Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Frederick W. HEISLER





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Hitch-hiking
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: October 1951
Date of birth: 1924
Victim profile: John Gunnish (Army deserter)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: New Mexico, USA
Status: Executed by electrocution on October 29, 1954

When told that he was to be executed for the murder of John Gunnish, Frederick Heisler responded "Its not murder... God have mercy on YOUR soul." He subsequently murmured to accompanying priests prior to the execution, "Don’t let them do it."

Electricity from the chair began coursing through his body at 12:12 A.M. on October 29, 1954. A black curtain was mistakenly dropped around the cage after the first electric surge, despite Frederick Heisler being yet alive. The curtain was raised and a second charge delivered; he was subsequently pronounced dead at 12:15:40 AM.

Heisler was convicted of the murder of a hitch-hiking Army deserter named John Gunnish in the early weeks of October 1951. He was captured due to matchbook advertising an establishment in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, that was left at the scene.

Further investigation revealed that Heisler had been employed at this business. When apprehended, Heisler was using Gunnish’s name, and was carrying his Social Security card.

Heisler claimed that his shooting of Gunnish was in self-defense, but the angles of bullet wounds were identified by the prosecution as having been inflicted while Gunnish was lying down.



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