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Executions by Hanging

1779 - First Execution
Lawrence Myers and Michael Rosebury induced men to desert from General Sullivan's army, then lying at Easton. They were tories, and were arrested ; and the army having in the mean time marched to Wyoming, they were tried here by court martial, and condemned to be hanged.

A gallows was erected on the river bank at Wilkesbarre, and on the 1st of July, 1779, the two criminals, placed in a cart with their coffins, were borne to the place of execution.

Rosebury had manifested no concern whatever during his trial, and subsequently had utterly disregarded the instructions and admonitions of his spiritual advisers, the chaplains of the army. He exhibited the same callousness and indifference on the gallows, and died with firmness in the presence of the whole army.

Myers, on the other hand, had a wife and a numerous family of children. He had shown deep contrition for his offense, and his respectful and sorrowful air on his trial had propitiated the favor of his judges, who had recommended him to mercy. His former good conduct also spoke loudly in his favor, and he had listened to and profited by the spiritual advice of the chaplains. Fifteen minutes had elapsed since Rosebury was swung off, and the executioner was advancing to adjust the rope about the neck of the unhappy Myers, when General Sullivan announced his pardon. This sudden and unexpected turn in his fate was too much for Myers' nerves. He fainted but recovering, took his place in the ranks, and ever after proved an obedient and faithful soldier.

1829 - Henry Keck
At the August Term of 1829, Judge Scott sentenced to death Henry Keck, who had shot and killed his father about a half a mile below Wilkes-Barre. Henry's mother viewed the killing as a family affair, which concerned nobody but themselves, and expressed surprise when the officers of the law came to arrest her son. He was, however, pardoned by Governor Shultz. This was considered an act of unbecoming and improper clemency, and excited great indignation among the people. Keck and the governor were both hanged and burnt in effigy in the public square at Wilkesbarre.

After conveying the straw criminals in a cart through the streets, with caps ready to be drawn over their faces and with ropes about their necks, (Juff Hicks, the executioner, proceeded to discharge his duty in these words : " Henry Keck and Mr. Gobernor Shultz, you hab just two and a half minutes to stay on dis earth, and if you hab anything to say, say it now, or eber after hold your peace."

The effigies were suspended by their necks in the presence of a great multitude of people. Keck afterwards became insane, and wandered about the country from place to place.

September 1, 1848
Capital Conviction at Wilkes-Barre

At the late Court of Oyer and Terminer for Luzerne County, held at Wilkes-Barre, James Calden was convicted of the murder of Daniel Gilligan, on the 19th of August. On the day of the murder, Gilligan was at work on a railroad at the mines. A gun was fired from a clump of bushes near by, which took effect upon Giilligan, killing him alnost instantly. At the same moment Cadden was seen running from the bushes with a gun in his hand, which, by threats of violence he had previously made ahgainst Gilligan, satisfied the jury, who returned a verdict of "Guilty of murder in the first degree". Judge Conyngham pronounced the sentence of death upon the prisoner. (Public Ledger - Newspaper Article)

1849 - James Cadden
Daniel Gilligan was waylaid and murdered, below Wilkesbarre by James Cadden. Cadden had his trial and was found guilty at the August Term of 1848. He received his sentence from the lips of Judge Conyngham, and was executed in the jail-yard on Friday, March 2d, 1849, William Koons being sheriff.

Throughout the period of his imprisonment and trial down to the moment of his execution, he spoke but seldom, and practiced a studied reserve of manner. A few moments before his death, his spiritual adviser, at his instance, thanked the officers of justice for their kindness and attention; and warned all young men against bad associates and the use of ardent spirits. This was the first execution under the laws of Pennsylvania since the organization of Luzerne county.

October 4, 1852
Cold-Blooded Murder
Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Saturday, October 2, 1852 - A horrible murder was committed today, the particulars of which are as follows: A Welshman named Reese Evans purchased from Lewis Reese, a clothier, residing in this place, a quantity of clothing. Reese requested payment this morning, when Evans old him if he would go with him across the river he would pay him.

