Lansing, - Merle William Martin, 44, was hanged today at the Kansas prison early today shortly after making a full confession that he killed a deputy sheriff two years ago.

Until last night Martin said his attorneys continued an intensive effort through the courts to stop the execution. The U.S. Supreme Court last week denied a stay.

Then just before last midnight, Warden Charles A. Edmondson was given a hand written note from Martin stating, "On June 23, 1952, I fired the shots that killed Officer Willard Carver near Zarah, Kan."

Martin and Charles Isgrigg, 40, both of Joplin, Mo., were encountered by Deputy Carver and deputy Floyd Gaunt as the two men were trying to tow a stolen car from a ditch with a stolen truck.

A gun battle resulted. Carver was killed. Isgrigg was captured a few hours later and is serving a life term.

Martin escaped and was placed on the FBI's list of the 10 most wanted men. He was captured Aug. 30, 1952 in St. Louis.

Martin was convicted Nov. 29, 1952, and Isgrigg pleaded guilty three days later.

This year Isgrigg from his prison cell, issued a statement that he killed Carver and Martin was innocent.

Martin, in his note last night, said:

"Now that I am about to die I wish to set the record straight before I go to meet my Maker."

"Isgrigg did no shooting." (Those words were underlined.)

As he entered the death house Warden Edmondson asked Martin if he had anything to say and the doomed man repeated most of his written statement to the group of about 25 witnesses.

"I would like to thank all of my friends who helped and have prayed for me." Martin said. "If there are any Catholics among you I would appreciate it if they would pray for me."

Martin was calm and walked unaided to the gallows steps. The trap was sprung at 1:03 a.m. (El Dorado Times, Friday, July 16, 1954)


Ft. Leavenworth, - Ernest L. Ransom, 26, was hanged early today for murder and rape committed while he was a soldier in Korea.

The hanging was in the power plant building of the U. S. disciplinary barracks, site of two other recent military executions Feb. 14. He was pronounced dead at 12:17 a.m.

Ransom, a Negro from Garysburg, N.C., was convicted in June 1953 by a general court-martial at Inchon, Korea, of shooting to death a Korean guard and raping a 14 year old Korean girl.

Ransom in a regulation olive drab uniform devoid of insignia showed no emotion as he was led down a ramp from the second floor of the building to the gallows.

Doctors listened for a heartbeat 15 minutes before pronouncing him dead.

No family members were present. (El Dorado Times, Wednesday, April 3, 1957, page 5)


Fort Leavenworth, Kan. - Abraham Thomas, 29 year old soldier convicted of killing four persons in Germany was hanged early today at the United States Disciplinary Barracks.

Thomas, a Negro from Montezuma, Ga., had been at the barracks four years while a series of appeals was filed in his behalf. A court martial convicted him of shooting two soldiers and two German women at Gersthofen in 1954.

The execution took place shortly after midnight.

Thomas was a member of the 109th Infantry division at the time of the shootings.

Killed Feb. 23, 1954 were Walburga Wenderoth and Anna Wiegel, both of Gersthofen and Sgt. L. C. Lafayette Bennett and Cpl. Edward Peters, both Negroes. (El Dorado Times, Wednesday, July 23, 1958)


Lansing, Jan. 5 - James Lammers, 27 year old construction worker was hanged at the state prison early today for killing his wife and burning his three children to death at Troy, Kans., Dec. 13, 1950.

Lammers didn't say a word as he made the long walk through the prison yard snow to the warehouse where the gallows stood. He only nodded and mumbled when Warden Robert Hudspeth asked him if he had been treated all right. Then he climbed the 13 steps unassisted and stood calmly until the trap was sprung at 1:01 a.m. he was pronounced dead nine minutes later.

Lammers face was strained and he breathed hard as he entered the death house. Otherwise he displayed no emotion.

He was the eighth man to die on the gallows in Kansas since the state resumed capital punishment in 1955.

Father P. H. Delahunty, the prison's Catholic chaplain who spent the evening with Lammers said the doomed man did not make a single complaint. Lammers had declined a special last meal.

Official witnesses of the hanging were Robert Guier, former Doniphan County attorney who prescuted Lammers; Robert E. Reeder, present Doniphan county attorney, Virgil Begesse, clerk of the Doniphan county court; Frank Carter, Doniphan Sheriff; Dave Lanters, Brown County sheriff, and Frank Stevenson, Barber County Sheriff.

The body was taken to Leavenworth. Lammers parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred W. Lammers live at Fordyce, Neb. (El Dorado Times, Saturday, January 5, 1952)


John Bell, 23 years old, was born in Virginia, a farmer, who became a private in Co. I, 2nd Kansas Cavalry. On July 11, 1862, John Bell was hanged for the rape of Mrs. Elizabeth Haywood. She was a soldier's wife of the 9th Kansas Volunteers, located near Iola, Kansas. The rape took place during the night of July 4th.


Scott Holderman was sentenced in the district court of Linn county by Judge D. P. Lowe, for the murder of an old man, a stranger in a ravine near the scene of the Marias des Cygnes massacre, in 1866. He was executed in the jail yard at Lawrence by the sheriff of Linn County in 1867. His partner in the crime, Foster, was taken from ther sheriff, Captain david Goss by the old Centerville Vigilance Committee at Saddler's Crossing on Big Sugar, and hung to a tree by the roadside. (Wichita Eagle, April 5, 1887)

Scott Holderman, formerly a member of the Sixth Kansas Regiment, was hung at Lawrence, Kansas, on Friday. He was convicted of the murder of a soldier, about two years ago in Linn County. He was twenty four years of age and made a dying confession to the effect that he had during the last few years, murdered sixteen men, mostly rebels. (Richmond Wing, November 22, 1867, page 2)


Speedy Justice - John Shirley and John McBride were tried by a Military Commission at Fort Leavenworth on the 24th of April for the robbing of a discarged soldier on the Government Reserve, found guilty and sentenced to be hung, which finding and sentence have been approved by Gen. Blunt and the sentence ordered to be carried into effect last Wednesday and they have no doubt ere this paid the penalty of their crime.

Later - By a more rescent order only Shirley is to be hung. The execution would be public. (The Smoky Hill & Republican Union, Junction City, Kansas, May 9, 1863)

John Shirley was hung at Leavenworth, on Wednesday of last week for robbing and plundering in violation of Gen. Blunt's order. Gen. Blunt is in earnest and this example should be a warning to all outlaws in the State. We hope he will catch and hang every one of them. (White Cloud Kansas Chief, May 14, 1863)

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