Daily Archives: August 6, 2009

On This Day in Criminal History: William Kemmler & the Electric Chair

On this day in 1890, convicted murderer William Kemmler became the first person executed by the use of electricity. It didn’t go well. Kemmler required two shocks, the initial was 1000 V, which did not kill him, and the second was 2000 V, which might have set him on fire, according to some witnesses.


It seems that Kemmler was a hard drinker and filled with jealous rage. When he became angry with his wife, arguing that she was planning to leave him for another man, he went to the barn, grabbed an ax, and hacked her to death. He freely admitted what he had done and at his trial was easily convicted and sentenced to death. Arguments followed that electrocution was cruel and inhumane, but in the end the courts decided that the newly devised electric chair could be used.

Kemmler and the Electric Chair

Excerpt from “Far Worse Than Hanging”


Posted by on August 6, 2009 in Interesting Cases, On This Day


Would You Marry Your Sofa?

My thanks to my friend David Hewson for this one. He posted the story on Facebook.

It seems that Amy Wolf wants to marry a fairground ride in Pennsylvania known as 1001 Nachts and says that she will change her name to Amy Weber, the name of the ride’s manufacturer. This apparently is not a rash decision on her part since her “courtship” with the apparatus has taken place over 10 years and some 3000 rides. I guess they were meant for one another.

AWolf & Park Ride

Telegraph Article

This could represent a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun on Amy’s part or she could be suffering from Object Sexuality, also called Objectum Sexuality or Sexual Fetishism. This is a syndrome of strong sexual or emotional desire toward an inanimate object. Your sofa? Your lawn mower? Your computer? That’s it. Admit it. You have a love-hate relationship with your computer. Don’t we all?

Object Sexuality is a Paraphilia, which is sexual arousal from objects or situations that are considered out of the “normal,” whatever that is. Things like Sadomasochism, Voyeurism, Autoerotic Asphyxia (see my earlier posts on this topic), and even Vampirism are in the paraphilia family. There are many others.

Paraphilia List

Is this an interesting planet or what?

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