The Buenos Aires Herald is back!

The Herald's website shows an edition of the paper for Feb. 2, 1912. If you look in the third column the news of the day there's the news that the former President of Ecuador, Eloy Alfaro had, on January 28th, had been dragged from jail by an angry mob. The BA Herald reported that he was lynched. That's not accurate. The mob dragged Alfaro and his associates through the streets and when they arrive at a park on the edge of the city, all were dead. The bodies were then burned.
The historical origin of the word "lynch" is unclear. The word is generally considered to be American in origin and may have appeared as early as the American revolution (cf. OED). In the earliest period of its use the word seems to have been used to describe a variety of extra-legal punishments. But later, in the Reconstruction period, through the height of Klu Klux Klan activity in the 1920s, it can be argued that the dramatic use of the word in press accounts was most used in instances of death by hanging, and that this became the common understanding of the word. If you have additional information, I'd be interested.

H.L. Mencken, BTW is especially appropriate here. He was excoriated for his vociferous damnation of lynchings in the early 1930s, especially by what he called the "poor white trash" of Maryland's Eastern Shore. He ignored them noting: "Inasmuch as I had no desire to be admired by morons I let the Shoremen howl."
lynch (linch), v.t.
to put to death, esp. by hanging, by mob action and without legal authority.
[1825–35, Amer.; v. use of lynch in LYNCH LAW]
—lynchÆer, n.
—Syn. See hang.

Source, Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, v3.0 for Windows 32 bit, copyright 1999. I believe the content is the same as the book version, 2nd edition; for a while they were bundled together.