Annie Beatrice (Toni Jo) Henry
The Louisiana Tiger Woman
Toni Jo Henry was only 26 years old when she went to the electric chair on November 28, 1942. Toni Jo was beautiful and intellegent. She was quite tall, about 5'7'' with a perfect unblemished dark complexion and thick jet black hair.
She hitchhiked and forced the driver to go to a secluded spot and strip. Then she grabbed his penis with a pair of pliers and dragged him to a rice field where she shot him.
Afterwards she went to her Aunt. The Aunt realized that Toni Jo was in trouble but was only able to glean fragments of information. Worried she decided to tell her brother who was a policeman but found that he was on vacation. So she explained her concerns to one of his colleagues, who accompanied the Aunt back to interview Toni Jo. He was completely unprepared for Toni's full confession, she even gave him the revolver with one fired and five live rounds still in it. Toni Jo met the police in red slacks and a short jacet. During her trial, she wore high heels to the court and was described by the press as a sultry woman.
When her death sentence was read her only display of emotion was a quivering chin and a bitten lip.
A wealthy elderly woman had send furniture, books and a vanity to her cell. She sat at her vanity when the hairdresser came by just before her execution. She cried as he started to cut it all off. She was supposed to have a complete headshave, but was allowed an "army-style" haircut instead.
At 12.05 pm. Toni jo descended the stairs to the portable chair. She was barelegged, wore a black crepe dress and black pumps together with a bright shawl. As she stepped off the stairs, turned left and faced the sturdy chair she became hesitant. Toni Jo had asked not to be dragged to the chair, and when nudged forward she sat down unassisted and was strapped in without resistance. She was calm but nervous. A black cloth mask was pulled over her head, leaving only her nose and top visible. A wet sponge was placed under the leather headpiece and a leg electrode was placed on her right leg. She prayed for a few moments before the executioner said "Goodbye Toni Jo". Suddently, at 12.10 pm. Toni Jo began to shake violently. While the 2350 volts went through her body a puff of smoke curled up from her head. Soon her body was allowed to relax and slumped against the restraints that held it to the chair. Toni Jo was declared dead at 12.12 pm.
Thirty minutes later her sheet-clad body was brought out on a stretcher.
In the funeral home her body was laid out dressed in her simple silk dress holding the ivory crucifix she clutched in the chair. More than 7800 asked to see her dead body. Some visitors were praying, but others were simply gazing at the electrocuted beauty.
After "lying in repose" she was buried in a respectable grey casket.