The subject of the execution was a "Tuff" who had perhaps broken both the laws of man and of God. According to the Deseret News, Fred “Welcome” Hopt was executed for the July 3, 1880 murder of John F. Turner of Provo, Utah. Turner was a teamster and the son of Provo’s sheriff. Hopt had a history of several run-ins with the law and supposedly had sworn vengeance against the sheriff and his family. He was convicted of hacking John Turner to death with an axe while the young man was sleeping at camp near Park City. The body was found a week later in Echo Canyon where it had apparently been dumped by Hopt.
The diary transcription follows. Spelling and punctuation are as in the original:
August 11, 1887
At 11 o’clock Welcome took his last walk down below the dead line where prisoners are not alowed before his execution. he paced up and down with R.B. Young on his right and the catholick priest & gard on the left.
In a few moments Hopt and the guard went in and R.B. and the priest continued walking while the guards were preparing the place of execution.
|Deseret News August 17, 1887 from digitalnewspapers.org|
Now the only question is, how exactly does that weather thing work? Is it like, "Hey, I'm enjoying my time here in spirit prison hell, but I did promise the warden some hail of the icy variety. Do you think we could get some sent to him?"
I am going to wonder next time it starts hailing.