Template:Capital punishment Dismemberment is the act of cutting, tearing, pulling, wrenching or otherwise removing, the limbs of a living thing. It may be practiced upon human beings as a form of capital punishment, as a result of a traumatic accident, or in connection with murder, suicide, or cannibalism. As opposed to surgical amputation of the limbs, dismemberment is often fatal to all but the simplest of creatures. In criminology, a distinction is made between offensive and defensive dismemberment.
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Dismemberment was carried out in the Medieval era by tying a person's limbs to chains or other restraints, then attaching the restraints to separate movable entities (e.g.,. vehicles) and moving them in opposite directions. Also referred to as "disruption" or being "drawn and quartered," it could be brought about by chaining four horses to the condemned's arms and legs, thus making them pull him apart, as was the case with the executions of François Ravaillac in 1610 and Robert-François Damiens in 1757. Queen Brunhilda of Austrasia, executed in 613 is generally regarded to have suffered the same death, though she was tied to the tail of a single horse.
A famous device used for dismemberment is the rack, upon which the condemned is chained down by the wrists and ankles, on a large bed-like frame, and a wheel is subsequently turned, winding in the chains and causing an immense stretching.
Usage in capital punishment
There are many instances of dismemberment in modern murder cases. Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is infamous for the dismemberment and consumption of his victims. Convicted drug trafficker William Trickett Smith II dismembered his wife in Peru to dispose of her body in a suitcase.
Examples in fiction
- In Egyptian mythology, the demon Set dismembers his brother Osiris so he could not be resurrected.
- In Greek mythology, Dionysus is dismembered by the Titans.
- In Japanese mythology, Izanagi dismembers Kagutsuchi in revenge for the death of Izanami.
- In Aztec mythology, Huitzilopochtli dismembers his sister Coyolxauhqui for trying to kill their mother Coatlicue while he was still in the womb. He tossed his sister's head into the sky, where it became the moon, so that his mother would be comforted in seeing her daughter in the sky every night
- In The Divine Comedy, falsifiers are subjected to dismemberment in the Malebolge by demons, only to be healed and have the process start over again.
- In 2001 Maniacs, the character Kat is torn apart by horses.
- In Bride of Chucky, the murderous doll duo smash a mirror above a couple in a sleazy hotel, causing them to be dismembered by the falling shards of glass.
- In Kill Bill, Beatrix Kiddo (a.k.a. "The Bride") dismembers numerous Crazy 88 gangsters.
- In Law Abiding Citizen, Clyde Shelton paralyzes Darby with a toxin before dismembering him to avenge the rape and murder of his family. He also straps Darby to a table and places a mirror over him so he will be forced to watch his own dismemberment.
- In Saw IV, Ivan is dismembered when he fails to escape from a device designed to violently tear his limbs off.
- In Sin City, anti-hero Marv dismembers several of his enemies referring to it as "showing them all those pieces of themselves."
- In The Texas Chainsaw Massacre the character Leatherface kills his victims by dismembering them with a chainsaw.
- Saudi Arabia chops off hand of Egyptian for theft, 5 November 2007
- "The Little Flat of Horrors", Time, 5 August 1991
- DeJesus, Ivey (2010-08-26). "For area man in Peru prison, more notoriety". The Patriot-News: pp. 1–3. http://penn.live.advance.net/news/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/news/128279310880950.xml&coll=1. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
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