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)

Hit your "Back" button to return to the previous list of choices or the cover to return to the opening screen.