Eugene Aram, Murder
And here's Mr. Aram. He, along with Richard Houseman and Henry Terry were indicted for the murder of Daniel Clarke. Terry was acquitted, as was Houseman, who went on to testify against our Mr. Aram. Mr. Aram is just a touch bitter about that, aren't you Mr. Aram?
"Damn him, damn him to Hell! He testified against me for a crime he helped commit. And he is home with his family right now, while I wait here to hang. Where, I ask you, is the justice in that? They're going to execute me, then hang my body in chains in the Knaresborough Forest. It's just not fair. I mean, of course I deserve to hang for my crimes, but shouldn't Hank and Dick hang beside me?
"Did you hear Dick's story to the court at my trial? The night was dark enough that he couldn't see the weapon, but light enough that he could see me killing Clarke -- what malarkey!
"I don't think I can stand much more of this place...day in, day out, the clanging of the other prisoners against their cages, cages so like my own. The guards calling out "dead man walking" to the prisoners, thinking it's funny. How can death be funny? Hanging -- what a way to go. I'd much rather die alone than in front of all those people at a public execution. It seems so...so humiliating..."
Yes, public executions are humiliating for some, therapeutic for others. Mr. Aram, though, will attempt to take his own life with a razor on the morning of his execution. He will be nearly dead by the time the keeper reaches him, but a doctor will revive him enough for a clergyman to pray with him before he is sent to his execution. After he is hanged, his body will be hung in chains near the town outside Knaresborough Forest as a reminder to others who consider following his path. This is a common punishment for murderers and is considered quite just, for the family of the deceased can look upon the cold, dead body of the person who murdered their loved one and feel avenged.