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Lewis W. LYONS





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Revenge
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: July 20, 1903
Date of arrest: Same day (suicide attempt)
Date of birth: 1849
Victim profile: J. Ward Gurley (district attorney)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Status: Executed by hanging in Louisiana on March 24, 1905
Lewis Lyons – USA

March 24th, 1905

It could be a risky business defending a suspect in New Orleans when the summary law of the Wild West was still much in evidence. In 1895 Lewis Lyons, 55, was wrongly arrested for theft. He decided to sue, but lost. This so outraged him that he turned his anger on his own lawyer, a district attorney named J. Ward Gurley.

Lyons hassled the unfortunate Gurney for years, even challenging him to a duel, until, in July 1903, he shot the lawyer dead in his New Orleans office. Lyons then turned the pistol on himself, but survived a self-inflicted wound in the head.

At his trial he pleaded insanity, but was found guilty. The Louisiana Appeal Court ordered a retrial on the grounds of the judge’s misdirection. At the second trial Lyons was again found guilty and hanged on Friday, March 24th, 1905, in New Orleans Prison.



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