August 21, 1896
George W. Anderson is hanged for the murder of his second wife
Anderson’s second wife was the widow of his first wife’s brother and the mother of a 4-year-old. They separated 7 months into their marriage but reconciled after 4 to 6 weeks of separation. On May 27, 1896, following a quarrel, Anderson hit his wife, Cora, on the back of her head with a hammer. They scuffled a bit more whereupon he cut her throat then smashed her head again with the hammer to “relieve her suffering.” Anderson used his knife to cut his own throats and laid down to await death. However, his young stepdaughter had called upon her grandfather saying “papa cut mamma’s neck.”
During trial, Anderson refused to assist in his defense and did not call any witnesses on his behalf. His only defense was brief “emotional insanity.” The jury at his first trial was hung, 11 voting for conviction and 1 for acquittal. A second trial found him guilty and Anderson declined any appeals as well as any lighter sentence than death.
Article: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 21, 1896