Having crossed the bridge they turned into Butler's woods, when Evans drew a pistol and shot Reese in the back of the neck, which not killing him, he was beaten to death, as appeared from the manner in which the body of the deceased was found.

Reese had about one hundred dollars on his person, which Evans robbed him of, and then made his escape to Carbondale. Evans was arrested during the afternoon by the Carbondale police, who will hand him over to the authorities of Wilkes-Barre. When taken into custody, the watch of the murdered man was found in his pocket. (Albany Evening Journal - Newspaper Article)

October 5, 1852
Escape of a Murderer
Wilkes-Barre, October 4. - Evans, the murderer of Reese, has escaped from the custody of the constable. Much excitement exists in consequence. (Albany Evening Journal - Newspaper Article)

October 5, 1852
The Capture of a Murderer

Wilkes-Barre, October 4. - Evans, the murderer of Reese, was captured today, and lodged in jail here. (Albany Evening Journal - Newspaper Article)

April 15, 1853
Murderer Sentenced
Wilkes-Barre Pa., April 14 - Reese Evans, age 19, was sentenced to death today for the murder and robbing of Lewis Reese. (Sun - Newspaper Article)

June 3, 1853
Reese Evans, convicted of murder at Wilkes-Barre, is to be hung the 9th of September. (Times Picayune - Newspaper Article)

September 28, 1853

A young man named Reese W. Evans, was executed at Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on Friday for the murder of Louis Reese in October last. He made a full confession of the murder for which he was convicted, and also of other crimes. (Constitution - Newspaper Article)

September 27, 1853
An Outrage
The body of Reese Evans, lately executed for murder in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., was exhumed one day last week to be sure it had been buried. It was done on a bet that he had not been buried. The act should have been punished as a public outrage. . (Sun - Newspaper Article)

1853 - Reese Evans
At April Term, 1853, Reese Evans was tried and convicted of murder in the first degree. He was sentenced to death 1by Judge Conyngham, and was executed in the jail-yard, G. W. Palmer being sheriff, on Friday, September 9th, 1853. Evans was a young Welshman about twenty years of age, who had induced Lewis Reese, a Jew, residing in Wilkesbarre, to accompany him to Kingston under pretence of procuring money there, to pay the Jew for clothing purchased of him. While crossing the fields, on the Kingston flats, he shot Reese with a pistol in the back part of his head ; then plundering the pockets of his victim, whom he left dead on the ground, he fled.

When his death warrant was read to him a few weeks before his execution, he trembled, and covering his face with his hands, sank sobbing on the floor. During his imprisonment, his sister frequently visited him, and on one occasion brought a basket which she set down by the door of her brother's cell.

By permission of the jailor, Evans walked out with his sister in the jail yard, and on his return, as he passed the basket, he took out a bundle from it. The bundle contained a female dress in which the prisoner intended to escape; but its discovery by the jailor extinguished the last hope of the unhappy youth. In his confession he stated he had committed several robberies, and attributed his awful end to his keeping late hours and bad company.

July 12, 1853
Wilkes-Barre - July 11 -A woman named Mahala Wiggins, was murdered by a man named James Quinn, on board a canal boat, near this place. The murderer made his escape. (Sun - Newspaper Article)

February 16, 1854
Murder to be Executed
Harrisburg, February 14, 1854 - Gov. Biglar has signed the warrant for the execution of James Quinn, of Luzerne County, for the murder of Mahala Wiggins. The execution is fixed for the 7th of April next. (Sun - Newspaper Article)

May 4, 1854
James Quinn Executed
James Quinn, the murderer of Mahala Wiggins, by cleaving her skull with an axe last fall on a canal boat, was executed at Wilkes-Barre on Friday. He was brought out of his cell at half past one o'clock, and running eagerly up the steps of the scaffold, he looked around with apparent unconcern and composure, and smiled and bowed to his acquaintances during the prayer. A few minutes before two o'clock, the sheriff bid him farewell, the drop fell, and he died after but few struggles, and without having made any confession.
(Farmer's Cabinet - Newspaper Article

1854 - James Quinn
James Quinn took the life of Mahala Wiggins, by dashing out her brains with an axe, near the Nanticoke dam, as they were passing down the canal in a boat. He escaped, but was arrested in the West, and conveyed to the Wilkesbarre jail. He was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to death by Judge Conyngham, at the January Term of 1854.

