Execution of the Day – 2009 (part 23)

Every so often we give you some new morsel of execution history to feast on and this week is no exception – ‘death by 1,000 cuts’. No, this isn’t some new Tarantino flick, but a debut method on Execution of the Day and boy is it grim reaping the details on this one.

Reserved for the most heinous of criminals, this method was a pure slice of Chinese history. To give it its real name, ‘lingchi’, this execution was normally administered to those who’d committed treason or killed their parents.

Butchery in its purest form, it involved agonisingly carving up the criminal in what is known in the trade as slow slicing. It took up to three days to deliver this debillitating penalty but let’s just say the criminal went down in a blade of gory.

Offal truth

First the eyeballs, then all the little bits were removed – you know, ears, nose, tongue, fingers, toes etc. Then heavy duty limbs were followed by the main torso and all the innardy bits. And there was pure method in their order. The eyes, so the person couldn’t see what was coming next. Apparently it intensified the psychological trauma. The little bits to draw out the pain. This was followed by the limbs for the same reason. Some sources even say they were given opiates – to heighten the sensations. While others say for the opposite effect.

So why such a ritualistic death? Not only was this designed to deny the person a right to life in the here and now, but to deny them a right to any afterlife.

So who used these methods then? Genghis Khan was a fan, but there’s no surprise there. Nor are the Mings – the dynasty that ruled with a gruesome grip during the 1300 to 1600s. They surrounded themselves with eunuchs as courtiers and one such man rose to extreme power. Lui Jin was wily and amassed a small fortune through hard graft, according to the ‘Asian Wall Street Journal’.

In fact the journal put him in the top 50 wealthiest people in Asia over the past 1,000 years. Of course his wealth may well have been bigged up by his jealous opponents.

A tot of Jin

Nevertheless when a job lot of weapons were allegedly found at his home, he was deemed a threat to the throne and cut down to size in 1510.

Sushi

Voyeurs parted with hard cash to savour morsels of his fresh flesh as a snack while they watched his demise. What was left of Jin died on the second day into his three-day event, aged roughly 58.

Amazingly there are other documented cases of this torturous execution taking place as recently as the 20th century.

Dole-Chadee4 June 1999 – Dole Chadee
Drugs and death earned Caribbean crime lord Dole Chadee his premature end on this day in 1999. He was executed in for a string of murders. But those killings were ultimately linked to his prolific network of drugs trafficking and distribution around Trinidad and Tobago, for which he was never held to task.

5 June 851 – St Sancho – a Martyr of Córdoba
St Sancho (aka Sanctius or Sancius) was just one of a barrage of executions in Spain, who made up the Martyrs of Córdoba spanning the mid-800s. He was one of 48 people who spoke out against Muslim rule. In doing so, they were all killed for their Christian beliefs.

Feltus-Taylor6 June 2000 – Feltus Taylor
Financial worries can drive a person to crazy distraction, but hopefully not so crazy as to kill. Unfortunately, there was no telling Feltus Taylor, who paid for his crime on this day six months into the new Millennium.

Oswald-Pohl7 June 1951 – Oswald Pohl
Simply carrying out orders – that was Oswald Pohl’s weasely defence for his integral part in the Holocaust. A high-ranking official, he was tasked with distributing people between the various concentration camps.

William-G.-Zuern-Jr8 June 2004 – William G Zuern Jnr
You’ve heard the song ‘I shot the sheriff’. If you’ve ever wondered who did the deputy, it was William G Zuern Jnr, who was executed in Ohio for his crime, on this day in 2004.

Baba-Banda-Singh-Bahadur9 June 1716 – Baba Banda Singh Bahadur
A Sikh man, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, stuck out as a heroic revolutionary amid a backdrop of oppression in 18th-century Northern India. He fought for the Punjabi people inspired by his guru and his deep-set beliefs, and met a painfully bloody end for his insurrection.

Amelia-Dyer10 June 1896 – Amelia Dyer
At £10 a pop, a career in baby farming was not to be sniffed at in the 19th century. Considered to be a nice little earner, Amelia Dyer got in on the act and became a refuge for unwanted babies or unmarried mums who couldn’t cope with the scandal or afford to hold onto their children.

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