Famous Last Words
John Vanderpied
Shelbyville, Kentucky
February 25, 1881

“I will give (my shoes) to the poor. The Courier-Journal cannot say I died with my boots on.”

Vanderpied (also spelled Vonderheide, Vinderhide, Vanderhorde, Vanderhide, and many other variations) was convicted of the murder of 13-year-old Rebecca Johnston, though he maintained his innocence claiming the newspaper misreported his case. Newspapers reported he “exhibited brutal nonchalance” on the scaffold, and that he made his way to the gallows with a cigar in his mouth.

One article involving Vanderpied, from The Oshkosh (Wisconsin) Northwestern, July 22 1880

Another article, this one spelling his name as Vanderleide. The Saint Paul Globe, February 26, 1881

Yet another article, this time with three separate spelling variations: Vanderhorde, Vanderhrde, and Vanderharde. (The Daily Commonwealth, Topeka Kansas, February 26 1881)

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