Toni Jo Henry

Toni Jo Henry

Toni Jo Henry (January 3, 1916 - November 28, 1942), Annie Beatrice McQuiston, was the only woman executed in Louisiana's electric chair (for the murder of Joseph P. Calloway).

Early life

Born near Shreveport, Louisiana, she was the third of five children. Her mother died while she was a child. She worked in a factory, but later found her way into the employment of a local brothel as a prostitute. Petite, young and very attractive, she was very popular with many men. She soon became addicted to alcohol, marijuana and cocaine.

Marriage to Claude "Cowboy" Henry

In 1939, she met Cowboy Henry in the brothel where she worked. A down-on-his-luck prize fighter, Cowboy fell in love with the young prostitute. Married on November 25, 1939, the couple honeymooned in Southern California. During this time, Cowboy was able to wean his young bride off her various drug addictions.

Arrest of Claude "Cowboy" Henry

Upon returning from California, Claude Henry was arrested for the murder of Texas man prior to their marriage. He was found guilty in January of 1940 and sentenced to 50 years in the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville.

Murder of Joseph P. Calloway

Toni Jo Henry then began contemplating plans to break her husband out of Huntsville Prison. She and Finnon Burks murdered Joseph P. Calloway after he offered to give the two a ride. The victim's Ford V8 Coupe was fastest enough to facilitate as a get-a-way car.

As they passed Jennings, Louisiana, Toni Jo pulled out a 32 caliber pistol and ordered Mr. Calloway to drive down a country road. She then ordered him out of the car and to undress. After Finnon collected the clothes, she told the victim to kneel down and say his prayers. She then shot him brutally in the head.

She later was interviewed by a Shreveport police officer, where she confessed and tendered over the murder weapon.

Trials and appeals

Her first trial occurred the week of March 27, 1940. After the deliberating for 7 hours, she was convicted and sentenced to death. Her accomplice was later convicted and sentenced to death. She appealed and was granted a new trial.

The second trial occurred February of 1941. After an hour of deliberations, she was again convicted and sentenced to death--and again appealed and was granted a new trial.

The third trial occurred January of 1942. Again convicted and sentenced to death, she appealed--but this time her appeal was denied.


While pending her trials, Louisiana changed its method of execution from hanging to death by electrocution. Toni Jo Henry was executed on November 28, 1942.

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