An inquest was held this Friday on the body of a French Artisan who committed suicide under the following circumstances: Mr. John Wilson stated that the deceased had lodged with him for twelve months, and was apparently independent when he took the apartments. Lately he seemed to be pressed for money, and a fortnight ago told a witness he was an artisan who had saved money for the purpose of going into business.
The previous Saturday he brought home two large planks of wood and a large double handled knife, such as is used by tanners for scraping the hair off skins, but no notice was taken of it, the witness thinking it was for model-making.
On Monday his suicide was discovered, his head having been cut off by a guillotine. The two planks had been used as uprights at the top of which the knife had been placed. Grooves had been cut in the inner side of the planks for the knife to run easily and two heavy stones were bound to the upper side of the knife to give it weight.
By means of the pulley he had drawn up the knife and let it fall on his throat, the head being cut clean off. Confirmatory evidence having been given, the jury returned a verdict of unsound mind.
The Illustrated Police News – London 1876
Normally I would not publish material like this, but since Chris insisted on posting the Death by Roubo article last March, it is safe to say that this bridge has already been crossed. I’m not sure what he planned to do with all those leftover pieces of French oak from the FORP… though I have no reason to suspect that he is building his own guillotine. Besides, it is far more likely that Chris will meet his maker by some other means.
The Illustrated Police News (1864-1938) published a weekly penny newspaper featuring sensationalist stories about murder and crime. The illustrations were reminiscent of the 18th century publication The Newgate Calendar, or The Malefactors’ Bloody Register, originally a monthly bulletin of executions, produced by the Keeper of Newgate Prison in London. These tabloids were a popular form of entertainment for the working poor.