Description: 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 Walker Brown of Hanford Village, Columbus is one of them. Brown was the youngest member of a gang led by another Columbus resident, Henry Loudermilk. On December 10, 1931 Loudermilk’s gang invaded the home of John and Sarah Kidney in Monroe Township with the intent of stealing roughly $60,000 that was rumored to be hidden within. In actuality, the robbers were only able to find $446. John Kidney, an elderly farmer and blacksmith, age 75, was violently beaten and killed by the assailants. Sarah, his invalid sister, age 70, was beaten and tortured. Although there were multiple men involved in this violent crime, Brown was identified by each of the accomplices as the one responsible for the actual murder of John Kidney. However, Brown continually denied being involved. He was the first person in the group to be executed for Kidney’s murder.
The caption at the bottom of the photograph reads, “Walker Brown, of Pickaway County, electrocuted June 3rd, 1932, for the murder of John Kidney of Pickaway County, Ohio.” Brown was executed at the age of 24.
View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: AL08224 Subjects: Ohio History--State and Local Government--Corrections; 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)
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