Henry Ruhl

Henry Ruhl (February 26, 1909 – April 27, 1945) was a spree killer and the only person executed in Wyoming by the U.S. government. This was also the second-to-last pre-Furman execution in the state and third-to-last .

Ruhl was convicted of the June 30, 1943, murder of Matt Katmo, a Cheyenne war plant worker, at a campground on a military reservation seven miles east of Laramie. Authorities also suspected the same person who murdered Katmo in the murders of Mr. and Mrs. Percy Cota near Laramie two days after Katmo's murder, although Ruhl was never charged. Initially, authorities believed a man named Howard Pickell was responsible for all three murders, and Pickell went as far as to give a false confession, but following Ruhl's guilty plea and a further investigation into the evidence, Pickell was exonerated.

As Katmo's murder occurred on a government reservation, the homicide was considered a federal capital crime, and Ruhl accordingly received a federal death sentence. At the time, federal death sentences were carried out in the state or territory where the crime took place and by the method of execution that the respective state or territory utilized, so Ruhl was put to death by gas chamber in the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins. Ruhl's execution was the first under new US President Harry S. Truman. Provided by Wikipedia
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