Dope Fiend


According to the program laid out by the sheriff, William Ross was executed last night at 1:15 o'clock. A while before the ordeal Father Turcott who has been his spiritual advisor, entered the cell of the doomed man and told him the program, and asked him if he would need to be assisted up the scaffold steps. For some time through the efforts of the father he has professed complete redemption, and declared he died cheerfully, and preferred his fate to that of Carl Hanson.

At 1 o'clock sheriff Gardner read the death warrant to him and shortly after the march was taken to the scaffold. Robed in a new suit of black, in which he will be buried, he followed the priest as freely and cheerfully as though going to a picnic. The order up the scaffold steps was the Sheriff, Judge Murray of Minot, Father Turcott, then Ross followed by the deputies. Without a moment of hesitation he took his place on the trap. The straps binding his arms and legs were fastened and the noose put on his neck. He looked down and examined his appearance and smiled. Asked if he had anything to say, he answered in a clear voice: "I am sorry for all the sins I have done and I ask forgiveness from all I have harmed and forgive all who have harmed me. I have told the truth all throuth."

To the question put by Judge Murray of Minot: "Who killed Napolian LeMay?" he answered in a firm voice: "Carl Hanson..." Continuing he said, "I bid you all good by."

Just before the black cap was drawn over his head he kissed the crucifix and said, May God forgive me for my sins."

Sheriff Gardner then bid him goodby, and the next second the trap was spring the rope snapped, neck cracked and the body dangled at the end of a ten foot rope, which had been tested the day before with a 250lb. anvil and not found wanting. Some think the trap was not spring too soon as he was beginning to show signs of a collapse. Life was declared extinct by the three physicians present in seven minutes and he was shortly after cut down. The rope was buried so deep in the neck it had to be cut out. The face in death looked quite natural—except the tongue slightly protruded from the pratly {sp} open teeth and lips. There was some blood on the lips and tip of nose, and the hangman's knot cut the skin back of the left ear. The remains were at once turned over to Mr. Greiner and removed to his undertaking rooms where they were viewed by the curious crowd this forenoon. The silver cross which hung around his neck was taken off by Judge Murray and sent to his wife. Thus ends the earthly career of William Ross. No commend need be made or lessons drawn. The News like Judge Murray of Minot has declared from the first that he was a bad man and no doubt he met a just end. We hope however the redemption he lately professed was true. Owing to the early hour of the execution there were not many people in the vicinity of the gallows, though quite a number more than the law allowed were inside, including three news paper men.

Ward County Independent, 3/11/1903

Coughed Up

Posted 05/01/2014