Books: Executioner

AGENT OF DEATH—Robert G. Elliott with Albert R. Beatty—Dutton ($3).

In the execution chamber at Sing Sing prison, on a fine June morning in 1904, a lanky, 30-year-old electrician named Robert Greene Elliott (son of a New York farmer who had intended him for the Methodist ministry) was testing current and equipment. With him was Executioner Davis. "Bob," said Davis casually, "I want you to throw the switch on one of the fellows this morning." Young Elliott turned hollow inside. "I've got to train two men to be executioners," Davis explained rapidly.

Pasty-faced witnesses...

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