March 18th…..

On March 18, 1915, Wenseslao Moguel, a Mexican revolutionary in Pancho Villa’s army, was captured by federal troops and sentenced to death by firing squad. Moguel was shot nine times, including a mercy shot—the “coup de grace”—to the head at point-blank range to ensure death. He took the bullets but survived: the next day, he crawled out from the pile of bodies and dragged himself to a local church, where he received medical treatment.

Moguel went on to live another 60 years with half his face caved in, making frequent appearances on oddity shows like the Ripley’s Believe It or Not radio program and Broadway’s legendary “Odditorium” (which boasted “curioddities from 200 countries” and where fainting was fairly common). He even has a song written about him—“El Fusilado” (“The Executed One”), by the British band Chumbawamba.

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