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Despite judge granting stay of execution Caryl Chessman is gassed

A stock photo of a gas warning sign


Robber and rapist Caryl Chessman was called the ‘Red Light Bandit’ as his modus operandi was to pretend to be in a police vehicle in order to secure his victims. He never killed anybody but was sentenced to die because of the 'Lindbergh Law'.

This considered kidnapping a death penalty crime. Despite the legislation being repealed, Chessman’s sentence wasn’t. As the poisoned pellets were released, the telephone call granting his reprieve was made.

It came too late because the judge’s secretary misdialled...