By Irene Pence
Here's the chilling precise tale of Betty Lou Beets, the "Texas Black Widow" -- a lady who shot and killed of her husbands, and tried to homicide others. After a sensational trial, she was once sentenced to die by way of deadly injection, and fifteen years later, on February 24, 2000, she used to be carried out.
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So these families, who would eventually merge into one and produce two of the most infamous people London had ever known, were settled into a new land, into a new city and into an area that contemporary outsiders saw as a place to fear, populated by the poorest of the poor – thieves, anarchists and criminals – but better this and life than the alternative they had fled from. That these settlers raised families, who went on to produce the grandparents of the Krays and Lees, was a miracle in the face of statistics.
These never failed to draw enormous crowds, sometimes reaching numbers of twenty thousand and more. It would be more than likely that the great grandparents of our present-day family would have been taken on such an outing, much as we might take our own children to Alton Towers. A brisk walk from the East End would have taken them to the docks at Wapping where traditionally those who carried out crimes on the sea paid the price of justice. Once the sentence had been carried out the corpse was traditionally left until three tides had washed over it, only then was it taken down and hung on a gibbet as a warning to others.
Today, with work available at almost any level, blue collar or white, with some initiative or a small talent for warbling or kicking a ball, most of us can aim high: a villa in Spain, top-of-the-range cars and positions of either fame or power or both. Nothing is out of reach. Victorian lower working classes had no such aspirations. Live, work, raise a family and die – that’s about as good as it would get and it was generally accepted. But living was not only about a lifeand- death struggle. At a time when you could get drunk for a ha’penny and dead drunk for a penny, pubs were on every corner, while porterhouses, beer shops and front-room drinking places filled in the gaps between.