Let's take a quick Louisiana History lesson.

I recall years ago learning about a woman named Toni Jo Henry, she was a young lady in Louisiana who did some very bad things.

Henry, who was born Annie Beatrice McQuiston,  was a young lady who lost her mother at a young age and struggled to maintain a relationship with her father and stepmother.

Her father beat her when she lost her job because her manager learned that she had tuberculosis in her family.

After not wanting to remain with her family, Henry hit the streets and turned to drugs and prostitution.

Death Row Executions YouTube
Death Row Executions YouTube

In 1939, she fell in love with a client and would soon then marry the man, Claude Henry.

Like Toni Jo, her husband had a criminal history too. He actually murdered a police officer prior to their marriage and not long after they were married, he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to prison in the Texas State Peneitary.

After his sentence, Toni Jo and a man by the name of Harold Burks planned to help Claude Henry escape from prison.

On their way there, they robbed a bank and hitchhiked a portion of the way.

Joseph P. Calloway would be the one to pick the two up, not knowing what they had just done or what they were planning to do. Somewhere near Jennings, La., the two had Calloway pull over and strip himself of his clothing.

Then, they shot him once and left him to die in a field.

Henry's accomplice got "cold feet" prior to reaching the prison, where they were to break Claude Henry out of, and left Tori Jo behind.

She would return to Louisiana and go to the house of her aunt. There, she told her family member of the murder she committed, not knowing that her aunt was married to a Louisiana State Trooper.

Toni Jo's aunt reported the crime to her husband and it was then that Toni Jo was arrested for murder.

She was convicted and sentenced to death in Louisiana, and after three trials she was executed on November 28, 1942.

The only woman to be executed in Louisiana is buried in Orange Groove Cemetery, in Lake Charles.

Her case and story of the murder have been documented in several books and films.

The last execution in Louisiana was in 2010.

For more on the story of Toni Jo Henry, check out this brief documentary.


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