Executions · Famous Last Words · Missouri · Newspaper clippings

Teen hanged for rape

April 25, 1902
Missouri
16-year-old General Armstrong is hanged for rape

Armstrong was found guilty of riding up on a pony behind Iva Turney (16) as she rode in a road wagon, grabbing by the hair, and pulling her to the ground. She reportedly lost consciousness and, when she awoke, discovered she had been sexually abused. Armstrong had been working in a field near the incident and was blamed for the rape, though he denied his guilt even as he faced execution. His bravery in the face of death made a lasting impression on the newspaper reporter who witnessed his hanging, who wrote of the teenager’s calm and steady demeanor.

Armstrong’s neck did not break from the fall; rather, he strangled to death over approximately 16 and a half minutes. His heartbeat was monitored by a physician as he expired, and minutes within being pronounced dead he was cut from the noose and his brain extracted from his skull for study. Spectators of the hanging clamored for souvenirs, a common practice at the time, completing for pieces of the leftover rope.

Clipping: The Leavenworth Times, Leavenworth Kansas, Apr 26 1902

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