Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 08:11:48 :
Marin County Tocsin
Saturday, April 28, 1900
The Murder of the Tamale Vending Cripple Pays the Last Penalty
The usual crown of morbid sensation seekers journeyed to San Quentin last Monday morning to witness the execution of Joaquin Eslabe. The Oakland murderer shot through the trap at 10:31 a.m., Hangman Frank Arbogast being the executioner. In nine and a half minutes, Dr. Casey, the prison physician, and Drs. Wickman and Jones, of San Rafael, pronounced life extinct. The drop was 5 feet 8 inches. It was generally thought that Eslabe would create a scene on the scaffold and on this account a larger crowd than usual was present. Shortly before 10 o'clock, Warden Aguirre entered the death chamber accompanied by Guards Mueller and Begley. The procession then started. Fathers Valentini and Sullivan walked with the warden in front of the condemned man to the gallows. As the warden addressed him, Eslabe smiled and lit a cigarette. He then professed himself prepared and a few seconds later the trap fell. Eslabe spoke no word, nor did he exhibit any sign of fear.
The crime for which Eslabe was executed was the murder of Charles E. Gates, an old tamale vender in Oakland, on the night of March 27, 1899. Gates, a cripple, was tied to his chair by Eslabe, and after he had robbed him of a $25 and $1.75 in money, the murderer beat his victim's scull to a jelly with a piece of gas pipe.
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