June 17, 1939
Versailles, Yvelines, France
Eugen Weidmann becomes the last person publicly executed by guillotine
Weidmann and two accomplices kidnapped, robbed, and murdered six people. The victims were strangled or shot in the nape of the neck.
Spectators at the execution demonstrated such “hysterical behaviour” (the witnesses reportedly dipped handkerchiefs in Weidmann’s blood as souvenirs) the President of France banned public execution. One of the witnesses was a 17-year-old Christopher Lee, who later became a well-accomplished actor.