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Strange History: Unlucky 13?



In 1897, a young man was executed by the state of Georgia for the crime of murder.  Terrell Hudson, the condemned, blamed his fate on the unluckiest of numbers, the number thirteen.  After his death, Hudson became something of a national celebrity, having earned the label of "The Thirteen Murderer":

Decatur, Ia., June 30. - Terrell Hudson, the famous "13" murderer, was hanged at 11:46 o'clock this morning. He was declared dead in 14 minutes. An immense crowd of howling negroes surrounded the jail while the execution was taking place.

Hudson's crime was the murder of Seaborn Malcolm in DeKalb County, November 13, 1896. The two were field laborers, and quarreled over a dog. Thirteen figured in the case to such a remarkable degree that Hudson was known at the "13" murderer.

He was the 13th child of a 13th child, and born on the 13th of the month. There were 13 letters in his name. He killed 13 rabbits on the day of the murder. He was arrested 13 days after the crime and was placed in cell 13 of the Decatur jail. He was sentenced on the 13th of the month.

When these facts and others became generally generally talked about, his superstitious friends deserted him in terror. Ignorant people want the authorities to burn his effects.

The Arizona Republican; Phoenix, Arizona.
July 1, 1897; Page Three.

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