The same year, on Friday, the 21st of April, Abraham Drum being sheriff, he was executed in the jail-yard. When his death warrant was read, he manifested considerable excitement, but soon regained his usual composure. He did not believe in a future state of rewards and punishments. He ran up the steps to the platform of the gallows, and surveyed the rope with a degree of self-possession and calmness which astonished every beholder. A physician, utterly astounded at such perfect composure, approached the prisoner a few moments before his execution, and placing his fingers on his pulse, found it beating with amazing rapidity, and giving evi- dence of intense excitement. The exterior appeared calm, but within there was a raging tumult of emotion.

May 1, 1858
Execution at Wilkesbarre, Pa. Wilkesbarre, April 30
Wilkes-Barre, Pa,, April 30. The execution of William Muller for the murder of George Matthews, took place in this borough at noon today.

The murder was committed on the first of December last on the Easton Turnpike seven miles from Wilkes-Barre. The body was subsequently thrown into a well.

Muller confessed that he committed the murder. (Public Ledger - Newspaper Article)

1858 - William Muller
William Muller killed George Mathias, in his own house, on the Easton and Wilkesbarre Turnpike, a few miles from Wilkesbarre. The instrument used in the commission of the crime was a hatchet, and the nuirderer concealed the body of his victim in the well. He was tried and found guilty at the January Term of 1858, Judge Conyngham presiding, and was executed in the jail- yard on Friday, April oOth, of the same year, Jasper B. Stark being sheriff. He ascended the steps leading to the scaffold with a quick but self-possessed movement, and addressed those present, for several minutes, in the German language. His address was then read in English by his spiritual adviser. The young man expressed his faith in the merits of the Redeemer, and warned all who heard him against rum and vicious companions. It is said he believed that the physicians could restore him to life after the hanging, provided his neck was not broken. The fall, however, rent the vertebrae of his spinal column nearly two inches asunder.

May 23, 1867
The Wilkes-Barre Tragedy

A Fearful Record of Crime
Perhaps in the annals of crime there is not a more cold-blooded and relentless murder than for which Alexander B. Wiley suffered capital punishment on the 20th instant.

The murderer was just past his twenty-sixth year, having been born on the first of January, 1841, in Dallas township, Luzerne county, Pa. His father was a soldier of 1812, but deserted from the service, and of late years was in a very destitute circumstance, and died about four weeks ago in the poor-house. His mother is a homeless wanderer and in the most indigent circumstances. Her two sons are both hardened criminals - the one a robber, serving out his term of imprisonment, and the other has just expiated the fearful crime of murder

Wiley, the murderer, was the guest of his victim, Mrs. John McElwee, whose husband was absent at the time of the murder. Wiley deliberately held a pistol within two feet of her head and fired, the ball passing from the right ear to her left temple, killing her instantly. He had formerly been an admirer of his victim, but when she married McElwee he playfully told her husband that he would not let him keep her long.

On the morning of his execution he made a confession, in which he stated that he had no opportunities for school or religious instruction, and continued as follows:

"I enlisted in the army, deserted eight times and was sentenced to be shot, but escaped. At Gettysburg I deserted again. I then came home and robbed Robert Abbott, who lives on the planes, of $700, after which I robbed a shoestore at Blindtown".

After mentioning as number of other robberies, he continued: "On the 14th of April last, I went, with two others, to the house of Mr. Hungerford, opened the door by a secret latch, and walked top the bed, but I had no pistol. I told the old man I wanted his money. I demanded the key of his trunk. The three with me in the meantime built a fire and cooked supper. We only made four hundred and fifty dollars on that operation. (The prisoner here laughed)

"After that we went to Wyoming county and entered the house of Henry Ellsworth and opened the door and went in, but only got two dollars. Oh yes, he exclaimed, "and managed to get an overcoat".

