February 19, 1951
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Jean Lee becomes the last woman to be executed in Australia
Lee (31 at the time of her death), her romantic partner and pimp Robert Clayton (32), and accomplice Norman Andrews (38) lured a 73-year-old bookmaker to a hotel with the intention to rob him on November 7, 1949. They piled their victim, William Kent, with wine before tying him to a chair and beating him as the trio demanded to know where his money was. Over the course of an hour, Kent was beaten and stabbed, his face slashed with glass, and he was finally garroted or strangled.
Police arrested the group after bloody clothing was found in Clayton and Andrews’ rooms, and the three were questioned in separate rooms. Though they all initially denied involvement in the crime, each eventually began to point the blame at the others. They were tried together and convicted after the jury deliberated for three hours.
Lee was the first woman to be executed in Victoria since Emma Williams — convicted of killing her child — was executed on November 4, 1895; Lee has the distinction of being the last woman to be executed in Australia. Lee preceded Clayton and Andrews in death by two hours, and each were sedated before their executions. The condemned inmates made no final statements.
“Jean Lee – The last woman to hang in Australia.” Capital Punishment UK. Accessed: February 19, 2019. http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/lee.html
Hewett, Dorothy. A Grim and Rough Story. Australian Book Review. May 1999. Archived: September 29, 2007. Accessed: February 19, 2019. https://web.archive.org/web/20070929120506/http://home.vicnet.net.au/~abr/May99/hew.html
“Three Hanged at Pentridge.” The Age [Melbourne, Australia]. February 20, 1951
“Violence Denied by Three Accused.” The Age. March 24, 1950