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Elephant Hanging.

Mary the elephant killed her handler on September 12, 1916, in Tennessee and the crowd demanded justice.

From an article at Blue Ridge Country by Joan Vannorsdall Schroeder:

Regardless of the details, the end was the same -- a man dead. Justice to be served. ... As valuable as Mary was, she had to go.

The problem was, how?

Guns, of course, were the first course of action. Just after Eldridge's death, blacksmith Hench Cox fired his 32-20 five times at Mary; the story goes that the bullets hardly phased her. ... But the circus manager stated, "There ain't gun enough in this country that he could be killed"; another approach would have to be attempted.

Someone suggested electrocution: "They tried to electrocute her in Kingsport -- they put 44,000 volts to her and she just danced a little bit," railroader Mont Lilly claimed. ...

Other reports suggest a third execution method: hooking Mary to two opposing engines and dismembering her, or crushing her between two facing engines. Both were dismissed as too cruel.

And so it was decided, instead, that Murderous Mary would be hung by the neck from a derrick car the next day.

Sad, yet fascinating article: Link - via Fogonazos, Thanks Aberron!


The kids are asleep, so I thought I'd do a quick scan of my favorite non-news blogs before going to bed. You know, the quirky, fun stuff like Neat-O-Rama.

Oops! Now I have the indelible image of animal torture in my head. My goodness, how novel! Pretty strange fruit, huh?

I wonder how long it took that stupid elephant to die? I especially liked the idea of dismembering her "between two opposing engines." Whoa! Can you even imagine that? I wonder if she'd scream or what it would sound like. I'll give it some thought as I drift off to sleep.

Hey, can you find some pictures of that Great Dane (or was it a Dalmatian?) who was chained to a tree and tortured to death several years ago? Please try. That was neat-o. What about pictures of the woman who was dragged behind a pickup truck last month like that dude in Texas, or maybe even the jumpers from 9/11?

Go ahead and just post 'em on up there, like you do. I just can't seem to get enough of that stuff. Besides, the pictures from Iraq are so repetitive these days...

Thanks for sharing, Neat-O-Rama, but if I want to indulge sensationalized cruelty like good old Carl does, I know right where to go. But not here.
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makes me ache... :(

first time i disliked a posting
here with all my heart.

without further moral comment from the editor,
just disgusting.
not neat at all.
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You all are missing the point. A MAN WAS KILLED! I personally think a few more well placed bullets would have done the trick. Any animal that kills a man, must be put down.
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"Any animal that kills a man must be put down." Elephants are, despite how they appear, still wild animals. If you're taking a trek through Africa and a lion attacks you, that lion is just doing what its nature intends it to do. I agree with Gilles, earth is not only for the men.
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who f-cking cares if a man was killed! this animal was helpess and the trainer lady was probably stupid and ignorant. IT makes me sick to hear that someone would actually WANT to kill a helpless animal for ONE stupid girl...
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Hmmm. Let me see if I have this right? Any animal that kills a man must be put down? So, Tim Wells, if someone kidnaps you from your home and beats you into submission or withholds food to force you to do cute tricks and you kill the kidnapper, then you should be "put down"? Don't forget that you're an animal too.
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After you look back more than 60-70 years, something like this is simply history (sad or not). I'm not repulsed that it was posted, but more fascinated than anything. If it happened in my lifetime, I would probably be outraged. The many people here getting their shorts in a bunch imo :p
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Quit yer whining, everybody. You never even knew it happened until you saw the story here. I've seen a lot of stuff here that doesn't make me say "neato", but I don't b++ch about it.

The last post is absolutely on the money.

If it's true, it's sad. Deal with it.
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i hear ya there cheryl. i say any man that has a wild animal, and is killed by that animal deserves to die. that's what you get for having a WILD animal. the earth doesn't belong to man.
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Carl: Edison electrocuted (a word he coined) animals using AC electricity to demonstrate the dangers of AC. He was backing a DC power distribution system, and was quite sore that AC, Tesla's system, was getting the upper hand.
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"indulge sensationalized cruelty like good old Carl does, I know right where to go. But not here."

WHOAH whoah whoah rafael, you seem to have completely misunderstood the point of my comment. I do not in any remote sense condone the cruel mistreatment of animals. I merely posted the information because it was completely relevant to the Neatorama post which is in fact "neat" from a historical and curiosity-based perspective. If you want to deny the existence of HISTORY then that is your business but I find what people have done in the past in the name of science not only fascinating but also a grounding for the moral IMPROVEMENT of our conduct as a society towards the future.

Just this morning, literally, I rescued a cat that i found in my parking lot. I could have ignored it. I could have shot it! (if I owned any guns, which I don't). But no. I rescued it and called all over town to various places. Finally someone called back and reported that a cat owner was desperately missing her cat. So I brought the fellow back to her.

Indulge in "sensationalized cruelty" ? I THINK NOT.

By the way, here's a picture of the cat. It only has one eye. He's pretty darn cool and very friendly. His name is Zack:

http://www.carlh.com/images/fuzz_fuzz.jpg
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Remember folks, this is 1916 where they still lynch *people* much less animals.

"Any animal that kills a man must be put down" (a quote by Tim Wells #14): whether you agree or not, this seems to be the policy of animal handling in the US, right? (From the sensational cases of dog mauling, etc.)

