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John Ellis (executioner): Wikis


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John Ellis (October 4, 1874 – September 20, 1932) was an English executioner from 1901 to 1924.

Born in Rochdale, England, he took the responsibility of his position very seriously and hoped to "despatch" the condemned person with as little fuss and pain to the individual concerned. He was a very professional man. An insight into his behaviour and methods can be read in the book Diary of a Hangman in which he describes his methods and recalls the final moments of some of the people he executed, who included the poisoner Frederick Seddon in 1912.

Ellis committed suicide by cutting his throat in 1932. He was said by his friends to have been unable to recover from the ordeal of executing Edith Thompson, and that the Thompson execution had also precipitated his retirement.

John Ellis is often erroneously stated to be the uncle of Canada's executioner Arthur English (aka Arthur Ellis) when English simply used Ellis as a pseudonym.



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