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Condemned Killer Protests Stay of Execution

Jan. 24, 1963 - A condemned killer today won a last-minute stay of execution despite his bitter protests. He had denounced Norman Redlich, the zealous, self-appointed attorney who saved his life, saying, “I am all set and prepared to go.” “I do not want any do-gooder to interfere,” complained 51-year-old Frederick C. Wood (pictured in 1943 and 1961), slayer of 5 persons, who mocked the judge 2 years ago when he was condemned to death. Wood was scheduled to die in Sing Sing prison’s electric chair at 10 p.m. tonight for the 1960 killing of two men who had befriended him. However, Federal District Judge Dudley B. Bonsal postponed execution to Feb. 4. Wood previously served 17 years in state prisons for beating a man to death in Elmira in 1942. Wood was paroled over the protests of Elmira law enforcement officials. Less than five weeks later, he beat to death John Rescigo, 62, and Frederick Sess, 78, during a wine-drinking party. Wood asserted he was the target of indecent proposals. After his arrest, Wood confessed his killing of a 16-year-old girlfriend in 1926, and the killing of an Elmira woman in 1933, adding: “I’d use anything I could get my hands on just so long as I could kill.”

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