" I went into another house with a pistol. There were three of us. We went into a bedroom where there was a man and his wife. I told them to keep quiet. We only got a watch and chain there". (The prisoner again laughed).

"We went to the house of Abraham Ryman. His daughter was in bed. We searched the bureau but found nothing and left."

The prisoner then made a statement about the murder, saying: "This girl, five or six years ago, worked in a machine shop. I went into the army. When I returned I found her destitute and I paid her board and kept her at a place called Blindtown. What she wanted I provided her with until six or eight months ago. She was in the habit of seeing other men. I was not sparking her; I did not care much for her."

"On the morning of the shooting I went there before daylight. I opened the back door and went to sleep; slept there until Miller got up, when he pushed me and said 'You devil, you are here again'. I then got up and went into Miller's bed. "

"At eight o'clock Mary Frace came to the house, and I got up. I jumped up with a knife in this hand, which I was playing with (showing his left hand). I stuck the knife in the table and then put it in my pocket. I tore my coat doing so and Mrs. Miler then offered to mend it. In doing so she found my revolver. I told her to let it alone."

"My revolver had only three loads in it. I did not want to injure this woman, McElwee. I pointed it at Miss Frace in the face, and I did the same to Mrs. McElwee. I thought the pistol was only half-cocked. I did not intend to murder her, thinking that the barrel of the pistol I snapped was empty. This is about all I know of the affair."

At the execution Wiley betrayed the utmost unconcern and indifference, but died declaring he had no intention to kill his victim. (Sun -News Article)

November 13, 1867

The execution of Neal Devaney, aged twenty-one years, for the murder of his wife, Catherine Devaney, near Hazleton, Luzerne County, Penn., in July last, took place at one o'clock P. M. Monday, in the jail yard at Wilkes-Barre. He confessed his guilt. (Albany Evening Journal - Newspaper Article)

April 9, 1877
The Gallows
Preparations for the Execution of Thomas F. Campbell at Wilkesbarre
(Philadelphia Inquirer - Newspaper Article)

June 22, 1877
The Wilkes-Barre Death Scene
Hanging of Andrew Lenahan for the Murder of Captain Reilly
Wilkes-Barre, June 21. The sentence of death was executed upon Andrew Lenahan, the murderer of Captain Reilly, today. The crime for which he was condemned was committed September 15, 1874.

On that day there had been a Democratic Convention in this city, and at its adjournment Lenahan invited Captain John Reilly, a Democratic politician, to ride home. Reilly got in the carriage, but before they had gone half a square on the main street Lenahan drew a revolver and shot him dead, firing three bullets into his body. He drove furiously through the city to the suburbs, intending to throw Reilly's body in an old coal mine, but he collided with a heavy wagon, broke his carriage, and then fled, leaving Reilly lying on the road.

Lenahan was secreted in the mines for a week, and then managed to elude the officers and escaped. In November 1876, he was captured at La Salle. Ill., where he was working in the coal mines as a laborer, under his victim's name.

He was tried here at the December term of court, 1875, and convicted of murder in the first degree. The case was carried to the Supreme Court, and the judgement of the court below was confirmed. After all hope had fled Lenahan acknowledged the killing, but claimed that, being drunk, he did not know why he did it.

The murderer and his victim up to the day of the assassination had been friends, and no motive for the deed was ever discovered, although it had been ascribed to Mollie Maguire instigation. Lenahan was born in Ireland, was thirty-one years of age, and single.

The hour appointed was ten o'clock, but long before hundreds of persons had gathered without the walls, hoping to see something of the dread event. The number of those who participated in it the sheriff had rigidly limited to about fifty persons, composed of the priests, the sheriff and deputies, the warden and his assistants and the press representatives.

The few hours previous to the hanging were spent in spiritual ministrations by the priests, the condemned man having apparently found peace by his continued devotion, and expressing himself himself prepared to meet death without flinching.

