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
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.