The guillotine--nicknamed the "National Razor"--was designed to be a humane alternative to the slow strangulation death of hanging, but was it? French scientists studied the problem and highlights of their ghoulish research--including picking up heads and shouting at them--are recorded in "An Underground Education" (Doubleday, 1997). Pictured above are the severed heads of the twin brother drivers for the notorious Gare du Nord robbery. (1911)
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