-Weekly World News (12/27/88) has an interesting item (to possibly be taken with a grain of salt) regarding a group of women that used a home-made electric chair to fry a bad guy:
-In the May 1987 Weekly World News (really, Wacky World News), there was an item about a Malaysian hangwoman working the gallows. The executioner was named Anita Chuan or so. I did not get to read or handle this item, just on hearsay on the Web a few times. Wacky World, er, Weekly World is kind of far-out, but some of their stuff is based on truth. The official hangman of Malaysia did indeed retire in 1986 from his duties. It is possible that a female executioner is or was plying the trade since that time or shortly thereafter. Since there are multiple locations where hangings are carried out in Malaysia, pretty much possible. Malaysia is very allegedly secretive of the identities and it does not seem to have an open culture in terms of our little fantasies. *NOTE - This item may be related to the prior one by The Age.
-A hangwoman executed Vincent Voycheck on October 18, 1909 in Clarion County, Pennsylvania. She pulled the lever. The hangwoman was a secretary of the courthouse, Zoe Himes. Source: History of Clarion County, circa 1976.
-There is the legendary Lady Betty of Roscommon, Ireland. Quite notorious. She hanged many people for over 30 years in return for her life as she too was originally supposed to hang. Google provides more info.
-In Iran, 3/19/01, Fariba Tajiani Emamqoli was hanged by a shrouded hangwoman for drugs.
-A female executioner was alleged in some quarters to have been the individual to fry serial killer Ted Bundy. I read somewhere on the web, a page I can't seem to find anymore, that the features, eybrows and such behind the hood seemed that of a woman. The dramatized movie, Ted Bundy, which tried to factualize the details even depicted a female executioner taking off the hood. And it was even to perfect protocol in the cinematized offering; in Florida, the last person to leave the death chamber is the executioner. It may as well be true. Ted Bundy was so hated it seemed that somewhere in the process a female executioner may indeed have been picked to pull the switch.
Moreover here is what The Stranger Beside Me author, Ann Rule writes:
"No one knew who the executioner was, but one witness saw thick, curled lashes fringing his/her eyes. 'I think it was a woman.'"
-"More than once during the thirteenth century the duties of the executioner were performed by women, but only in those cases in which their own sex was concerned; for it is expressly stated in an order of St. Louis, that persons convicted of blasphemy shall be beaten with birch rods, "the men by men, and the women by women only, without the presence of men." This, however, was not long tolerated, for we know that a period soon arrived when women were exempted from a duty so little adapted to their physical weakness and moral sensitiveness."
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period, by Paul Lacroix
This quote can be found at theGutenberg site
-"Alister Kershaw's 'History of the Guillotine' lists a few cases where the widows of provincial executioners actually functioned as the official executioner until their sons were old enough to assume that position. It's been a few years since I read this, and I don't think there were many details anyway." (Thank you, Lord High Executioner)
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