Caryl Chessman. The â€œRed Light Banditâ€. Background. Born: May 27, 1921 Grew up in St. Joseph, Michigan Parents: Hallie Lillian (nÃ©e Cottle) and Whittier Serl Chessman In and out of jail most of his life Age 27 when arrested for suspicion of being the â€œRed Light Banditâ€ in Los Angeles
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The “Red Light Bandit”
Executed by asphyxiation-gas at San Quentin Prison on May 2, 1960
One of the most famous executions in history
I am not guilty. I am sure a future generation will listen.
A deep gasp, his head came up for an instant, dropped forward again. After two or three deep breaths, which seemed something like sobs, a trembling set up throughout the body. Along the line of his broad shoulders, down the arms to his fingers, I could see the tremor run.
Then I saw his pale face grow suddenly paler, though I had not thought that it could be after his 12 years in prison. A little saliva came from his lips, spotted the white shirt that a condemned man wears for his last appearance. Even more color drained from his face and the furrows in his head smoothed out a little. And I knew he was dead.”
Reporter Gave a description of what was happening when Caryl Chessman was in the gas chamber…