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Black Jack Ketchum Hanging 

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Old 02-06-2013, 03:35 PM
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Tom Ketchum - Botched Hanging

An American outlaw who operated in Texas and New Mexico during the latter portion of the Wild West years, Thomas Ketchum was a sordid kind of fellow with little regard for human life or charity. Little seems to be known of Ketchum’s life between his birth in 1863 and the beginning of his criminal career in 1890, so it’s likely that he was on the straight-and-narrow up until about that date, when he inexplicably (perhaps after committing a crime) left Texas for New Mexico. For two more years, he worked as a cowboy, flying cleanly under the radar until his involvement in an armed train robbery. It’s believed that after the heist, in 1896, he may have been party to the disappearance of a man and his eight year old son, neither of whom were ever found.

Several years ticked away with Ketchum joining the Hole-in-the-Wall gang and performing more train heists and other unsavory deeds. During one of these robberies in 1899, he was struck by a shotgun blast and had to have his right forearm amputated, after which he was moved from the medical facility to Clayton, New Mexico to face trial where he was convicted of ‘felonious assault upon a railway train’ and sentenced to hang.

Two more years passed with Ketchum in custody until the date of his execution in 1901. Never having hanged a man in Clayton before, the procedures for doing so were unfamiliar and those involved with the execution were forced to improvise, which generally doesn’t turn out so hot. The rope, much too long for a man of Ketchum’s size, was also particularly thin and cord-like, which did not bode well for him. Noose around his neck and standing upon the trap door, an eternity seemed to pass for the man until his sudden drop. The rope went taut, and to the horror of the large crowd of witnesses, reporters, and gawkers, Ketchum’s body plummeted directly into the ground. Not to worry, though: the execution was a success with his head being torn clean off of his shoulders, prompting an eruption of blood from the corpse’s neck. To this day, postcards are sold in Clayton depicting the gruesome aftermath of the bungled hanging, which pretty much seems to be the town’s only claim to fame.

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Old 02-06-2013, 03:37 PM
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Re: Tom Ketchum - Botched Hanging

cool set of b/w

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Old 02-06-2013, 11:49 PM
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Re: Black Jack Ketchum Hanging

Just like in Hang Em High.... only bloodier

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Old 02-08-2013, 09:03 AM
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Re: Black Jack Ketchum Hanging

Originally Posted by juliemd View Post
well, at least they didn't need a doctor saying if he was dead or not.
LOOOOOOOVE your sigpic!

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Old 02-08-2013, 04:00 PM
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Re: Black Jack Ketchum Hanging

Head snapped off *shudder*

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