On this day in 1943, a South Carolina woman named Sue Logue was executed along with her brother-in-law, George Logue, and a down-on-his-luck plasterer named Clarence Bagwell. The Logues had hired Bagwell to kill their neighbor, who had previously killed Sue Logue’s husband over a feud concerning a dead calf.
What makes this story interesting is that before Sue Logue’s arrest, she had been having an affair with an Edgefield County school superintendent named Strom Thurmond. Yes, that Strom Thurmond. Logue was a teacher in Thurmond’s district, and rumor has it that the two had once been “caught in the act” in the future senator’s own office. When police surrounded Logue’s house to arrest her, Thurmond — by now a local judge — even intervened in the standoff to ensure that she came quietly (no pun intended).
What makes the story even more interesting is that before Logue was to be executed, Thurmond rode with her from the Columbia women’s penitentiary to the prison which housed Death Row, and even managed to “get it in” one last time before his mistress was executed.
Randall Johnson, a black man who supervised “colored help” at the State House and often served as driver and messenger, drove Sue from the women’s penitentiary to the death house at the main penitentiary in Columbia. In the back seat with her, he said many years later, was Thurmond, then an Army officer on active duty. They were “a-huggin’ and a-kissin’ the whole day,” said Johnson, whom Thurmond later as governor considered a trusted driver… In whispered “graveyard talk” — the kind of stories not to be told outsiders — the word around SLED (State Law Enforcement Division) was that Joe Frank said his aunt Sue was the only person seduced on the way to the electric chair.
Ladies and gentlemen, South Carolina politics.