|Lofie Louise Preslar Peete
Born in 1883 Lofie Louise Preslar was raised in an aristocratic Louisiana family.
Louise was the typical Southern Belle: educated, refined and attractive. She had a
cold and cunning charm, that attracted men.
Louise shot and killed her boyfriend when she was just 20 years old in 1903. when
she later appeared before a grand jury, she convinced the panel she was defending
herself against a sexual assault.
In 1921 the wholesome looking, stylish, handsomely plump young matron of
thirty-eight arrived at San Quentin, her "little grey home in the west". Louise, with
a peaches-and-cream complexion, an air of innocent sweetness managed to obtain
a parole in 1939, but five years later she had murdered an elderly widow and was
send back to San Quentin. This time to be gassed!
She was now plumper and her hair was flecked with gray, but she still had the
same lovely complexion and wholesome appearance. She looked like a benign
schoolteacher or president of the Tuesday Ladies Sewing Circle.
Louise Peete was taken to San Quentin on April 10, 1947, She slept fitfully, but
without sedatives, The next morning she wrote a few letters early today and drank
only a cup of coffee for breakfast.
Louise entered the gas chamber on April 11, 1947, wearing a grey-and-burgundy
print dress and her Chanel N°5.
She went into the apple green chamber at 10:03 a. m. As she entered the gas
chamber she faced some 80 men—one of the largest groups ever to witness a San
She came into the chamber smiling and seemingly calm, although her hands were
trembling. The dramatic moment of the execution came when she looked up and
saw Warden Clinton Duffy, a long-time acquaintance from her years in San
Quentin Prison, watching through a window. She gave him a brief smile and nod
and seemingly said “hello” or “goodbye.” It was Impossible to tell which words
her lips formed as her final expression in this world.
She sat down and looked straight ahead, moving co-operatively as guards pieced
her in the chair. A guard patted her gently on the shoulder. “Take it easy,” he
whispered. She murmured her thanks.
It was a long moment before the guards left the chamber and the deadly gas
pellets dropped. The release was noticeable by a metallic clank. In a few seconds
cyanide fumes arose and she took a deep death-bringing breath, just as she had
been told to do. According to reports, Louise threw her head back and coughed. A
single white light over the chamber door flooded her face with pallor. Louise
"fought to keep her head high, as if a proud tragedienne in a final curtain call."
When she died, "her face had changed no more than a mask."
Louise was pronounced dead at 10:13 a. m
|The carpet was rolled out for Loveable Louise's last mile