Carl: The cat is cute, I wonder what happened to his eye though.
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Alex: Thanks! I thought so too! When I talked to the owner she told me a story. She went to a garage sale and asked about a cat carrier. Turns out the owner had given the very same cat to a friend, who in turn gave it up to adoption. The woman who now owns it got the very same cat. Small world. Everyone involved in the story knew it only had one eye, so it must have lost it when it was very young. I've seen a cat that was born with only one eye; it's mostly healed over with skin. This cat, Zack, isn't completely healed over, but definitely had lost it a long time ago.

A very, very friendly cat that would've made a great addition to our two kitties, but he wasn't ours, and I was very very glad to find the owner.
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That'll teach her to kill her handler!

That's just sad. I would hope we, as a society, have moved forward since 1916. But you still occasionally see stories of horrific animal cruelty. So maybe we haven't.
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This is terrible, but this was 90 years ago ... and smack-dab in the middle of World War I. While I abhor animal cruelty, there were much worse travesties going on at the time ... and which continue today.

Maybe this makes me a bit more callous, but it's hard to deny there is an element of marvel, if tinted with horror, at the sight of humans going through so much to destroy a beautiful creature of nature.

It's not neat, per se, but it does boggle the mind.
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The elephant's life was already taken from him when he was brought into captivity and forced to do tricks.

And by the way, if you want to kill an elephant with a gun you have to shoot it behind the ear.
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They should have asked Thomas Edson. He used the certain voltage in his experiment and worked.
Worse what an elephant, only two elephants.
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Just to make this clear - those involved with the execution of Mary were trying to be as humane as possible. Poison was tried originally, however 'Mighty' Mary would not eat the poisoned food.

I am sorry to say but Mary was not the first Elephant to be killed on tour or executed by unusual means.

Folks here have already mentioned Topsy (the Edison elephant) but long before that there was H. Bailey's 'Old Bet' - who was actually one of the first five elephants in the US. Old Bet was shot by a bitter farmer in 1816. The farmer believed it was a sin to spend money on viewing an elephant when that same money could go to the church.

Following that there was the messy execution of Chunee, on display in London. In 1826 soldiers were summoned from Somerset House to shoot Chunee and the animal was shot 152 times with muskets to no avail. The animal bleed out and was finished with a harpoon and sword.

The entire affair was considered quite gastly, and rightfully so. The wails of the dying elephant frightened people for miles and the papers will filled with reports of outrage.

Chunee had also refused to eat poison and her crime was killing a handler as well.

Again, as many people have said, all these events were almost 100 years ago or more. It was a very different moral and ethical time.
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I have to agree with a lot of statements here.

I visit neatorama quite often - for the neat side of the web as one would say. A hung elephant is NOT neat. If I'd like to look at pictures that make me sad, I'd more likely visit rotten dot com. PLEASE stay with the neat side.
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Man, some of you people are such crybabies. Thanks for helping to pussify the internet. Yes, it's a sad story, but it's still interesting. It's not really rotten.com material.
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The reason that Mary went on a rampage and killed her assistant trainer is that he (the trainer) hit her across the head with a prod while he was leading her to a local watering hole after a show. Mary was the star of a circus act and the assistants job was to keep her fed and watered. She wasn't shot because the circus owner knew she would probably just get mad if the first bullet didn't hit its mark. When she was hung the first chain broke and she fell and broke her hip. Then a second chain held and she died. The assistant trainer was killed in Kingsport, TN but Mary was hung in Erwin, Tn at a local rail yard.
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To all of the above, or future below bitching people:
I have NEVER seen so much whining in my life. If we took all of the children from the Pansy-Parents above and put them in a room, and denied them all their iPods and cellphones that mommy and daddy "promised"...you still wouldn't have the tear-cried level you have hear. The article says at the bottom "Sad but fascinating." And that sums it up. No one here likes animal cruelty! But it does make for an interesting story. And without having horrific acts like this placed in our faces, there wouldn't be any anti-cruelty movements. To those of you that lost sleep...Good!!! Take that time to think of maybe making a donation to your local animal shelter. Or better yet, volunteer some time. Good day!
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aaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwww, so horrible i cant stand to even read it ! i cant even begin to fathom how evil that is! How can someone even do that *tear*! who ever did that needs to die it's so horrible!
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OMG PEOPLE. the only reason mary killed the guy was because the guy prodded here behid the ear which put her into a rage. i mean what kind of jerk would do that for no reason at all. i know hes a trainer but she wasnt doin anything wrong. so screw the guy who was killed. mary should have lived.
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'And any man that kills animal, must be put down. Earth is not only for the men.'

Oh right... People seem to forget that most goods have to be tested on animals first. I don't only talk about make-up, who cares about that. I'm talking about medication, maybe the medication that saved your son, your brother, your mother, or even you from certain death! We should put down those doctors who found cures to the worst disease?

Also remember that capital punishment is what humans received to, so I'm pretty sure that it was only fair for the elephant, no?

People also seem to have no compassion for the person who was killed. As far as I know all those people who pity the elephant are the immoral ones. Not even a thought for the trainer? He was not an educated person, he knew what he was doing. He was killed by a beast that in itself was useless to society, while this man probably had a family, a family that needed him to bring bread on their plates (unless the mother also worked). All those people saying 'poor elephant' without any thought for the killed human being are the heartless ones in my eyes.

Nobody will miss the elephant, the killed man will be.

By the way, next time you eat some beef, or any other meat for that matter, think about how much cruelty this animal had to go through, doesn't that bother you? Feasting on the remains of a butchered animal?

Anyway, on with the picture.

I found it amusing, brought a chuckle. It must have been quite a sight in real life, I also appreciate its historical value.
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