10 Astonishing Tales of People Who Have Survived Their Executions

History is a weird place to be, they say. Well, history agrees to it. Throughout our history, there have been stories about men, women and unbelievable events that they were a part of. Some of these stories are also about death and survival. There are people who were very lucky. Lucky enough to escape death!

Here are 10 such stories for you where people have survived their executions:

1. The tale of Anne Green

In 1630, 22-year-old woman prematurely gave birth to a baby boy in England who died soon after the birth. Her employer’s grandson seduced Anne Green. She tried to hide her pregnancy and the dead body of her baby boy. Sadly, she was unsuccessful in hiding the latter and was accused of murder.

During her execution, her neck was tied to the rope and the ladder on which she climbed was pulled out. After 30 minutes, her body was put and was sent to the University. During an anatomy lecture, a doctor heard the corpse “breathing”. Soon, she was treated with hot water and tobacco smoke enema. Anne Green survived!

2. The survival of William Duell

William Duell, a young 17-year-old boy was accused of raping and murdering Sarah Girffin in London. He was hanged on 24 November 1740. After 20 minutes when the rope was cut down, his body was taken to the hospital for training purpose. Miraculously, he was breathing still. He survived the treatment and was exiled for life.

3. Saved by death itself, John Smith

John Smith was accused of robbery and house breaking. In 1690, he was hanged to death in London. The public who was watching this drama for 15 minutes suddenly started shouting “reprieve” and the rope was cut down. He was taken for treatment and John survived.

4. Half-hanged Maggie Dickson

A story similar to Anne Greens’. Maggie Dickson was afraid that if her property owner will find out about her affair with Innkeeper’s son, he would fire her. Hence, she tried to drown the dead body of her premature born baby in River Tweed.

She was unsuccessful and was accused of murder. Maggie was hanged for 30 minutes and when the rope was cut off; her corpse was put in a coffin. When coffin was lifted because it had started to make funny noises, Maggie was found alive. Maggie was freed as the law saw this miracle as “God’s will”.

Interesting Fact: It was in late 19th century, hanging in England started happening with a fall which would break neck.  Until then, people used to either hang on their own body weight or somebody would pull the body down. This inefficient technique before the 19th century might have prevented the death of all four accused in England.

5. The fate of Zoleykhah Kadkhoda

It was 1997, and the world saw adultery as an offence punishable with death. A 20-year old woman was arrested, charged and was sentenced to death by stoning. Zoleykhah Kadkhoda was buried half into the ground and when stoning began, the villagers protested against it. She was saved but was considered dead.

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When she was taken to morgue, she came back to life and was treated at the hospital. After recovery, she got amnesty the same year. She got major injuries but none life taking! Kadkhoda was lucky to be saved by the local residents.

6. The tale of Wenseslao Moguel

Mexican revolution has a history of itself. The revolution saw losses of many lives. However, Wenseslao Moguel survived. He was captured and was sentenced to death by firing squad in 1915 while fighting in the Mexican revolution. Without a proper trial to death, he was taken by the firing squad.

They had shot 8-9 times with a “coup de grace” shot to his head. After the point-blank shot, the squad assumed he was dead and left. After sometime, he “crawled” to a nearby Church and was given medical attention.

There are no medical evidences, but his survival is debated on the premise that not all the 9-10 shots damaged the vital organs.

7. The lethal injection survivor Romell Broom

The rates of rapes and associated murders are rising day by day. One such case was of Romell Broom who raped and murdered a 14-year-old girl with other convictions. He was sentenced to death lethal poisoning. After 10 unsuccessful attempts for 2 hours, executioners could not find a vein to push the poison in the man’s body. He survived and is still waiting on appeal.

8. Trapdoor malfunction saved John “Babbacombe” Lee

Not all servants are faithful .Such is a story of John Lee. John was working as a servant in England to Miss Emma. In 1884, John was sentenced to death over his cruel actions of killing Miss Emma and setting the house on fire. During the execution, the trapdoor malfunctioned not once or twice but thrice. This lead to a lot of confusion that saved John Lee’s life. John was sentenced to life afterwards!

9. The survival of Joseph Samuel

Joseph Samuel’s case is similar to John Lee’s. Joseph was sentenced to rob a woman’s house and allegedly kill the cop at the crime scene. During his execution, the rope snapped the first time, slipped the second repeatedly snapped the third time. After three unsuccessful attempts to kill this robber, he was sentenced to life.

10. The survival of Willie Francis

The most famous case of survival is of Willie Frances, a 16 year old boy. The racist case of Willie Francis starts with the murdering a drugstore owner. His sentence was death by electric chair.

At the time of execution, while he was on the chair in 1946, it was reported that he screamed, “Take it off! Take it off! Let me breathe! I’m n-not dying!” and survived. He was lucky enough since the chair was not properly set-up before the execution. Even though he survived one execution, he wasn’t lucky the second time after a year!

These uncanny tales of execution survivors will surely make you look at the life in a different perspective!

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