St. Genevieve, Missouri: 1937. Unbound. This 6.5” x 8.5” press photograph is captioned on the reverse: “International Chicago 2-27-37. With 400 persons crowded around the gallows within a stockade on the county farm near here, Hurt Hardy, 31, was hanged for the murder of his sweetheart, Ethel Fenestock. In 1935 (sic) Hardy is shown standing on the gallows with legs strapped just before the hood was placed over his head. Sent to A and C lists.” There is also a backstamp that reads, “Received Examiner Reference Library Mar 1 1937”. The photo caption has an additional error besides the “1935” date. The woman murdered by Hardy was not his “sweetheart.” Local newspapers reported that the 19-year old woman had repeatedly spurned Hardy’s advances, and Find-a-Grave provides additional details: “He shot Ethel through a crack in her barn door as she was preparing to milk some cows on September 28, 1935. A professional hangman from Illinois, who had executed 59 other condemned convicts, was brought in to conduct the hanging. The hangman placed a black hood over Hardy’s head and strapped his arms and legs to his body, before hanging him.”. Very good. Item #009340
Wikipedia identifies Hardy as “the last person to be publicly executed in the United States. . . .” Very scarce. As of 2019, there are no photos of Hardy’s execution for sale in the trade. OCLC shows no institutions hold Hardy execution photos. Although the Rare Book Hub shows no auction records for photos, a photograph of a different view of Hardy on the gallows was sold on eBay in 2013.