51.2 MB (893.0 KB compressed)
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31.0 x 41.4 cm ⏐ 12.2 x 16.3 in (300dpi)
ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A hangman's noose, also known as Jack Ketch's knot; a very strong noose designed to withstand a heavy shock loading. Prior to the 19th century, victims of hanging died slowly by strangulation, due to compression of the windpipe. Then, in the 1870's, the long drop method was introduced wherein the victim's neck was broken by a fall of 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 metres). The hangman's knot went under the left ear of the victim, so that at the end of the fall the head was jerked backwards. This caused a fracture dislocation of the atlanto-axial junction (between the first and second cervical vertebrae), and the resulting spinal shock brought about instant brain death.
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