when the gallows trapdoor opened and Thompson fell, the sudden impact of the noose caused her to suffer a massive haemorrhage. The large amount of blood spilled, combined with the fact that Thompson had gained weight during her imprisonment even while resisting food, led to conjecture that she had been pregnant. However, no subsequent post-mortem examination was made. John Ellis, her executioner, eventually committed suicide, stating that he had remained haunted by the horror of Thompson’s final moments.

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