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Ruth Ellis
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    (October 9, 1926-July 13, 1955)
    Born in Rhyl, Wales, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Ruth Nielson
    Nightclub hostess
    Appeared in the film 'Lady Godiva Rides Again' (1951)
    Killed her lover, David Blakely (April 10, 1955)
    Last woman hanged in Great Britain
    She had a son out of wedlock with a Canadian soldier during WWII.
    She twice had illegal abortions.
    She had simultaneous affairs with Blakely and Desmond Cussen, and would give Blakely money she earned as a hostess then accept money from Cussen for her living expenses.
    She shot Blakely twice, causing him to collapse in the street, then stood over him and fired three more bullets into his prone body.
    Asked at the trial about her intent, she replied, 'It's obvious when I shot him I intended to kill him.'
    She ignored advice from her lawyers to tone down her appearance and her insistence on playing the brassy blonde in court made a negative impression on the jury.
    Her father was sexually abusive, even impregnating her sister, Muriel.
    Her husband, George Ellis, would beat her in drunken rages.
    Blakely punched her in the stomach, causing her to suffer a miscarriage (January, 1955).
    She rejected her lawyers' advice to plead insanity, saying 'I took David's life and I don't ask you to save mine.'
    Raymond Chandler wrote, 'This was a crime of passion under considerable provocation. No other country in the world would hang this woman.'
    Executioner Albert Pierrepoint said about her composure, 'I have seen some brave men die, but none braver than her.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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