By he had learned to drive a car and a lorry to make his deliveries; he later became manager of the business. He was turned down as there were no vacancies, but received an invitation for interview six months later. He was accepted and spent four days training at Pentonville Prison , London, where a dummy was used for practice. He received his formal acceptance letter as an assistant executioner at the end of September The executioner was chosen by the county high sheriff —or more commonly delegated to the undersheriff , who selected both the hangman and the assistant. His uncle Tom had been contracted by the government of the Irish Free State for the hanging of Patrick McDermott, a young Irish farmer who had murdered his brother; Tom was free to select his own assistant as it was outside Britain, and took Pierrepoint with him.
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Immediately before he was to be hanged, Christie, his hands tied behind his back, complained that his nose itched. While the exact number of people remains unknown, common estimates say it was while the man himself once claimed His father and uncle were both executioners, and Pierrepoint wanted to continue in the family business.
In the meantime, he made ends meet in his new home in Greater Manchester by taking odd jobs like making deliveries for a wholesale grocer. Finally, in , Pierrepoint got this shot at being an executioner when a space opened up following the resignation of an assistant executioner. He attended his first execution in Dublin in late — which was carried out by his uncle, Thomas Pierrepoint — and was able to observe and assist in a number of executions afterward.
Between and , Pierrepoint traveled to Germany and Austria more than 20 times in order to execute some of the most disturbing Nazis to have committed atrocities during the war. He even once hanged 13 in a single day on Feb.
After executing so many hated Nazis, Pierrepoint became famous as a sort of quasi-war hero and also made enough money to buy a pub named The Poor Struggler outside Manchester while still carrying out executions when the need arose. After Corbitt was sentenced to death, Albert Pierrepoint was the one to perform the execution. He said it was only time that he regretted doing his job. Accounts vary, but some say that this is when Pierrepoint began to consider putting down the noose for good.
Receiving his full rate in such a case would have been customary but not mandatory in such a case. Too long a rope and the longer fall can end with such force that the prisoner is decapitated. Pierrepoint was a master of this craft, and at remaining calm throughout the proceedings.
It is a small room with a trap in the center of the floor. A bag is filled with sand and we rehearse the drop to see that all is in order. The prisoner is out of his cell when we are doing this so he does not hear the noise of what we are doing… We leave the bag hanging to stretch the rope overnight and go off to our room to wait until next morning.
The prisoner has his back to us when I come in in case he might get excited. Then when I am inside, I fasten his arms behind his back with a leather strap. The knot is the secret of it. We have to put it on the left lower jaw… so we have strangulation. As soon as I see everything is ready, I pull the lever and the prisoner falls through it and it is all over in an instant. I cannot agree. There have been murders since the beginning of time, and we shall go on looking for deterrents until the end of time.
I have come to the conclusion that executions solve nothing, and are only an antiquated relic of a primitive desire for revenge which takes the easy way and hands over responsibility for revenge to other people.
In a radio interview with the BBC, he stated that he believed crime in Britain had increased since outlawing executions and that his country may need to bring back capital punishment in order to solve the problem.
Of course, Britain never did bring it back and Pierrepoint remained one of the last, and certainly the most well-known, in a long line of British executioners.
Executioner: Pierrepoint. Albert Pierrepoint
Jan 06, Kayla Painter rated it liked it This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was a little disappointed by the writing , and otherwise I think it is probably a very good account of his life. The book is more about his life generally, then his execution work. He writes about one incident that took place before a hanging in the entire book. The book ends with him saying he resigned but not why, which is fair enough - but frustrating to read. From reading this book I do still feel he was an extraordinary man and one society was incredibly lucky to have, and in that sense it is worth reading.
There were several before them, including James Billington and his three sons, ThomasWilliam and John ;  Gregory Brandon and his son, Richard ;  and the Otway family. The Life and Times of Albert Pierrepoint. Executioner: Pierrepoint. Albert Pierrepoint Two weeks later he received from the instructing sheriff a cheque for his travelling expenses, but not his execution fee. Executioner, Pierrepoint Albert Pierrepoint No preview available — Henry was removed from the list of executioners in July after arriving drunk at a prison the day before an execution and excessively berating his assistant. Eight foot two inches, should anyone be interested. I wanted to run my own business so that I should be under no obligation when I took time off.