John Hanson, Oklahoma
Updated: Monday, December 12, 2022
Oklahoma scheduled John Fitzgerald Hanson, a/k/a George John Hanson, to be executed on Thursday, December 15, 2022. His execution is stayed pending a custody resolution with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Fifty-eight-year-old John is convicted of murdering 77-year-old Mary Agnes Bowles on August 31, 1999, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. John has spent the last 20 years on death row in Oklahoma.
On August 31, 1999, John Hanson and Victor Cornell Miller kidnapped Mary Bowles from the Promenade Mall in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to kidnapping Mary, they stole her car and drove to a dirt pit near Owasso. The owner of the dirt pit, Jerald Thurman was on the phone and witnessed a car circling the pit. Moments later, Miller shot Jerald four times from the car. He then drove the car a short distance from Jerald.
Miller handed the gun to Hanson, telling Hanson that he knew what he had to do. Hanson took Bowles and made her lie in a roadside ditch, where he shot her multiple times. The shots were heard by neighbors who, a short time later, witnessed an unfamiliar car leading the area. Upon investigation, Jerald was found lying near his truck. He was taken to the hospital and died two weeks later, without ever regaining consciousness. Mary’s body was not discovered until a week later, on September 7.
After leaving the dirt pit, Hanson and Miller abandoned the car at a nearby motel. The car was discovered on September 9. Their fingerprints were found inside the car. After abandoning the car, they robbed a video store on September 3. On September 8, they robbed the Tulsa Federal Employees Credit Union.
The following day, Miller’s wife anonymously called the police, telling them where they could find the credit union robbers. Law enforcement from various jurisdictions worked together to arrest Miller and Hanson.
Miller and Hanson were charged jointly for the murders of Mary and Jerald. Prosecutors sought the death penalty against both men. Hanson was sentenced to death for the murder of Mary and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for Jerald’s murder. Miller also received a death sentence, however, it was later overturned and he was sentenced to life in prison.
In 2000, one year before being sentenced to death in Oklahoma, Hanson was tried in federal court for a series of armed robberies. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison plus 107 years. After being sentenced to death in Oklahoma, Hanson was placed in a federal prison in Louisiana. After having his execution date set in Oklahoma, state officials requested that Hanson be transferred to state prison. Federal officials have denied the request stating that the transfer “is not in the public’s best interest.”
Pray for peace for the families of Mary Bowles and Jerald Thurman. Pray for strength for the family of John Hanson. Please pray that if John is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented before his execution. Pray that John may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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