Caryl Chessman was once a household name and the standard bearer for anti-capital punishment campaigning. As a criminal condemned to die in the gas chamber he attracted the support of public figures and celebrities from all areas of American society.

Chessman was just 27-years-old when he was arrested in Los Angeles on suspicion of being the notorious thief and sexual predator known as the ‘Red Light Bandit’.

The Bandit was known to approach victims in ‘Lovers Lane’ spots and flash a red light resembling that used by police in order to stop motorists. He would then rob the vehicle’s occupants and sometimes abduct women and force them to perform sexual acts.

Although Chessman signed a confession, he later recanted, saying that it had resulted from police brutality.