Posted: 29.06.20 at 14:58 by Tim Lethaby
Shepton Mallet Prison has a chapter dedicated to it in a new book on executions in Somerset over the years.
Author Ann Marie Gould has just released Somerset Executions, and Shepton Mallet Prison is featured in the chapter about American military executions in the Second World War.
Somerset Executions gives the reader insight into the executions carried out across the county and how society contributed to their deaths.
It tells more than 30 tales of murder, forgery, highway robbery plus many more. The stories illustrate how poverty and lack of choice led people to risk their lives.
Some were desperate souls just trying to feed their families or escape violent marriages while some were just downright "bad to the bone" criminals.
The book gives the reader insight into the justice system, the locations where these executions took place and the professional hangmen that travelled the county to carry out the executions.
Ann Marie Gould is a new author who has self-published this title. She has studied and provided services in genealogy and local history for more than 10 years and says she has a real love for Somerset and the people that walked down our streets before us.
Although local crime is a particular interest, Ann Marie writes about all aspects of Somerset People and places on her blog - https://amgouldsomersetauthor.com/.
Between 1943 and 1945, there were 18 executions of American soldiers, 16 by hanging and two by firing squad or death by musketry at Shepton Mallet Prison.
Among those featured in the book include the execution of J C Leatherberry, who was convicted of murdering a taxi driver; Alex Miranda, who was convicted of shooting his sergeant in Devon; and George Smith, who was convicted of killing explorer Sir Eric Teichman.
The book is available to buy on Amazon, or direct from the author via her blog.