In the period from 1902 until the mid 1930s Southern Rhodesia was swept by a series of moral panics. The sexual threat posed by black men to white women, which was known as Black Peril, led in 1903 to the introduction of the death penalty for attempted rape. Over the next decades more than twenty men were executed. Many of those men were innocent of any serious crime. Their fate is a reminder that sexual relations between Europeans and colonial subjects were one of the most problematic features of colonial life.