Photo Of The Day

Kate Webster at the Old Bailey before she was sentenced to be hanged for murder - July 1879.

Kate Webster at the Old Bailey before she was sentenced to be hanged for murder – July 1879.

The Dripping Killer

Victorian Britain was horrified by a 30-year-old Irish woman who murdered her employer, dismembered the body, threw bits of it into the river Thames, boiled the head (and other body parts) and tried to sell the fat as “dripping” in local pubs. She blamed two innocent men for the crime and when that didn’t work, she pretended to be pregnant so that the judge wouldn’t give her the death penalty.

Such was her notoriety that Madame Tussaud’s rushed to create a wax statue of her which remained on display in London for 80 years.

Dubbed the ?Barnes Mystery? or the ?Richmond Murder?, the case became one of the most notorious crimes in the late 19th-century Britain. Julia Martha Thomas, a widow in her 50s who lived in Richmond in southwest London, was murdered on March 2, 1879 by her maid, Kate Webster, a 30-year-old Irishwoman with a long history of criminal activities.

Read more »

Be careful what you wish for


The firing squad execution chamber at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah (AP Photo/Trent Nelson)

Opponents to the death penalty in the US have been mounting a campaign against the drugs used in lethal injections. As a result many executions have been put on hold.

A win for the lobbyists you might say…but wait…

Wyoming lawmakers are considering changing state law to permit execution of condemned inmates by firing squad.

A Wyoming legislative committee has directed its staff to draft a firing-squad bill for consideration ahead of next year’s legislative session. ? Read more »

Might be going a little too far:


On Unemployed and Mandates

? NZ Herald

Bob Jones talks about elections as mandates and?the?unemployed:

Defending the contentious asset sales policy, the Prime Minister argues he was open about his party’s intentions before the last election and thus has a mandate. The openness was commendable but not so his assumption. His party would still have won if it had also proposed publicly hanging the unemployed, which, mind you, when one quietly considers it, does have some merit.

After all, public hangings were immensely popular entertainments in Britain, drawing enormous crowds and in the process creating much happiness and gainful work, (hangmen for example) plus considerable food and beverage, manufacturing and purveying employment. The sole shortcoming with the public hanging industry though was its brevity.

This was resolved by introducing multiple successive hangings, thereby ensuring a decent day’s family outing and a corresponding greater demand for food and drinks. Learning from this, boxing promoters of the day introduced preliminary bouts; these multiple hangings and preliminary fights initiatives marking yet another giant stride forward in the march of civilisation.

But what does all of this prove? Well for starters, that reading newspapers is educational, as I’ll bet you didn’t know that before.

I can hear the howls of outrage from people like Sue Bradford and Martyn Bradbury from here.