Executions · France

French gangster and Public Enemy No. 1 executed

February 28, 1956
Paris, France
Émile Buisson (54, pictured at 33 years old) is executed for murder

Buisson made his first court appearance at the age of 9 and first served time in jail at the age of 16. From 1947 to 1951, Buisson formed a gang and perpetrated enough crimes to earn himself the title of France’s Public Enemy No. 1, and the Associated Press reported “the underworld feared him for his extreme cruelty,” though they did not elaborate on this point.

Buisson was apprehended, convicted, and sentenced to death for several murders and at least 20 robberies. He was beheaded by guillotine early on February 28, 1956. His last words, according to the Associated Press, were, “You see an innocent die.” Jay Robert Nash, however, wrote the final statement as, “I am ready, Monsieur. You can go ahead. Society will be proud of you.”

Sources:
Morton, James. The Mammoth Book of Gangs. London: Constable & Robinson Ltd, 2012
Nash, Jay Robert. Crime Chronology: A Worldwide Record, 1900-1983. 1984
“French Killer Goes To Guillotine.” The Sydney Morning Herald. February 29, 1956
“EMILE BUISSON A ÉTÉ GUILLOTINÉ.” Le Monde. February 29, 1956. (Archived here: https://www.lemonde.fr/archives/article/1956/02/29/emile-buisson-a-ete-guillotine_2247489_1819218.html; French)
“Kill Top Criminal.” The Newark Advocate. February 28, 1956

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