STEWART PAYS FULL PENALTY FOR HIS CRIME
Dies on Gallows at Globe for Murder of Hillpot and Kibbe; Lost Nerve Before Trigger Was Sprung and Confesses
GLOBE, May 29.—William Stewart, murderer of Fred Kibbe and Frank Hillpot, paid the penalty of his crime this morning here, when he dropped through space to the end of the rope.
He walked to the gallows with United States Marshal Dillon and Don Willits holding his arms at 11 a.m. The drop was sprung at 11:04 and Dr. J. S. Perkins announced that the pulse was extinct at 11:15:45, eleven minutes and 45 seconds after the fall.
Death was instantaneous, the neck being broken by the fall.
Stewart held his nerve until it was time to spring the drop. He wilted at the last moment, and, after the black cap was placed over his head, was held upright by United States Marshal Dillon and Deputy Cline while Deputy Don Willits cut the release strong which dropped the man to the end of the hemp.
There were no convulsions, the body relaxing easily as the pulse deadened. Stewart made no public statement prior to his death as was expected. Instead, he called Father Barrett, a priest of Globe, to whom he told the story of the killing and made his final preparation for the death an hour before the hanging. "He is all right," said Father Barrett, after hearing the confession. He added: "He has told me all and is safe."
Marshal Dillon and Sheriff Hayes called at the death cell for the man. Stewart shook hands and, smiling at Hayes, said "Good-bye, Frank."
He walked from the cell to the scaffold steadily, but the sweat stood out on his brow and he trembled.
On the gallows Marshal Dillon and Deputy Willits adjusted the straps. The prisoner smiled during the operation, but paled in his smile as Dillon placed the black cap on his head.
Dillon was placing the rope when Stewart's nerve broke and he dropped to his knees, and almost fell.
He was caught by Dillon and Cline, who held him upright while Willits dropped the trap. Dillon asked him on the gallows just before the death cap was donned, "Have you anything to say, Bill?" He answered: "Nothing; no, Joe," and the cap was placed. "Good-bye, Joe," were his last words, and he fell in a faint as he was saying them.
Prior to his death he was visited in his cell by Thomas Flanning, his attorney, and made a complete statement of the life and death theories he held at the time. "I would rather hang than spend my life in Atlanta," was his statement. He continued: "There is no punishment but the anticipation in this, but a man's soul goes through hell in the tortures of prison. This is easy and will soon be over."
Thousands of eager and morbid spectators swarmed on the roots of the buildings in the neighborhood and filled the court about the scaffold, straining to see the man and the execution.
They were held in check by the city police and members of the sheriff's force. There was no disorder, but several called "bravo" when Stewart walked to the scaffold and stepped on the trap.