The Execution of Willie Francis (book site), for the guest post, the second of two. Thats cold…and could only imagine how he felt….I feel so bad for him and hope he rest in peace. Having miraculously survived, Willie was informed that the state would attempt to execute him a second time within a week. It will happen once in a life time”. Who was executed by electrocution — twice appearances links story does not ring true the boy innocent—the victim of and. 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