Douglas Thmopson - Author and International Journalist

The First In USA To Be Executed By The Needle
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Killer Dies By The Needle

Daily Mail 8th December 1982

STRAPPED down in the death chamber in Huntsville Jail, Texas, Charlie Brooks became yesterday the first killer in America to be executed by injection.
Minutes before, Warden Jack Pursley had asked him : 'Do you have any last words ?' Brooks, stretched out on a hospital trolley in golden slacks and open khaki shirt, replied : 'I do.'
The 40-year-old black gunman turned his head to look at his girl friend Vanessa Sapp, there at the end because he wanted her to be. 'I love you,' he whispered. 'Be strong.'
It was just after midnight.
Brooks, sentenced for murdering a car mechanic, lay still as a needle was inserted into his right arm. Through a tube running from behind a wall that concealed the executioner came a deadly mixture : sodium pentothal—the truth drug potassium chloride, and pavulon to relax his muscles.
The condemned man took a long, deep yawn and then, wheezed. Two
doctors spent several minutes examining him. Dr Ralph Gray declared : 'I pronounce this man dead.' It was 12.16 a.m.

Vanessa left the chamber followed by other witnesses, among them a Press representative. Beyond the prison walls protesters blew out their candles.
• Three people executed in South Africa yesterday for murder brought the number of hangings there this year to one hundred.

Police in gun raid on Smith

HARARE: Police raided the farm of former Prime Minister Ian Smith yesterday for the second time in a week and seized all his sporting guns.

Mr Smith's wife, Janet, said that two policemen came to the farm saying they had orders from above to seize all their weapons.
"They were all licensed and were the type of weapons used on a farm,' she said.
Mr Smith has been at the centre of a row with Zimbabwe's Socialist Government over an interview he gave to an American newspaper in which he sharply criticised the Government's performance and conditions in the country.


BOSTON: Senator Edward Kennedy and his wife Joan were yesterday granted.' a divorce decree which becomes final in a year.

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