Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th: Grim Anniversary of Idaho's Only Double Execution

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Today, Friday the 13th, marks a grim anniversary in the history of Idaho crime and punishment.

On Friday, April 13, 1951, Idaho made the front pages of newspapers across the nation when it hung 21-year-old Troy Powell and 20-year-old Ernest Walrath, less than a year after a crime that left a Boise neighborhood grocer dead following a $12 robbery. It was Idaho's only double-execution, and to this day, Powell and Walrath are the youngest convicts to be executed.


Tonight, the Old Idaho Penitentiary will be open from 6-10 p.m. and will conduct special tours on the half-hour, with emphasis on the events that led up to the double-execution at the Old Pen. Among the items being unveiled this evening are two black sheaths - death hoods - placed over the heads of Powell and Walrath before they were hung.

On April 14, 1951, Powell and Walrath were buried side by side at Boise's Morris Hill Cemetery. For months, temporary markers on the graves were stolen. According to eyewitnesses, hangman's nooses were constantly being left on Walrath's headstone. Powell's headstone, which notes his service in the U.S. Army, was eventually left untouched. Due to vandalism, Walrath's grave remains unmarked.

You can see a slideshow and read the full story of Powell and Walrath here.

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