William of Orange was the first head of state assassinated…

William of Orange was the first head of state assassinated with a firearm. Take a look at the assassins punishment: “The magistrates decreed that the right hand of Gérard should be burned off with a red-hot iron, that his flesh should be torn from his bones with pincers in six different places, that he should be quarteredand disembowelled alive, that his heart should be torn from his bosom and flung in his face, and that, finally, his head should be cut off.”

The Bayanzi tribe of the Congo would execute via decapitation with a twist…

The Bayanzi tribe of the Congo would execute via decapitation with a twist. While alive, the head of the condemned would be connected to a springy sapling so that when it was cut off, it would be thrown through the air “with the force of a bomb”. According to some studies, some consciousness remains after decapitation, so that flight would probably have been very confusing.

Jake Bird was a truly creepy character — an axe-murderer who may…

Jake-Bird-croppedJake Bird was a truly creepy character — an axe-murderer who may have killed as many as 46 people. But even after he was caught in 1947 and sentenced to death, he’s said to have continued killing people by putting the “Jake Bird hex” on them. Six people associated with the trial were said to have succumbed to his hex.

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