Tue, Sep 24, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Tourists behind bars: Old prisons cater to curious

Reuters, JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri

The grounds of the prison include a former gas chamber, housed in a small limestone structure built by inmates in the early 1930s. Thirty-eight men and one woman were put to death there before the state changed its execution method in 1989 to lethal injection.

In the gas chamber, capital offenders suffered a “terrible death” by cyanide gas, Green said.

“You don’t just fall asleep,” he told the tour group. “The cyanide rips out your sinuses, it tears out your esophagus.”

“You can see how some people went in there for a very short time and still came out hardened,” retired minister Jim Rhiver said after touring the prison. “It was a terrible place to be.”

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