The last man to be "Legally" hung in Massac County.
Submitted by Ann Laird
William Brown (center) was arrested December 18, 1926 for the axe murder of Sadie Harris and Georgianna
Caldwell the night before at Brookport. He was indicted for the murder of Sadie Harris January
11, 1927. His trial began February 21, with twelve witnesses testifying for the prosecution. None were called in
the defendants behalf. On February 22 the jury found William Brown guilty of the murder of Sadie Harris
with the punishment as death. He was never tried for the murder of Annie Caldwell. In December, invitations
to the hanging were sent out by Sheriff Risinger. The rope was ordered from St. Louis, MO and the
gallows was brought in from Saline County, IL. A professional hangman was brought in from Epworth, IL.
On the morning of December 16, 1927, he was hung in front of about 400 people in the court yard in Metropolis.
Eighteen minutes later he was pronounced dead. His funeral was held the next day. He is buried at the Kidd Cemetery
in Metropolis. Photo taken December 16, 1927.
©2008 Genealogy Trails