Plan of Gallows at Mt Eden Prison

Plan of Gallows at Mt Eden Prison

Archives New Zealand posted a photo: Walter Bolton was executed on this day 18 February 1956 for the murder of his wife Beatrice. Beatrice died of arsenic poisoning on the couple’s Whanganui farm and the case against her husband was tenuous. It was argued that the poison could have got into the farm water tanks from sheep dip. Traces of arsenic were also found in the systems of Bolton and his daughters. But the case against him strengthened when he was found to be having an affair with his

Archives New Zealand posted a photo:

Plan of Gallows at Mt Eden Prison

Walter Bolton was executed on this day 18 February 1956 for the murder of his wife Beatrice.

Beatrice died of arsenic poisoning on the couple’s Whanganui farm and the case against her husband was tenuous. It was argued that the poison could have got into the farm water tanks from sheep dip. Traces of arsenic were also found in the systems of Bolton and his daughters. But the case against him strengthened when he was found to be having an affair with his wife’s sister and he was found guilty, while protesting his innocence. His execution was botched as his neck did not break when he was hanged and witnesses were forced to watch him slowly choking to death. This added strength to the case against capital punishment and it was abolished in 1961. Bolton was the last person to suffer a state execution in this country.

Shown here is a detailed plan of the gallows at Mt Eden Prison where Bolton’s execution took place.

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More information can be found here:
nzhistory.govt.nz/walter-bolton-becomes-the-last-person-t...
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