Double DVD as seen on TV. They were cobblers, salesmen, barbers and landlords, working men, but they were anything but ordinary. They were the State’s Part-Time Killers.
In three parts;
Part 1 – The hangman, From 1868 until 1964, their work in Britain was shrouded in mystery, conducted, as the state put it, in ‘private’. Behind prison walls these common working men refined the process of judicial executions from an agonising brutal death to one of the most swiftest anywhere in the world.
Part 2 – Dynasties of Death. A typical 19th century wedding photograph, the guests well groomed, but the groom is a killer. In this French photograph two of the subjects were to kill more than a thousand men. But they were not criminals, they killed for money and they lived their lives apart from normal men, in the shadow of the guillotine.
Part 3 – States of Death – In Britain it was the rope, in France the Guillotine. But in its short history the United States had experimented with a bewildering array of execution methods. This programme examines the five principal methods, hanging, firing squad, electric chair, gas chamber and lethal injection.