Jul. 6, 2021

DEATH BY ELECTROCUTION.

THIS IS THE FIRST AND ONLY-KNOWN PHOTO OF A PERSON BEING ELECTROCUTED. IT HAPPENED IN 1928 WHEN A PHOTOGRAPHER SNEAKED A CAMERA INTO SING SING PRISON AND CAUGHT THE ELECTROCUTION OF RUTH SYNDER, AGE 32, WHO WAS SENTENCED TO DIE IN THE ELECTRIC CHAIR FOR KILLING HER HUSBAND. THE PHOTO IS SLIGHTLY BLURRED BECAUSE---AS YOU CAN WELL-IMAGINE---RUTH SYNDER SHOOK VIOLENTLY IN THOSE FINAL SECONDS BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH.

IN THE LATE SIXTIES, WHEN I HOSTED A MORNING SHOW FOR KATV, CHANNEL 7--- ARKANSAS'S ABC AFFILIATE--- THE STATION'S MANAGER INVITED ME TO ATTEND THE ELECTROCUTION OF A YOUNG MAN FROM GEORGIA WHO HAD MURDERED HIS STEP FATHER BY USING A CHAINSAW.

BECAUSE THE ELECTRIC CHAIR IN GEORGIA WAS BEING "OVERHAULED"....GEORGIA'S GOVERNOR ARRANGED TO HAVE THE PRISONER'S ELECTROCUTION "CARRIED OUT" IN ARKANSAS.

I WAS THE ONLY FEMALE SITTING WITH EIGHT MEN IN A SMALL, GLASS-WINDOWED “VIEWING” ROOM. NO ONE SPOKE A WORD AS A VERY THIN MAN IN BLUE JEANS AND A WHITE T-SHIRT WAS STRAPPED TO A HOMEMADE-WOODEN-CHAIR COVERED WITH LEATHER STRAPS AND THICK CORDS.

THE YOUNG MAN IN THE CHAIR NEVER LOOKED UP...NOT-EVEN-ONCE...BUT... WHEN THE WARDEN NODDED AND THE LOUD GENERATOR STARTED...THE MAN'S BODY CONVULSED—VIOLENTLY-- FOR ALMOST TEN MINUTES. WHEN THE GENERATOR SUDDENLY-STOPPED AND THE ELECTROCUTION WAS OFFICIALLY-ENDED...THERE WAS NO DOUBT THE YOUNG MAN WAS DEAD. HE WAS BLEEDING PROFUSELY FROM EVERY ORIFICE AND... HIS BODY...FLAME-RED IN COLOR... LOOKED LIKE A BOILED LOBSTER.

UNDER NO CIRCIMSTANCES--EVER AGAIN-- WOULD I AGREE TO WITNESS ANOTHER  ELETROCUTION.   BUT--- I STILL BELIEVE IN THE ELECTRIC CHAIR AS THE ULTIMATE SOLUTION FOR DESTROYING PURE EVIL.

PLEASE STAY CLOSE....IN LIFE AS WELL AS DEATH.

SALLY