September 22, 1924
Gary, Indiana
10-year-old Annie Tomicik is abducted, sexually assaulted, strangled, and buried

Annie was offered a ride by Peter Vergolini who killed her and buried her nude body, her hands still restrained at her sides, in sand dunes. Vergolini was questioned about her disappearance and, after an “all night grilling,” confessed to her murder and brought police to her makeshift grave, using his bare hands to unearth Annie. He had initially dug the grave the same way. Vergolini was convicted and sentenced to death.

Vergolini was executed January 30, 1925. He reportedly was heard whistling in his cell just prior to his execution in the electric chair. According to an employee of the electric company sent to inspect the electric chair’s wiring, Vergolini was “sitting with his chair tilted back, his feet resting on the grated door, smoking a corncob pipe. He grinned and said ‘hello.’ He asked us if we had brought him any moonshine. … When they shaved the hair off his head he said they would be able to see the smoke better. He was very indifferent and displayed no emotions of any sort. He has all the appearances of insanity.”

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