At ten minutes to ten o'clock the announcement was sent to Sheriff Kirkendall that Lenahan was ready, and the procession marched slowly to the scaffold, the condemned man being supported on either side by his spiritual advisers, and followed by the sheriff and the jury. The prisoner bravely ascended the steps, and the last sad religious services were held.

The rope having been placed around his neck, the sheriff asked if he had anything to say. He thanked the priests, the Sisters of Mercy, the officials, and all who had visited him in his imprisonment, and asked forgiveness from God and the world for all the wrong he had done. He was then bound and the black cap drawn over his face. Sheriff Kirkendall then pulled the rope, and the body fell with a heavy thud. Hardly a quiver followed.

The body fell three feet, twisted around a few times, gave three muscular motions, settled down, and after two minutes made no movements whatever. After hanging eight minutes, the prisoner's physician, Dr. Harvey, and other doctors examined the wrist and found slight pulsations. After twelve minutes the heart beat faintly, at thirteen minutes after he was pronounced dead, and in eighteen minutes he was cut down. An examination showed that his neck was dislocated and the spinal cord was ruptured, he having died without pain.

His body was taken charge of by his friends, and remained in the prison until two o'clock, when it was taken directly to the Catholic cemetery and buried.

The gallows, which was used twice before, was erected in the jail yard yesterday. (Philadelphia Inquirer - Newspaper Article)

April 4, 1888
Volkovitch Hanged
Scenes of the Execution in Wilkesbarre
The Story of a Brutal Murder
Wilkes-Barre, Pa., April 3 - The sentence of death was executed this morning upon Adam Volkovich, who brutally murdered Stanislaus Broski near this city on the 14th of August last.

The execution was announced to take place at 11:30 o'clock, but long before that large crowds of people gathered around the prison and surmounted an adjacent eminence with a morbid desire to witness the tragedy. About 200 persons were admitted within the jail walls, including Sheriff Search, his deputies, members of the press and twelve jurymen.

At 11:05 o'clock the religious services, which lasted nearly two hours, were concluded, and the announcement was made that the condemned man was in readiness. A few minutes later the Sheriff and deputies entered his cell and bound the arms of the prisoner, who was led out into the yard where the gallows was erected. He was supported on either side by his spiritual advisers. The small procession moved slowly to the death trap, intoning prayers. A few words were said by the Rev. Father Ydoski, of Freeland. The prisoner was then pinioned, the fatal noose adjusted and the black cap placed over his head. A moment later the body fell three feet or more.

There was hardly a quiver of the limbs and the execution was successfully accomplished. Volkovitch's wife, on bidding him goodbye, fainted, and it was thought for a time she would die.

The crime which Adam Volkovitch was convicted was of a peculiarly heartless and cold blooded nature. On Friday, August 7, 1887, a well-dressed stranger, wearing a gold watch and chain, and having plenty of money, appeared in the
village of Miners Mills, three miles from Wilkes-Barre. He inquired for the house of Volkovitch, and, being directed there, he took up his abode as an old acquaintance. During Friday and Saturday evenings he and Volkovitch were around the village together on the most intimate terms. Some drinking was done and late Saturday night Volkovitch, on some pretense, persuaded his friend, whose name was Stanislaus Broski, to accompany him on a walk up the railroad towards Pittston.

When about a mile and a half above Miner's Mills, Volkovitch drew a revolver and shot Broski three times in the head. Either shot would have proved fatal. Volkovitch then robbed him of his watch, chain, coat and money, and returned home, leaving Broski lying on the ground. The revolver he threw into a vault, where it was afterwards found by detectives. The next morning, about two o'clock, the train found Broski's body lying by the roadside and brought him to Miner's Mills, where he was placed in charge of the authorities and afterwards taken to Wilkes-Barre Hospital, where he died Tuesday, August 16.

In the meantime Volkovitch had fled to Jersey City, where he was arrested on Sunday night, August 21. When the detectives confronted Volovitch with the testimony against him he confessed to the killing. His only plea was that he had shot Broski in self defense when suddenly attacked in a quarrel over some trivial matter. Volkovitch was put on trial September 19, the trial occupying four days. The evidence was conclusive as to murder for the purpose of robbery.

