Sirena Jackson

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Sirena Jackson was a Pensacola woman who killed her husband, Ben Jackson, by striking him in the head with an axe and then strangling him with a rope in July 1898. According to neighbors, Ben regularly beat his wife, and Sirena told them she feared for her life. After the neighbors saw Ben's dead body in a pool of blood on July 7, 1898, Deputy Sheriff F. D. Sanders apprehended Sirena on a train leaving the city.

In the December 1898 trial, Sirena pleaded "not guilty," claiming the act was committed in necessary self-defense. In January 1899 a jury found her guilty of first-degree murder, with a recommendation for mercy. She was sentenced to life in prison.


  • Vivien Miller. "Wife-Killers and Evil Temptresses: Gender, Pardons and Respectability in Florida, 1889-1914." Florida Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, Number 1, Summer 1996.