Arizona · Executions · Female Killers

Last woman to be executed by hanging in Arizona after botched execution

February 21, 1930
Florence, Arizona
Eva Dugan is hanged for the murder of a wealthy rancher

Dugan had been a housekeeper for the rancher; when she was let go, she killed him, burglarized his house, and stole his car.

When her execution was announced, she said “Wal, I’ll die with my boots on, an’ in full health. An’ that’s more’n most of you old coots’ll be able to boast on.” She also declined religious consolation, declaring “I’m going to die as I lived.” During an interview about her “iron will,” she said “the world loves a good sport but hates a bad loser.”

Her death was swift, as it was botched spectacularly; as she fell through the trap door, the noose snapped her head off her body, fully decapitating her. Five witnesses fainted, two of whom were women. Because of the macabre scene, Dugan became the state of Arizona’s last female prisoner executed by hanging, with the gas chamber taking the execution method of choice.

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