: Before the Ohio Penitentiary’s closing in 1979, the execution chamber within the facility housed and displayed photographs of many of the prisoners sentenced to death throughout the state’s history. This portrait of Henry Loudermilk is one of them. Loudermilk was the leader and organizer of a small, ragtag gang of Columbus residents. He was the mastermind behind the robbery and murder of John M. Kidney, a 75-year-old farmer and blacksmith from Monroe Township. He coordinated this violent crime with the intention of stealing roughly $60,000, which was rumored to be hidden somewhere on Kidney’s property. On December 10, 1931 Loudermilk’s gang invaded Kidney’s home where they viciously beat and tortured the residents inside, Kidney himself and his elderly sister, Sarah. They scoured the house in search of the hidden money but were only able to find $446, a small fraction of the sum they had originally anticipated. Disappointed, the assailants fled the crime scene, leaving the Kidney siblings to die. The Kidneys were later discovered and assisted by a visiting neighbor. However, John’s injuries were too severe and he died while in the care of his neighbor and the county sheriff. Sarah, on the other hand, was eventually able to recover. And she later testified against her attackers in court.
Loudermilk was the second person involved in Kidney’s murder to be executed. The caption at the bottom of his photograph reads, “No. 166, Henry Loudermilk of Pickaway County, Electrocuted June 3rd, 1932, for the murder of John Kidney of Pickaway County, Ohio.” Loudermilk was married with six children and worked as an interior decorator in Columbus before his conviction and subsequent execution. He was electrocuted at the age of 47.
View on Ohio Memory.
: AL08225 Subjects
: Ohio History--State and Local Government--Law; Ohio History--State and Local Government--Corrections; Capital punishment--Ohio--History; Electrocution; Death row; Ohio Penitentiary (Columbus, Ohio) Places
: Pickaway County (Ohio); Columbus (Ohio)