Holmes denied any wrongdoing at his Gallows execution

Holmes denied any wrongdoing at his Gallows execution

According to Executed Today, Holmes showed no sympathy when Benjamin Pitezel’s wife testified against him at his trial, or when his own current wife took the stand. He largely defended himself — with some aid from an attorney — and was given the death penalty on November 2, 1895, less than a week after the trial started. Holmes appealed several times, and when it became clear that he wasn’t going to dodge the death penalty, he sold his confession to a newspaper for $7,500. He confessed to 27 murders, then denied any of it was true the day after it was published.

He was hanged on May 7, 1896, and as he stood on the scaffold he gave his last words, saying (in part), “I only wish to say that the extent of my wrongdoing in the taking of human life consists in contriving the killing of two women that have died at my hands as a result of criminal operations.” He went on to deny killing Pitezel or his children, and was hanged. Afterward, his final wishes were granted: he would be entombed in cement and buried 10 feet underground.

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