Ruth Ellis

1926 – 1955 (Life Span)

Last woman to be hanged in the UK. Ellis was a model and nightclub hostess convicted of the murder of her lover, David Blakely. The case caused widespread controversy at the time, evoking exceptionally intense press and public interest. On the day of her execution, the Daily Mirror columnist Cassandra wrote a column attacking the sentence, writing "The one thing that brings stature and dignity to mankind and raises us above the beasts will have been denied her—pity and the hope of ultimate redemption". A petition to the Home Office asking for clemency was signed by 50,000 people, but the Conservative Home Secretary Major Gwilym Lloyd George rejected it.