Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

VIDEO: Death by Electric Chair Explained

For those of you who have wondered how the more modern electric chair works and how it is used to execute prisoners. While watching this video bear in mind that though lethal injection has been the default method of execution in Virginia since 1994, inmates may still opt for execution via the electric chair — and some do.

How Catherine Cassler Escaped the Executioner — Twice

People who knew the portly and bespectacled Catherine Cassler were unlikely to guess that this woman, who seemed so ordinary, would twice live in the shadow of execution – and twice escape with her life.

SPOTLIGHT: The Infamous Candyman of Texas

Halloween can be a great time for families to dress up in costumes, enjoy each other’s company and eat some sweets. For Houston-area man Ronald Clark O’Bryan, it was the perfect opportunity to kill his son for insurance money.

When a Condemned Criminal Chooses His Own Death

There aren’t many decisions that a death row inmate can make. In some cases, however, a condemned criminal is allowed to make the ultimate choice: how he will die.

VIDEO: Chinese Talk Show Interviews Prisoners Before Execution

In China, a person can be sentenced to death for crimes ranging from theft, to drug offenses, to murder. In a show that aired weekly on the Henan Legal Channel for six years, host Ding Yu conducted interviews with condemned criminals preparing to be executed for murder. Below is a segment from BBC’s This World focusing on the Chinese show, titled simply Interviews Before Execution.

Update: Unrepentant Serial Killer Elroy Chester Executed

Serial killer Elroy Chester of Port Arthur, Texas, scheduled to die today for the murders of five people, has asked a judge to stop his execution and reduce his sentence to life in prison because, his lawyers argue, one judge showed bias against him.

VIDEO: Ted Bundy Gives Final Interview Before Execution

On January 23, 1989, the eve of his execution, serial killer Ted Bundy discusses at length his crimes, his childhood and his impending death in Florida’s electric chair.

Death Row Diary Details Condemned Inmate’s Final Days

William Van Poyck’s execution is days away and there’s little chance for a stay. Throughout his 25 years on death row, he’s been writing to his sister Lisa, who has dutifully documented his letters on a blog. Read the condemned prisoner’s impressions of life on death row and his thoughts as his final day on earth approaches.

Ohio Executes Man Who Killed Infant During Rape

The state of Ohio bid good riddance yesterday to Steven Smith, who was executed by lethal injection at the state prison in Lucasville. Smith was convicted of killing his live-in girlfriend’s daughter, 6-month-old Autumn Carter, while he was raping her.

Condemned Inmate Shouts ‘That’s Awesome!’ During Execution

Here at Crime Library, we’ve been collecting the final words of death row prisoners since the beginning. Many proclaim their innocence, some apologize to their victims, others pray and a few just wish for their favorite team to win the big game. Convicted killer Richard Cobb, however, surprised everyone with what he said when the lethal cocktail began coursing through his veins last Thursday.

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