John Thornton

Laura Thornton married Simon Moynier on November 5, 1891, near Krebs, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. Subsequent reports indicated that 20-year old Laura was being abused by her father, John Thornton.

Six days later, John Thornton killed Laura. He attempted suicide after the killing.

Thornton was quickly arrested. In custody, he confessed.

At trial in Fort Smith, Thornton’s defense of alcohol-related insanity failed and he was convicted of murder on March 15, 1892.

John Thornton was hanged on June 28, 1892. At 65 years old, he was the oldest man executed at Fort Smith.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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