Executioner Pierrepoint: An Autobiography Hardcover – 14 Jun 2005
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
From 1931 until his resignation in 1956, following in the footsteps of his father and uncle, Albert Pierrepoint held the position of Official Executioner. During his career he carried out over 400 executions. This is his story which explores his travels, teachings, methods and colleagues. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
For obvious reasons He declines to go into depth with any specific cases unless he has prior permission from the families involved, then usually only to clear up a popular misconception.
He does however go into the technicalities of being a hangman and the procedures involved.
I found this book quite fascinating, and would reccomend it to anyone who is interested in this particular subject.
It is an absolutely fascinating autobiography of Albert Pierrepoint, who was a hangman for more than 25 years(No 1 for many years) in both Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. In that time he hanged hundreds of people, including the officers from Belsen Camp and many of the Gestapo officers who murdered the RAF officers who took part in The Great Escape.
Mr Pierrepoint dispels many of the myths which still abound regarding the secrets of the execution chamber and the death cell, including the fact that he could, and frequently did, carry out an execution in just EIGHT SECONDS from entering the condemned cell to the prisoner being dead.
He also reveals the fact that he resigned from his post because he concluded that execution solved nothing and was not a deterrent to murder.
"In all that I did", he writes, "I do not now believe that I prevented a single murder"
Anyone who is interested in this aspect of the judicial system MUST read this book - as also must anyone who is interested in the Capital Punishment debate
Albert Pierrepoint was the last in a dynasty of executioners. As such he wrote a book that is a record of his early life and immediate family history that is couched in the language of the working class man who considers himself the upholder of dignity and standards. This comes across strongly in his references to his work. Albert was very much a man of his time and considered executioner to be a post which carried a great deal of both importance and the need to be dignified at all times.
He pointedly refused to be swept up in the rights or wrongs of any case that ended up before him. To him a condemned prisoner was to suffer death and pay for their crime, and after the act would have wiped their slate with society. As such he would always act completely dispassionately and insist that the executed man or woman be treated with respect.
This straightforward and fastidious man writes in just that style. Expect no horror, Albert tells his story in those dignified and restrained tones that set him as a 1930s man with an extraordinary sideline in life.
I would also recommend the book for those interested in debating capital punishment. It's quite enlightening about what happens and what can go wrong. If Pierrepoint is correct he was very humane, which is more than can be said about others in his profession.
He begins with an account of his early life, the realisation that both his father and his Uncle Tom were executioners, his father's proud statement that one day his son would be the Official Executioner. His closeness to his Uncle Tom, after the premature death of his father, leads him further towards him fulfilling his ambition. The book is a fascinating insight into life only a generation ago. As an historical account it is quite gripping and well worth reading.
This is a man who takes pride in his role and his professionalism. The book is long on detail about the mechanics of death by hanging, which is in itself well-written, but deals much less with the rights and wrongs or the impact of that process on individuals or society. For example, he makes absolutely no comment on the fact that he hanged men later proven innocent. There is however precious little detail about the way people act when facing execution. You won't find tortured soul-searching here from executioner or executed. Rather the executioner sees his role beginning and ending with the delivery of the justice of the land, in as quick and dignified way as possible. Throughout he emphasises his respect for the victim (his words) and his feeling of responsibility to make the last moments of life ones of dignity and respect. But the irony of hanging German men and women for war crimes, whose defence was that they were simply obeying orders, is never acknowledged. In the end he turns against capital punishment only because it is an ineffective deterrent. Maybe in the end the ability not to pose the deeper questions are what enabled him to do the job he did.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting book could not put the book down once I started to readPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
very interesting account of an occupation carried out by a man with a humane and careful regard for the condemned.Published 4 months ago by DerekS
Interesting book for those who want to get acquainted with history. Teaches you a lot of things about how a hangman acts as well as about the different drops... Read morePublished 6 months ago by george
Delivery was great and well packaged. The book however was a bit of a disappointment - the language use by the author, predominantly in the first few chapters was very strange and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Russdmc