Roxana Flowers

Roxana Flowers

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Roxana Flowers

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Description:
Roxana Druce née Flowers (1847 – February 28, 1887) was the last woman hanged in the state of New York. Her botched execution resulted in the decision to replace the gallows with the electric chair in 1890.

Druce beat her 72-year-old husband Wiliam Druce to death, with the help of her daughter Mary. She then chopped up the body and boiled the remains. Druce alleged her motive was that her husband worked her too hard.

Execution

When Druce was sentenced to death, Herkimer County, New York state used suspension hanging for executions.

The process jerked the prisoner upwards by a weighted rope instead of the body dropping downwards through a trap door. But as Druce was a small woman, the force failed to break her neck leaving her to die agonizingly by strangulation.

The scene was so upsetting, officials decided to switch the primary method of execution in the state to the electric chair.

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