murderer

Photo of the Day

Georgia Tann is shown in a photograph dated August 1947. The Memphis branch of the Tennessee Children's Home opened in 1922. It was to close 28 years later amid national publicity fueled by charges that the director, Miss Tann, was operating a black market baby racket. (The Commercial Appeal)

Georgia Tann is shown in a photograph dated August 1947. The Memphis branch of the Tennessee Children’s Home opened in 1922. It was to close 28 years later amid national publicity fueled by charges that the director, Miss Tann, was operating a black market baby racket.?

Baby Stealer – Baby Thief – Murderer

All words attributed to the highly terrifying story of Georgia Tann, a Child Trafficker who operated out of Memphis, Tennessee before the State closed her Operation?

To childless couples, Georgia Tann was a salvation. From 1924 to 1950, Tann headed the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, a highly respected adoption agency. During her tenure, permanent homes were found for more than 5,000 babies. Joan Crawford, Mary Pickford and Dick Powell and June Allyson were just a few of the famous people who received their children from the home. But Tann guarded a deep, dark secret: a vast majority of these children were actually stolen from their natural parents.

The kind woman shows up at the door of the poor abandoned girl who has recently given birth to a baby. “I will feed and care for your child,” says the kind woman, “until you are healthy and able. Just sign this little paper.” And the kind woman takes the baby and the girl never sees her baby again, because the kind woman sells the baby to new parents in a distant city or, if the baby is sick or otherwise unsalable, she allows the baby to die of neglect and malnutrition or even of abuse.

That scenario may sound like the dark side of a fairy tale, but that seemingly kind woman, accepted for most of her life as a model of civic virtue, lived in Memphis.

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Photo of the Day

June 17, 1939: Weidmann is placed in the guillotine seconds before the blade falls. The crowd that witnessed the execution became quite unruly. Weidmann was beheaded outside of the prison Saint-Pierre in Versailles, during which spectators engaged in ?hysterical behaviour.? After the event the authorities finally came to believe that ?far from serving as a deterrent and having salutary effects on the crowds? the public execution ?promoted baser instincts of human nature and encouraged general rowdiness and bad behaviour?. IMAGE: POPPERFOTO/GETTY IMAGES

June 17, 1939: Weidmann is placed in the guillotine seconds before the blade falls. The crowd that witnessed the execution became quite unruly. Weidmann was beheaded outside of the prison Saint-Pierre in Versailles, during which spectators engaged in ?hysterical behaviour.? After the event the authorities finally came to believe that ?far from serving as a deterrent and having salutary effects on the crowds? the public execution ?promoted baser instincts of human nature and encouraged general rowdiness and bad behaviour?.?Photo Getty Images

Madame Guillotine

France’s last Public Execution

?The guillotine’s final day in the sun

The guillotine is the ultimate expression of Law? He who sees it shudders with an inexplicable dismay. All social questions achieve their finality around that blade.
?Victor Hugo,?Les Mis?rables

?This is the last public execution by guillotine, not the last execution by guillotine.

The above photograph was taken moments before the execution of Eugene Weidmann early on the morning of June 17th, 1939 outside the Saint Pierre prison at rue Georges Cl?menceau in Versailles, just outside of Paris. Weidmann had been convicted – after finally confessing to the crimes – of kidnapping and murdering six people, including a female American dancer. His taking responsibility for the murders spared the lives of his three accomplices but set Weidmann up for a date with?Madame Guillotine.

If you look carefully you can see Weidmann already strapped to the?bascule?and that he’s been tilted into position with the?lunette?closed around his neck. This was possibly less than 5 seconds before Jules-Henri Desfourneaux (just four months into the job of nation’s chief executioner) released the?d?clic?that sent a 90-pound steel razor blade slamming into Weidmann’s neck with a half-ton of force before coming to rest after falling for 1/70th of a second.

Debate still rages as to whether the victim is immediately rendered unconscious or if he/she has what might be up to 60 seconds of awareness after the head has been severed from the body before the brain finally runs out of whatever oxygen was in the head’s blood at the moment it was removed.

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Photo of the Day

Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park.

Evil in Paradise

In a setting of beauty and grandeur, a twisted soul was on the loose, a murderer who revived gnawing fears that National Parks are no longer safe. Evidence reveals the confessed killer’s tortured past?and his bizarre obsession with Bigfoot

Yosemite?National Park is a vast area of mountain paths, alpine wilderness and redwood forests, one of the most beautiful scenic attractions in America. Set aside in 1890 to preserve a portion of the natural beauty of the Sierra Nevadas in California, its breathtaking topography rises as high as 13,000 feet above sea level. Two-hundred miles of winding road and 840 miles of foot trail have lured tourists, campers and skiers for decades.

But, under the mosaic of green conifer pines, domes of granite rock, silvery waterfall and misty mountain sky, a killer lurked. His first victims were a 43-year-old woman and two teenagers. They were missing for more than a month, and when the FBI located their bodies a cry of “serial killer!” shook the peaceful tranquility of the park.

On?Thursday morning, July 22, Dr. Desmond Kidd, Yosemite National Park’s medical director, had just finished a busy 24-hour shift at the park’s clinic?it was, after all, the height of the summer tourist season?and the 36-year-old physician was beat. But not long after he arrived back at the log cabin he shared with other park employees in Yosemite Village, his pager went off. Kidd called in to the park dispatcher and was asked to join a search for a missing person?a search, the dispatcher said, “with law enforcement implications.”

In two and a half years of working in Yosemite, Kidd had helped rescue a number of hikers who had lost their way, but before he headed out of Yosemite Village in a convoy of four-wheel-drive vehicles toward the nearby hamlet of Foresta, he learned that this search was different. Five months earlier, three female tourists had vanished from their hotel room at the Cedar Lodge, near Yosemite’s entrance, and had been found a month later, brutally murdered. Now, Kidd was told, another young woman had disappeared. Joie Ruth Armstrong, 26, an ebullient, strawberry-blond naturalist at the nearby Yosemite Institute and a casual acquaintance of Kidd’s, had been planning to spend the weekend visiting friends in Sausalito. Armstrong had never shown up, and her friends feared something had happened to her.

Turning left off the main Yosemite highway, Kidd steered his Jeep down an unmarked road into Foresta: 30 cabins, inhabited mostly by park employees, scattered across the bottom of a wooded glen. A forest fire had roared through this area in 1990, and many of the pine trees here were still blackened and skeletal. For the past year, Armstrong had lived with her boyfriend, another Yosemite Institute naturalist, along with a second roommate, in a green cabin set by itself at the edge of a golden meadow. Rangers had cordoned off the area around Armstrong’s secluded house with yellow police tape. Her white pickup truck was still parked in the driveway, packed with luggage for her trip.

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