Charlie Birger Noose Back in the Hands of Late Sheriff's Granddaughter


By Stephanie Tyrpak

FRANKLIN COUNTY - A legal flap over a colorful piece of southern Illinois history has come to an end.

Outlaw Charlie Birger was executed in Benton in 1928 in the last public hanging in the state.

The noose from the hanging was passed down through the late sheriff's family, and then loaned to the Franklin County Historic Preservation Society.

The sheriff's granddaughter, Rebecca Cocke, has been fighting to get the noose back for more than five years.

A court order was signed Thursday, and the noose was handed over to Cocke. She plans to keep the noose in the family.
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