One that sounds like BS…but it may not be. (Graphic Content)

Police say a woman who lives in the home found her husband dead in the garage.
His hands and feet were tied and the body had been decapitated.
Tulsa police told KRMG news, the death was due to suicide

via Tulsa man found decapitated, police suspect suicide | www.krmg.com.

In my younger, less illustrated days I would have called flag on the play on this one. But believe it or not, decapitations are not uncommon in hangings.

Years ago I read the book Until You Are Dead: The Book of Executions in America (which somehow is MIA from my library, that should tel you something about accumulation) and found out that hanging is actually very delicate “science.” The idea is to break the neck as in severing the spinal cord so the death is instantaneous, but unless you know the exact combination of rope, coils, weight and a couple of other factors, the executioner would either suffocate the individual (Usually not enough wait and that resulted in having to actually pull the guy down by his legs to accelerate the process) or if the weight was too much (adding sandbags to the feet was normal) the rope would cut through the neck and decapitate the condemned man. This is not a “clean” decapitation as one would think done by a very sharp blade but a rather gruesome tearing of the flesh and separation of bones.

Notorious outlaw Thomas Edward “Black Jack” Ketchum had the misfortune of being decapitated at his hanging. The favorite story is that the person selected to be the executioner was not experienced and got his knowledge by third hand. Even though the gallows was built right and according to the specifications required by the height and weight of Black Jack Ketchum when arrested, the executioner failed to take into account that in the time Ketchum was in the shade, he gained a lot of weight and all calculations were now off.
On April 26, 1901 at 1:13 pm Ketchum was executed with less than perfect results:

Before....
Before….
KetchumDecapitated
and after…yes, that is his head up front.

There are better ways to go…

3 Replies to “One that sounds like BS…but it may not be. (Graphic Content)”

  1. On a related note, I read that the barbaric nature of many medieval executions was due to the belief that suffering was good for the sinful soul, and thus one would get a head start on purgatory.




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  2. That’s my one real objection to the RDJ Sherlock Holmes movie. When(spoiler!) the villain is hanged at the end, the iron chain wouldn’t have any elasticity, and the drop is long enough to have decapitated him even if it had.

    That, and Hollmes’s “Replay Mode” fighting style was presented in “Payoff-introduction” order instead of “Introduction-payoff.” It should have been used at least once after the boxing match.




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  3. Also, when Saddam’s half brother was hanged, they messed up the drop and yanked off his noggin. (When I mentioned to my kids that now he really was Saddam’s half-brother, they groaned and said they were the spawn of Satan. I swear, kids these days!)




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