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Page 84 - Sheriff James C. MacKillop Remembers the Hanging of Emmett Sloane

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/1/1 (486 reads)

that last walk. His fears were groundless. At 1:01 a.m. he was removed from his iron cage where he had been confined since a week ago, and preceded by the sheriff, and accompanied by his clergymen and jailers, he walked with a quick step towards the window where the scaffold was affixed. Turning to the sheriff be? fore he mounted the 3 steps to the window, he extended his hand in farewell. Likewise he shook hands with the county jailer, and with his cousin Alfred Halverson, who accompanied him to the gallows. "Goodbye, everybody," were his last words. Then he mounted the steps and stood beside Executioner Rioux on the scaffold. To adjust in position the noose and place the back cap on his head was the work of but a few seconds, and two minutes after he left his cell, Anderson was shot through the trapdoor to his death, as the two clergymen were repeating the Lord's Prayer. Sheriff MacKillop: And it was 18 minutes. I was at the big door, the main door going down to the jail--and they had to come up through there. And I had instructions not to open the door till (the sheriff) came. The hangman was first, and I didn't open the door until the sheriff came. I opened the door and they all went out in the yard. So I went out in the yard. But it was 18 minutes before the doctor pronounced him dead. Eighteen minutes. That's why I'm not --I'm not--I'm probably for capital punish? ment, but not by hanging. I seen irhe re? mains afterwards--I never knew I seen the man in my life. Twice his normal size. Teh, tch, tch--face swollen out, his hands. Un? believable. Eighteen minutes before the doctor pronounced him dead. There were 60 (people) inside to wit? ness the hanging. But the field outside was packed. Hundreds of them there, hundreds of them. But they couldn't see anything, only perhaps a shadow.... So the hangman, when he came down-- beads of sweat dropping off of him. My God, he was in terrible shape. (He was in terrible shape?) Yes. And once the rope was cut, he disappeared. Of course, there was a car waiting for him. Told him. "Get out of the city as quick as you can, boy. Get going." (Oh, he wasn't from here.) No, he was from Montreal. (And they'd get him out of town right away.) Yeah. This tree marks the ap? proximate place where Carl Anderson/Emmett Sloane is said to have been buried. Here is how the newspaper re? ported It: "Wednesday, May 21: MURDERERS ALL BUR-1 lED TOGETHER. Ander- i son is interred along? side Haynes, West, and Brewer. Alongside 3 others, who just about 16 years ago died upon the scaffold for their capital offenses, was interred the remains of Emmett Sloane, whose burial took place just af? ter daybreak yesterday sr,'"- - - A. ,* • ,,?.?: morning, to Hardwood Hill Cemetery. His interment, although of ut? most simplicity, was impressive as the 6 witnesses preceded the body on its way to its final resting place. Rev. Dr. A. H. Campbell, pastor of the First United Church, and Rev. A. D. Reid, St. Andrews United Church, conducted the service, while standing with heads bared were Alfred Halverson, cousin of the condemned man, the undertaker, and his two assistants." Some people have told us that Carl Anderson's body was later dug up and taken to be buried in the United States. Can any of our readers tell us more about that? .' --" For help, our thanks to Gwen Gillett for letting us have access to her interview tapes with Sheriff MacKillop; portions of her work are included in this article. Also, to Murdock MacAskill, Sydney steelworker, who has taken an interest in this story for some time. Mur? dock supplied us with a poem his mother, Tina (Christine) MacAskill, had saved. The photographs of the old county jail were taken by Calvin A. Boutilier, a former Senior Probation Officer. Sheriff James C. MacKillop died December 29,1991. MABOU GARDENS Cape Breton's Largest Full-Service 'Garden Centre Grand Lake Road SYDNEY • 562-6000 Locally Owned • OPEN 12 MONTHS A YEAR! Buy All Your Garden & Gift Needs A COMMITMENT TO CAPE BRETON
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