I first knew about William Tyndale reading a Watchtower (or Awake!; I don't remember too well). Of all the things I have read in Watchtower publications, that is the one I remember the most. I found it awful that someone should be prevented from translating the Bible. It was perhaps the first time I doubted the Catholic Church. The witnesses aparently had no problem recognizing the fact that the clergy of the time had been wrong, and Tyndale had been right.
Galileo wasn't killed. He was just forced to recant. It took 800 years for the Catholic Church to apologize about Galileo and his saying that the earth revolved around the sun, not the other way around. Realistically speaking, the Catholic Church had to apologize. How can you not apologize if you forced a man to recant, when he was only telling the truth?
Joan of Arc was burned at the stake by the burgundians, supposedly because she was heretic. She was supposed to have been sent by God. Then she was burned as heretic. She was later made a saint. That, however, didn't save her from the flames or rape.
In my humble opinion, this should tell the reasonable person that quite often our religious beliefs are simply not right, and we should not be so quick to kill dissenters. And then, I wonder, is there an official Watchtower story about Galileo? If a geologist came and claimed that the earth is not seven thousand years old, what would the Watchtower say? What is the way they would see, say, Richard Dawkins or Stephen Hawking?