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Louis Wagner

This widely distributed photograph is presumed to be of Louis Wagner, convicted of murdering two women on Smuttynose Island in 1873. He was found guilty and hanged on June 25, 1875. Wagner, one of the last five men executed before capital punishment was abolished in Maine, protested that he was innocent to the end. Hoping for a reprieve he met Maine Governor Nelson Dingley and asked him, "Do I look like a man who would commit such a crime?" The governor responded, "You look to me like a man that got himself into a corner and murdered his way out."

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Photo courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum

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