Hanging Pretty Juanita The only woman ever hanged in California.

hanged woman california true west magazine
Pretty Juanita hanged over the Yuba River in California.

It’s not clear just what her name was—she’s gone down in history as Pretty Juanita, but she may have been Josefa Segovia. She and her boyfriend lived in Downieville, California during the Gold Rush days. On July 4, 1851, she stabbed to death a miner who had accosted her. The enraged community put her on trial the next day. Found guilty, she was taken to a scaffold on a bridge over the Yuba River and lynched. Reportedly, she died game. Whatever her name was, she was the only woman ever hanged in California.

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