Thursday, February 23, 2012

Third Times a Charm

On this day in 1885, 19-year-old John Lee is sent to hang in England for the murder of Ellen Keyse, whom Lee worked for.  Insisting throughout the trial that he was innocent and in a case based solely on circumstantial evidence, Lee had been convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. 

Lee was led to the gallows (which had been tested prior) and the noose placed around his neck.  The lever that should have released the floor underneath him was pulled, but it malfunctioned.  Twice more the lever was pulled but Lee remained standing on the platform. 

The authorities, unable to explain the malfunctions decided to attribute it to an act of God and Lee’s sentence was commuted to 22 years in prison. After Lee served his sentence he emigrated to America but would always be known as “The Man They Could Not Hang”.

     The Historical Inebriant:  Hangman’s Noose

  • 9 oz red wine
  • 18 oz hot black tea
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 tsps sugar

Brew tea then add wine and sugar. Simmer covered with cinnamon stick. Serve warm in wine glass.

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