Fifth Field

Temporary U.S. Military Cemetery at Marigny

Temporary U.S. Military Cemetery at Marigny

Temporary U.S. Military Cemetery at Marigny, in Normandy, France.  Several dozen of the 96 were first interred here, before they were moved to their permanent graves in 1949.

Temporary U.S. Military Cemetery at Marigny2015-09-11T19:11:10-06:00

Albert Pierrepoint’s Execution Logbook

Albert Pierrepoint’s Execution Logbook

Albert Pierrepoint served as the assistant executioner for his uncle, Thomas Pierrepoint, in seven executions of American soldiers.  The Pierrepoints were a Yorkshire family who provided three of Britain’s Chief Executioners (sometimes called “scaffolders”) in the first half of the 20th century.  Henry Pierrepoint took up the craft first, hanging 105 men from 1901 to 1910.  According to reputable sources, Henry could execute a man in the time it took the prison clock to strike eight – leading him from his cell to the adjacent death chamber on the first stroke, and having him suspended, dead on the rope, by the eighth and final stroke.  Henry persuaded his older brother Thomas W. to take up the calling.  Albert Pierrepoint, born March 30, 1905, Henry’s son and Thomas’s nephew, outdid his father and uncle combined, and executed 434 people (including 16 women) between 1932 and 1956.  Albert resigned over a disagreement about fees in 1956, when he was not paid the full sum of 15£ for an execution.  He was also the proprietor for two pubs, “Help the Poor Struggler” and the “Rose and Crown.”  Albert Pierrepoint died on July 10, 1992 in a nursing home in Southport, Lancashire. Adrian Roose, Director of Paul Fraser Collectables, Bristol, England, graciously provided this photograph; the logbook was on sale at the time from the firm, but Mrs. MacLean balked at the price.

Albert Pierrepoint’s Execution Logbook2015-09-11T19:13:54-06:00

Military Police Arrest Photo of Madison Thomas

Military Police Arrest Photo of Madison Thomas

After reviewing the case files for several years, the author would need more information before deciding if Thomas committed the crime for which he was convicted and executed.

Military Police Arrest Photo of Madison Thomas2013-09-20T12:46:42-06:00

Entrance to James E. Hendricks Execution Site

Entrance to Private James E. Hendricks Execution Site

Entrance to Hendricks Execution Site at the Château La Vallée, a fourteenth-century manor house.  One witness to the execution (which occurred on Friday, November 24, 1944) who was interviewed by the author in 2011, stated that two “big American Military Policemen” allowed the condemned man to smoke a cigarette before he was led to the gallows.  The author’s subsequent research of personnel files at the National Archives in St. Louis found that the two MP guards, escorting Private Hendricks that day, stood 6’0″ and 6’5″, respectively!

Entrance to James E. Hendricks Execution Site2013-09-20T12:43:32-06:00

The Author Examining Bullet Holes

The Author Examining Bullet Holes

The crime scene is for James E. Hendricks.  For the project, the author visited the crime scene or execution site for several dozen of the cases.  In this instance, the farmhouse is still there; the door is still there; and the bullet holes are still there!  There is no doubt that Hendricks committed the crime.

The Author Examining Bullet Holes2012-10-15T21:10:52-06:00

Blake Mariano Gravestone in France

Blake Mariano Gravestone in France

Mariano, a decorated tank gunner, was convicted of murder and rape; the crime occurred in April 1945 and he was hanged on October 1, 1945.  Mariano murdered a woman, but given his record, he could have received life imprisonment, and maybe should have.

Blake Mariano Gravestone in France2013-09-20T12:32:16-06:00
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