Ruth Ellis was a British model and nightclub owner. She liked glamour and cocktail-parties. She had a
difficult love life, and was jealous at her lover, who was a racing-driver. She shot her lover on the open
street, and was arrested easily.
At trial Ruth wanted her moment of stardom, she wore a smart well-cut black suit with astrakhan collar and
cuffs over a white silk blouse, her hair was freshly bleached and coiffured, her face pale but composed.
When she was comdemned to be hanged, she smiled faintly, then she walked briskly, high heels clicking,
down the stairs to the cells.Ruth Ellis was 28 years old when she was hanged in 1955.
Ruth approved to go to the gallows. She was
pro death penalty, and furthermore she didn't
like the life in prison.
Prisonlife had rapidly deprived her for some
of her feminity. She was dressed in a grey
dress, with her brassy, yellow hair, done up
into a ponytail. She was rather thin and very
She disliked the canvas pants she had to wear
to the gallows, she protested but to no use.
Ruth was confident about the efficience of
At the morning of her execution, she was a
bit nervous. She had a large brandy and knelt
to say her prayers.
Thirty seconds before 9 am her executioner,
Albert Pierrepoint entered her cell. Ruth let
herself to be escorted to the execution room
next door. She had her wrists strapped
behind her back and her ankles were
shackled. Pierrepoint placed her on the
gallows trapdoor, and placed a white hood
over her head, securing the hood with a
noose. He tightened the rope around her
neck, adjusting the rope's suspension point
about one inch in front of her lower left jaw.
Ruth Ellis was 5'2'' and weighted 103 lbs - a
small and slight lass. She made no resistance
at all, and was completely silent during the
He pulled a lever, the doors
opened with a bang and Ruth
plummeted through and
snapped her neck. She was
dead in less than ten seconds
after entering the execution
Ruth was examined one hour
after she was hanged. Her
body was well nourished and
showed evidence of proper
care and attention.
She had deep impressions
around her neck of noose
with suspension point about
one inch in front of the angle
of the left lower jaw. Vital
changes locally and in the
tissues beneath as a
consequence of sudden
constriction. No ecchymoses
in the face - or, indeed
elsewhere. No marks of
She had a fracture-dislocation
of the spine with a 2-inch gap
and transverse separation of
the spinal cord. Her body
showed no sign of
Ruth's neck had become
"rather long" - about 1½ times
it's usual length!
Afterwards her brother was
allowed to see her dead body.
A scarf was fitted to her
prolonged neck to hide the
marks from the noose.