The only support Volkovitch's story received was the testimony of his wife. She testified that Broski had tried to persuade her to murder her husband and live with him. On submitted the case to the jury six ballots were taken, which stood 11 to 1 for murder in the first degree, the seventh being unanimous. An application was made for rehearing, but refused, and Volkovitch was sentenced October 10th . The case was carried to the Supreme Court, but that tribunal refused to interfere. On February 18 Governor Beaver fixed April 3 as the day of execution. On Saturday last, March 31, Volkovitch made a last appeal to Governor Beaver for a respite, but the Governor refused to interfere with the course of the law. (Wheeling Register - Newspaper Article)

June 26, 1889
Tuesday's Triple Hanging Red Nose Mike Pays the Penalty of His Brutal Crime at Wilkesbarre
Wilkes-Barre, Pa., June 25 - Michael Rizzelo alias Red Nose Mike, was hanged at 10 o'clock this morning for the murder, October 10, 1888, of J. Brainerd McClure, the contractor's paymaster, and Hugh Flanagan.

He spent a quiet night, retiring about 9 o'clock after two hours spent in prayer. At 5 o'clock the condemned man spent another hour in prayer, and then began to dress for the last time. He wore a dark suit, white shirt and low cut shoes.

At 7 o'clock Father O'Haran, his spiritual adviser, arrived. Both men knelt in prayer for another hour or more. At 10 o'clock the procession from the criminal cell to the gallows started. The prisoner was preceded by Father O'Haran and Father Phillips, an Italian missionary priest. The condemned man carried a lighted candle and appeared cool.

When the party reached the scaffold they knelt in prayer. Just before the black cap was put over his head the Italian priest kissed the prisoner on both cheeks. Rizzelo then turned and kissed Father O'Haran's hand. Joe Atkinson, the New York hangman, cut the rope at 10:17 and at 11:12 the body was cut down. Death was caused by strangulation. The body of the murderer was taken to the Catholic cemetery for burial.

One of the clergymen who attended Rizzolo in his last hours states that the murderer left a long confession, written in Italian, admitting that he shot McVlure and Flannigan and believed his bullets caused the death of both, though Bevevine and Vallela also fired. Rizzelo adheres in his confession to the statement that he acted under the compulsion of his accomplices. (Omaha Herald - Newspaper Article)

March 27, 1891
Slayer Suffers for His Crime in Wilkesbarre
Moss Exhibits Fortitude

The Execution Was Done Neatly and Effectively Without Blunder or Any Revolting Spectacle
Wilkes-Barre, March 26 - George W. Moss was hanged here this morning for the murder of his wife. He met his death with remarkable fortitude.

At 8:30 o'clock Moss was visited by Rev. Hayden, of the Episcopal Church, and religious devotions were held in the warden's private room in the prison. Before the condemned man left his cell (which was No. 17 in what is known as "murders' row") he said to a reporter: "I am sorry for the Sheriff, who is my friend; it must be an unpleasant job for him. I am glad the end is here. I don't think I ought to die, and, if these were my last words, I never knew that I had shot my wife; but I guess I did it and I would sooner die than live in prison all my life."

The procession to the gallows emerged from the south wing of the jail corridor at 10:16, the prisoner, with arms bound, walking with head erect and a firm step. Rev. H. E. Hayden, assistant rector of St. Stephen's, walked on the left and Sheriff R. P. Robinson on the right, each touching Moss's elbow. But he needed no support. He tripped up the ten steps leading to the platform as lightly as possible and faced the crowd of seventy present. Rev. H. E. Hayden read the prayer for the dying, to which the prisoner listened attentively.

"Gentlemen", said Moss, "the crime I committed I know my God does not hold me responsible for, nor do I myself. God forgive me for all I have done contrary to His will and wish. I die like a soldier and with a smile."

