Octavius Barron – Rochester’s First Execution

The yr was 1837, and Rochester, New York was rising quickly. Folks have been interested in the bustling neighborhood on Lake Ontario, and the inhabitants had doubled over the past decade. The town loved a status of getting pleasant residents and a low crime price; the truth is, violent crime was nearly nonexistent in Rochester…till the evening of October 20, 1837. On that cool fall night, a heinous crime would happen that may stun the folks and depart them clamoring for justice, and Rochester can be without end modified.

Octavius Barron awoke with a plan on that fateful day. A French-Canadian dock employee who was recognized round city as a petty thief and gambler, 18-year previous Barron spent the day watching and ready. His goal was William Lyman, a profitable businessman who was revered and well-liked. Lyman’s honesty in his enterprise offers was broadly famous, and he was usually entrusted with giant sums of cash to be deposited for his firm. October 20, 1837, occurred to be a type of deposit days, and when he lastly left his workplace round 9:00 p.m., Barron made his transfer. Sneaking up behind Lyman, he fired a single shot into the again of Lyman’s head, killing the person immediately. He rapidly discovered a number of hundred {dollars} that Lyman had in his coat pocket, however Barron missed the 1000’s that have been hidden in Lyman’s hat. He fled with the cash he discovered, and spent the remainder of the night at a tavern, boasting to his associates concerning the killing.

Investigators arrived on the crime scene shortly after the homicide passed off and instantly started combing the realm for clues. Eye witnesses who reported seeing Barron hanging round Lyman’s workplace all day supplied one of the best proof for the police concerning the identification of the killer. Ten yr previous Thomas Dixon additionally offered necessary clues; it was he who heard the gunshot and rushed to the window in time to see a person in a shiny dock-worker’s cap operating away. With these accounts, police had sufficient proof to pinpoint the crime on Barron, and he was arrested lower than 12 hours later on the practice station making an attempt to make his getaway.

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Barron’s trial proved to be one thing of a spectacle. Rochester had by no means had a homicide earlier than, and the following trial was an thrilling distraction from on a regular basis life. With one of many metropolis’s extra distinguished residents lifeless and a overseas killer behind bars, everybody’s curiosity was piqued. The trial lasted 10 days, had 39 jurors, 40 witnesses, and 12 metropolis officers contributing. Barron did not stand an opportunity. His responsible verdict shocked nobody, and neither did his sentence: execution by hanging. Apparently, his sentence was virtually pardoned as a result of his younger age, nevertheless it appears his destiny was already sealed. Although a lot of Rochester’s residents needed a public execution, New York’s “Act to Abolish Public Executions” denied them their want. On July 25, 1838, a complete of 49 folks stuffed the jail, keen to observe Octavius Barron breathe his final and bear witness to their effective metropolis’s first execution.

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