It was just 12:38 when the drop fell. He shot straight through the trap, the neck was broken, and in twelve minutes he was a corpse. Henry Popp died, so to speak, when his death warrant was read. From that time on he moved as one in a delirium, dumb and awake with terror. He stood on the scaffold and gazed about him as though he dreamed, and some dread vision haunted him.
Popp got into an altercation with a Canton saloon-keeper, went out and carefully sharpened his knife. Returning, he reengaged in the quarrel, and literally cut his man to pieces. This happened April 21, 1890.
Popp was an illiterate German laborer, thirty-one years of age. He emigrated to the United States from Prussia while yet a child. He earned a living by working as a section hand on the railroad, or any other kind of labor he could find to do. He made a statement to the press before his death comprising a sketch of his life, and the causes which led to his untimely end.
"I never had the chance," said he, "that the young men of Ohio have today, and had no education. I can neither read nor write, and because of my ignorance of American ways I have placed myself where I am, and am compelled to leave this earth by the gallows. I did not intend to kill my man. I did it in the heat of passion. I am sorry, and hope God will forgive my sin and save my soul."