There was not a tremor of the voice. A hasty grasp of he hand by Mr. Hayden, Sheriff Robinson and Warden Brockway followed. The white cap was pulled down and the platform fell from under him in an instant. The fall was six feet, and Moss being a heavy man his neck was broken. There was no respiration and no movement save a slight twitch of the right leg. It was acknowledged to be the neatest execution ever performed in Luzerne county. The man was dead in 10 minutes and was cut down at 11:44, just twenty-four minutes after the drop fell.

The body was taken by Undertaker Doron and handed over to Harrington, the brother-in-law of the deceased, who lives in Hazleton. Moss had wished, if the family had been willing, to be buried beside his wife, but this was not done . The funeral took place at 4 o'clock this afternoon. The body was taken to the city cemetery and buried in the soldier's plot. On the plate of his coffin was engraved: "G.A.R. George W. Moss. Died March 26, 1891".

Moss brutally murdered his wife October 10, 1889. He had ill-treated his wife for years, and was sent to prison on her complaint. After his release, which was secured largely on his professions of penitence, he renewed his cruelty, and soon began to lay plans to kill his wife. On the evening of the murder he bought a cheap pistol, and, going to his home, deliberately shot and killed the helpless woman. He then tried to kill himself, but only succeeded in inflicting a serious wound. (Philadelphia Inquirer - Newspaper Article)

August 10, 1896
George W. Windisch, the Wife Murderer, Died in Prison
Typhoid Fever The Cause
He was Respited Twice on Account of His Poor Health and Constantly Prayerd That He Might Die and Save His Children From Disgrace
George W. Windisch, the condemned wife murder, died in Wilkes-Barre's jail yesterday. He was to have been hung on the first Friday in September. Windisch was twice respited by the Governor on account of his failing health.
Wilkes-Barre, August 9 - George W. Windisch, the Pittston wife-murderer, died in the county jail at 5:20 o'clock this morning from typhoid fever. Everything possible was done to prolong his life, but the condemned man prayed daily that death would come. He did not want to die on the gallows, because he thought it would be a disgrace to his children.

Windisch quarrelled with his wife and murdered her with a chisel. The murder was a particularly cold-blooded one. Windisch fled to a small town in Virginia, where he was captured. His trial was a short one, and he was promptly convicted.

He was sentenced to be hanged in June, but upon the advice of the jail physician, he was granted a respite of thirty days. At the expiration of the time, he showed signs of improvement, but he was still far from well.

The Governor granted a second respite and had named the first Friday in September as the day of execution. (Philadelphia Inquirer - Newspaper Article)

July 23, 1897
Said "Good-Bye All" upon the Scaffold
"Terrible Pete" Meets His Doom at Wilkes-Barre for Killing
(Philadelphia Inquirer - Newspaper Article)

January 22, 1902
Murderer Pays Penalty
Wife Murderer Collapsed on Scaffold - Convict Strangled to Death
Wikses-Barre, Pa., January 21 - John Lutz was hanged today for the murder of his wife. The drop fell at 10:17. Lutz kept his nerve until the noose was placed over his head, when he gave way and would have collapsed had he not been supported by the Sheriff.

The crime for which Lutz paid the extreme penalty was particularly brutal. On the evening of November 28, 1899, he becdame enraged because his wife did not dfesire their daughter to play upon an organ, as the child was ill. Lutz left the house and returned an midnight with an ax. Proceeding to the room where Mrs. Lutz and her daughter were sleeping, he brained his wife and then retired to his own room, where he was arrested the next day.

At the first trial the jury was out sixteen days before returning a first degree verdict. One of the jurors informed the judge that he had been impelled by sickness to sign the verdict, which was against his conscience. Lutz was given a new trial and was promptly convicted. (Morning Herald - Newspaper Article)

September 29, 1903
Deputies Held Man At Hanging
(Trenton Evening Times - Newspaper Article)

May 24, 1905
Laughs at Death Warrant. Seemed Amused Only at Notice of Execution
(Philadelphia Inquirer - Newspaper Article)

October 14, 1909
Willis and Nazarko Pay the Death Penalty for Crimes. Condemned Men Were Brave to the Last and Walked Unfalteringly
(Wilkes-Barre Times - Newspaper Article)

June 3, 1853