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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery - Hitchhiking
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: October 23, 1953
Date of birth: 1920
Victim profile: Clarence Dodd
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Washoe County, Nevada, USA
Status: Executed by asphyxiation-gas in Nevada on July 15, 1954

Frank A. Pedrini and Leroy L. Linden were executed together at the Nevada State Prison on July 15, 1954. This was the first double execution at the Nevada Gas Chamber.

They were executed for the murder of Clarence Dodd, a Lancaster, California carpenter on October 23, 1953.

Dodd was returning home after visiting his mother in Winnemucca. Dodd picked up Pedrini and Linden hitch hiking, and drove 150 miles west on Highway 40.

Near Mustang Station Dodd was forced to drive up an isolated canyon. Linden and Pedrini then strangled Dodd pulling equally hard on a 30-inch length of binder twine.

Pedrini and Linden had been cellmates at the Folsom State Prison in California. Both had extensive criminal records.

Pedrini was born in Los Gatos, California and at the time of his death was 46 years old. Linden was born in Aurora, Illinois and was 34 years old at his death.



Only dual execution in the gas chamber

On July 15, 1954, the only dual execution in the gas chamber took place. Ex-cons Frank Pedrini (age 47) and Leroy Linden (age 35) murdered Clarence Dodd.

He picked them up hitchhiking in Winnemuca on Highway 40 (now Interstate 80). A carpenter, Dodd was returning home to California after visiting his mother. They forced Dodd off the highway near Mustang, holding him at gunpoint on the Truckee riverbank. Linden’s story was that he went to buy beer in the Mustang Station and came back to find Pedrini and Dodd on the ground. They told Dodd they were going to tie him up, leave him and drive his car to Reno. Linden claimed he walked away from them to watch the highway. Pedrini asked Dodd if he had any rope, and Dodd apparently said, “Yes, in the trunk.” Dodd retrieved a length of binder twine. Linden claimed he heard a shot and ran to where the men were. Pedrini said he did it because Dodd had seen his tattoo on his hand and would be able to identify him. Pedrini’s story differed from Linden’s. He claimed they both tugged on the 30-inch piece of binder twine to strangle Dodd. Then, they covered the body with rocks. Hunters found Dodd’s garroted body in December.

In January 1954, Linden confessed, implicating Pedrini. The killers had extensive criminal records and allegedly met as cellmates in the Folsom State Prison in California. While Pedrini does not fit the description of a serial killer, he had served time for two previous murders. Washoe County District Attorney Jack Streeter and his deputy Dyer Jensen prosecuted the murderers, while Bruce Thompson and Leslie Gray defended them at trial. The jury found the men guilty and sentenced them to death.

Pedrini got his last wish: he wanted to die with Linden and insisted they be executed together. They entered the gas chamber two minutes apart and were strapped in the metal chairs at 6:05 a.m. After the door was closed, the HCN gas was released at 6:10 a.m. Linden’s heart stopped by 6:18 a.m. Pedrini’s heart stopped by 6:19 a.m.



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