Former prostitute Barbara was nicknamed “Bloody Babs” by the press after she beat Mabel Monahan to death. She and two accomplices, Jack Santo and Emmet Perkins, were attempting to rob the wealthy elderly lady’s house, but they failed to find anything of value and left empty-handed. They only later learned that a closet right next to where they’d murdered Monahan contained a purse with $15,000.
Graham was executed in San Quentin gas chamber on June 3, 1955. Her execution was repeatedly pushed back from 10:00 PM until 11:30, to which she lamented, “Why do they torture me? I was ready to go at ten o’clock.” Her last words were a snarky, resonant “Good people are always so sure they’re right.”
She was pronounced dead at 11:42. She wore a blindfold so that she didn’t have to look at the observers, and she held her breath in a last-minute attempt to stay alive.
This is a movie still from “I Want to Live” with the Oscar-winning Susan Hayward as Barbara Graham.