Friday, February 4, 2011
Tart of the Week: Catherine Hayes
Catherine Hayes is both the name of an opera singer and the name of a murderess. Take a guess which one we shall be discussing based on the above mugshot.
After a particularly bad argument with John, Catherine the sociopath decided he must be killed. She recruited Billings for the task and a second lodger who she had convinced him that John has killed two of their children. So the plan was hatched. The three binge-drank with John until he was black-out drunk. Then, like a scene ripped out of the pages of Party Monster (the similarities are uncanny*) the three went about murdering John. They hit him over the head with a hatchet and then cut up the body into pieces to be disposed in the Thames. Catherine actually wanted to boil her deceased husband's body to remove the bones which just shows how sick in the head she was! However, that plan was thrown out. So, long gruesome story short, body parts were dropped off in various ponds and the Thames due to poor planning. Poor planned murders always lead to spoiled murder plans and that is exactly what happened to Catherine and her followers.
Tyburn arrived, there was quite the crowd appearing to spectate. Catherine watched as men were hung at the infamous tree, including those for sodomy, theft, and even her accomplice Billings for the crime he committed with her. Catherine's grim destiny lay elsewhere. Her punishment was to be burned at the stake. Catherine had begged the executioner to strangle her with the rope around her neck, a common means of mercy for executions by fire, however the smoke blew into his eyes preventing him from the act of mercy. All eyewitness reports describe a very dramatic ending for dear Catherine, complete with her pawing to move the fagots of wood away. She put on quite an end show that was rather gruesome...but then again, it would seem she was quite deserving of it.
*In this true story, murder was committed by parties under the influence of drugs. They hit the victim over the head with a hammer rather than hatchet, cut up the body and put it in a box to be disposed in the Hudson rather than Thames. However the box was lined with cork and floated.