14 January 2011

Eve of The Executions of Santore And Capone

The Boston Daily Globe
17 April 1885, p.1

"Santore and Capone in the Hands of Officers and Medical Men.

Thomaston, ME., April 16 - Santore and Capone, who are to be hanged tomorrow, are at this writing sleeping as calmly as if they were innocent children.  A watchman looks at them every half hour. 

Father Boniface of Boston, the Italian Catholic priest, and Fathers Peterson and Harrington of Rockland have been with them nearly all day, trying to bring them to a suitable frame of mind to receive the sacrament.  One of the priests has visited them every day this week, but the men seem totally callous to religious influences.

Santore, the more intelligent, was asked today if  as he was about to die, he would not forgive Capone.

"I would cut my own throat first!" said he, with a wicked flash in his eyes.

They hate each other implacably and will to the close.  Each continues to charge the worst features of the crime on the other.  Capone seems a trifle nervous, but Santore, though excited, does not seem to fear the ordeal.  Capone has within a day or two tried to induce a belief that he is insane by telling the officers that he is not to be hanged for six years.  Both men lie to the officers and to the priests about the most trivial matters.

Dr. Gerrish of the Maine Medical School, Brunswick, is here and has applied to have the bodies turned over to that institution for scientific purposes.  If the men request to be buried, or if relatives or friends apply for the bodies within three days, the law will not allow the bodies dissected.  Otherwise, Dr. Gerrish will get them.  The doctor has also applied for permission to inject morphine into the men hypodermically just before the execution, but this will not be allowed. 

Inspectors Porter and Bean, Superintendent Bedlow of the Western Union and several reporters are here on business connected with the execution.  The gallows was erected yesterday in the old quarry in the prison yard.  It is placed under a platform between two buildings, completely out of sight of all parts of the prison.  The platform is fourteen feet from the ground, and the drop will be eight feet."
I can't help but notice how dramatic the writing style was back then. I wonder how much of it was true?


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