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Episode 694

Albert Pierrepoint
Sat, 2019-Mar-30 01:56 UTC
Length - 2:49

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Saturday, 30 March 2019 is Albert Pierrepoint.

Albert Pierrepoint (; 30 March 1905 – 10 July 1992) was an English hangman who executed between 435 and 600 people in a 25-year career that ended in 1956. His father, Henry, and uncle Thomas were official hangmen before him.

Pierrepoint was born in Clayton in the West Riding of Yorkshire. His family struggled financially because of his father's intermittent employment and heavy drinking. Pierrepoint knew from an early age that he wanted to become a hangman, and was taken on as an assistant executioner in September 1932, aged 27. His first execution was in December that year, alongside his uncle Tom. In October 1941 he undertook his first hanging as lead executioner.

During his tenure he hanged 200 people who had been convicted of war crimes in Germany and Austria, as well as several high-profile murderers—including Gordon Cummins (the Blackout Ripper), John Haigh (the Acid Bath Murderer) and John Christie (the Rillington Place Strangler). He undertook several contentious executions, including Timothy Evans, Derek Bentley and Ruth Ellis and executions for high treason—William Joyce (also known as Lord Haw-Haw) and John Amery—and treachery, with the hanging of Theodore Schurch.

In 1956 Pierrepoint was involved in a dispute with a sheriff over payment, leading to his retirement from hanging. He ran a pub in Lancashire from the mid-1940s until the 1960s. He wrote his memoirs in 1974 in which he concluded that capital punishment was not a deterrent, although he may have changed his position after that. He approached his task with gravity and said that the execution was "sacred to me". His life has been included in several works of fiction, such as the 2005 film Pierrepoint, in which he was portrayed by Timothy Spall.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:56 UTC on Saturday, 30 March 2019.

For the full current version of the article, see Albert Pierrepoint on Wikipedia.

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