January 27, 1938
Marie Porter and Angelo Giancola are executed for the murder of Porter’s brother
Porter, 37 at the time of her execution, had contracted a hit on her brother to collect the $3,300 (approx. $57,400 in 2017’s economy) life insurance. Porter’s brother, William Kappen, was shot on his wedding day just two hours before he was to be married; had the murder occurred after the ceremony, Porter would no longer have been the beneficiary of the insurance policy. Porter recruited Angelo Giancola, 22 at the time of his execution and reportedly Porter’s lover, to kill her brother. The two were executed minutes apart, Giancola preceding Porter. Porter became the fifth woman legally executed in Illinois history.
On a side note, when the newspapers reported the murder, it was mentioned the Kappens suffered a tragedy just 2 years before: Porter and Kappen’s father, George Kappen, had been committed to an asylum after shooting and killing Marie’s husband William H. Porter and shooting Marie 3 times (St. Louis Star-Times, July 6 1937).
Clipping: the Decatur Herald, Dec. 28, 1938