The Executioner's Bible: The Story of Every British Hangman of the Twentieth Century
, 2007 - History
- 291 pages
It has been just over 40 years since a gallows was last used in Great Britain, and the secrets behind the men who pulled the lever and dropped the condemned to their deaths are still shrouded in mystery. This account tells the story of the working-class men who carried out this profession until its abolition in the late 1960s. The hangman's rope was part of an exact science, and in their day, the men who undertook the job assumed the profiles of infamous celebrities, their reputations often rivaling the notorious criminals they were charged with dispatching. From the bungling hangmen sacked for incompetence and those driven to guilt-ridden suicide to the last to pull the lever at the height of the swinging sixties, the secrets of this form of capital punishment are finally revealed. They were the last of their kind, the hangmen of the 20th century; and this is their fascinating, sometimes repugnant, always enthralling story. Steve Fielding's previous works include The Hangman's Record, Pierrepoint: A Family of Executioners, and The Murder Casebook series.