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Executioner with axe. Source: Dziurek/Adobe Stock

Jack Ketch Executioner - Boiled Body Parts in His Kitchen (Video)


Exploring the dark and gruesome history of Jack Ketch, the infamous executioner of 17th-century England, reveals a chilling narrative. Ketch, a civil servant paid for his grim task, gained notoriety for his sadistic methods during executions. He was known for hangings at Tyburn, where victims choked to death due to a lack of a long drop, a macabre performance for the spectators. His transition to an axe man during Lord Russell's execution in 1683 was marked by horrifying ineptitude. Lord Russell endured multiple botched strikes before finally losing his head. Jack Ketch's reputation only grew as he became the executioner for the Bloody Assizes during the Monmouth Rebellion, perpetuating the same gruesome spectacle.

But amazingly that wasn’t the worst part. At the time it was common for the heads of traitors to be displayed on spikes across London and for the corpses of the executed to be hung in cages along busy roadways. To make sure the bodies of his victims lasted as long as possible Ketch would cook their body parts in boiling pitch in his kitchen.

The question arises: Was Ketch bribed to make these executions violent, or did he harbor a personal grudge against the aristocracy? Perhaps he was simply inept, as suggested by his wife.

Top image: Executioner with axe. Source: Dziurek/Adobe Stock

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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