We know New Mexico has a history of haunted locations but nothing's scarier than death. Back in the 1800s, one woman became historic in the state's history but not for a reason you'd WANT to be known for: Paula Angel became the first women to be executed in New Mexico. Incredibly though, she nearly became one of the people to ESCAPE her execution too.

Who was Paula Angel & why was she executed in New Mexico?

In 1861, a 19 year old Mexican-American woman named Paula Angel, was living in San Miguel County, New Mexico. She was enamored by a man named Juan Miguel Martin; she fell in love with him but when it was found out that her lover was actually married (and refused to leave her wife for him), she decided to take matters into her own hand. On March 23, 1861, Paula stabbed Juan Miguel martin a total of 3 times; the 3rd one killing him instantly.

Paula was arrested the next day & was sentenced to death by hanging by the town's sheriff, Antonio Abad Herrera in what is present day, Las Vegas, New Mexico. On April 26, 1861, the entire town came out to watch the spectacle of Angel's hanging. A noose was wrapped around her neck, but not her hands. This allowed Paula to fight for an escape. The crowd, actually came to her aid by pushing the Sherriff aside and cut the rope to get Paula on the ground, allowing her to be free.

For a while it looked as thought she escaped the grasp of death... that was until the Sherriff said there was still justice that needed to be done. He tied another rope around Paula's neck, much to the crowd's dismay & disapproval and...well... Paula staying hanging until the sentence was carried out. Paula Angel died at the age of 19.

For years the details behind her death were uncertain; this WAS the 1800s after all so not much documentation was kept around that time. Until a century later, a news story published by Robert Torrez showing evidence of newspaper clippings from that time period, showing that everything about the story was true. This also proved that Paula Angel was the first (and so far the only) woman to ever be executed via hanging in New Mexico.

In recent years, Paula's story was mentioned in a 2018 episode of Deadly Women entitled "Jilted & Jealous" & has been covered by various people on YouTube.

While I don't condone Paula's actions of murder, I understand WHY she did it & looking at the actions at what the Sherriff had done, it's still regarded as one of the craziest execution stories ever told in New Mexico & perhaps the United States...

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