A Death Row Conversion Bill Longley tried to improve his chances of making his maker.

bill longley true west magazine
Bill Longley

Bill Longley was a killer who tried to change at the last minute. The Texas hard-case claimed to have killed 32 men between 1868 and 1877 (the real toll was around eight).

Longley was caught, tried and sentenced to die in 1878. In July, he converted to Catholicism and began writing letters about the evils of crime. On the morning of his hanging—October 11—two priests spent time with him. They mounted the gallows with him, standing by Longley as he prepared to die. He also had a Catholic symbol on a cord around his neck.

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