Executions · New York · Newspaper clippings

Man goes to execution with smile on his face

June 27, 1904
Ossining, New York
Frank Henry Burness is executed in the electric chair, wearing a smile on his face

Burness was convicted and executed for the death of Captain George B. Townsend over $20 which Burness claimed Townsend owed. Burness also confessed to four other murders, but these potential victims and the validity of Burness’ involvement in their murders have been lost to time.

Burness was reported as saying “I deserve to die, and the sooner they put an end to my troubles the better. I’ve got an uncontrollable temper, and if released would only commit more violent crimes. I’d kill a man for five cents as quick as for anything else.”


(Article from the Boston Evening News, Monday, June 27, 1904)


Unfortunately, at this time I don’t have a higher resolution version of this full-page spread from The Post-Standard, June 12 1904. I’ve included it anyway for illustrations.

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