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k THE HERALD j
" Stands for the Interests of "3 L Southern California. j SUBSCRIBE FOR IT. J VOL. XXXIV.—NO. 115. HOW KEMMLER DIED. "Electrocution" Not Wholly a Success. Two Shocks Required to Extinguish the Last Spark of Life. The Doomed Murderer Meets His Fate with Wonderful Courage. An Apnalllnef Scene When the Victim Began to Return to Con sciousness After the First Shock. Auburn, N. V., Aug. 6.—The trial of a new means of taking htfman life, while prompted by humane motives, has resulted in a sickening spectacle presented by a pinioned wretch, at whose vital center was kept pounding for some moments an alternating cur rent of electricity which, though it ul timately destroyed hia life, subjected the criminal to a torture of whioh no living being has knowledge, and which none can describe. Im perfect registry of the current pressure or faulty con tact of the electrodes prevented in stantaneous death. The reader may gain some conception of the process of this killing when the statement is made that the person whose body 3hould be shaken into fragments could not have suffered suoh pain as did Kemmler, whose nerve cells and tis sues were disintegrated not in a flash, as designed, but by the relatively slow strokes of the electric hammers upon them. Whether the blood yet retains its normal consistency or whether it is partially or wholly fluidized by the di vorce of oxygen from the blood cor puscles, can only be determined by the 6utopsy. The Execution Room. WONDERFUL NERVE. Kemmler's nerve was something wonderful. He never faltered. He directed the adjustment of himself in the chair and counseled the warden to moderation to secure perfect safety. The shock was given at 0:43%, acd was continued about 18 seconds. Two minutes after the current was cut off there was evidence of respiration. As soon as possible the current waß re turned and then cutoff. Again respir ation was evident, after a f;w mo ments. Saliva came from the mouth; the chest heaved; there was wheezing in tbe throat. The shock was again put to tbe prisoner, who, the doctors remarked, was unconscious from tbe moment of the first shook. After a short time smoke appeared at tbe base; bis FLESH WAS BURNING.; Tne spectacle was most trying. The man, the doctors said, suffered no pain, however. The warden says the voltage at first shock was 1800 volts, which run down to a point not named. After a third contact of four minutes tbe man was declared dead. The warden's certificate ot death was (hen signed by all present and the party broke up at 7:30 to meet at B:ls,when the body would be ready for the au topsy. When the mask was taken off tbe face the eyes were found half open, and his expression, while not normal or placid, was not horrifying. TAKING TUB CHAIR —KEMMLER MAKES ASPEECH Warden Durston stood at the left of the chair with a band on the back of it. Almost at the moment Kemmler took his seat he began to speak in quick, short jcrioda. "Now, gentle men," he said,"this is William Kemm ler. I have warned bim he has got to die, and if he has anything to say he will say it." As the warden finished, Kemmler looked up, and in a high vo:ce ( without any hesitation, and as though he bad prepared himself with the speech: ''Well, I wish every one good luck in this world, and I think I am going to the good place. The pa pers have been raying lots of stuff that isn't so. That's all I have to •ay." LOS ANGELES HERALD. With the conclusion of the speeoh he turned his back on the jury,took off bis coat and handed it to the warden. This disclosed the fact that a bole bad been cut from the bam! of the trousers dowD, so aa to expose tbe base of tbe spine. When the coat was off Kemm ler turned in the direction of the door through which he came into the room, and began to unbutton hia vest; at the same time the warden drawing the interfering drapery of his shirt through the hole in his pants arid cutting it off, so as to leave a little surface of the flesh against which one of the elec trodes was to press, absolutely bare. Warden Dustoa called attention to the fact that it waa not necessary to re move the vest, and Kemmler calmly buttoning it again, carefully arranged his necktie. "Dju't hurry Bbout this matter," said the warden; be perfectly cool." He was perfectly coo!—by ail cdds tbe coolest man in the room. BUFFERED NO PAIN. Auburn, N. V., Aug. 6.—After there remained no dcubt that the cur rent bad done its fatal work, Dr. Fell, said, "Well, there's no doubt about one thing; tbe man never suffered an iota of pain." In after consultations other physicians expressed the same belief. It was some mitigation cf tbe horrors of the situation to believe this. Some doctors disagreed with this view, and doubted his death when his cheat moved and sounds issued from his lips. THE AUTOPSY. The autopßy began at 9 o'clock. It was found when the body waa spread out on the table that very severe rigor raortia had set in. There was little relaxation, and it was with difficulty that the corpse was straightened out. On examination it was found the sec ond electrode burned through the skin and into the flesh at the base of the spire, making a scar nearly five inch es iv diameter. The heart, lunga and other organs were t-ken out and found in good healthy condition, and will be preserved for future examina tion. Toe brain a!ao was taken out. It, too, will be examined. ANOTHER ACCOUNT. Details of the Executlon-A Slcken- Scene. Auburn (N. V.) Aug. 6—[By the Associated Press.] —Kemmler sat down in the electric chair as qui etly as though he was sitting down to dinner. Warden Durston stood ou the right and George Vieling, of Al bany, ou the left. They began immed iately to adjust the straps, the con demned holding up his arms so as to give them every assistance. When the straps had been adjusted about the body the arms were fastened down and then the warden leaned over aud parted Kemmler's feet so as to bring the legs near the legs of the chair. While the straps were being arranged, Kemmler said: "Take your time. Don't be in a hurry. Be sure every thing is all right." Two or three times he repeated these words. Warden Durston reassuerd him with the ro- Fatal Cap. mark that it would not hurt him; that he (Durston) would be with him all through, but it was not fear that Kemmler felt, it was rather a certain pride in the exaotness of the experi ment. He seemed to have greater int erest in its success than those who had made preparations for it, who were watching its progress, and its final fa tal conclusion. When tho strap had been adjusted the warden placed his band on Kemmler's head aud held it against the rubber cushion which ran over the back of the chair. Kemmler's eyes were turned to the other side of the room. Before, they had followed the warden in his movement about. Then the doom ed mau made a fewremarks in a perfet -1; clear, composed tone of voice: "Well good luck" was one of them, and, "Durston, see that things are all right" was another, Vieling unfastened the THURSDAY MORNING, AUGUST 7, 1890. thumbscrew which held back tbe chair in place and began to lower it so that the rubber cap which had the saturated sponge pressed againat the top of Kemmler's head. THE DOOMED MAN'S NEKVE. The warden assisted in holding Kemmler's head. Kemmler said, "Oh, you had better press tbat down, part ner, I guess; press that down." So the head piece was undamped and pressed further down. While it was beiDg done Kemmler said, "Well, I want to do the best I can; I can't do any better than that." Warden Durston took in his hand the leather harness which was to be adjusted to Kemmler's head. It was a muzzle of broad leather straps, which went across the fore houd and chin. The top of the strap pressed down against the nose of Kemmler until it flattened it down slightly over his face. Tho har ness was put in place, Dr. Spitzka who was atanding near the chair, aaid: God bless you, Kemler,' and the condemned man answered, "Thank you." Soft- * Death Chair. ly the door leading into the room where the switches were arranged was partly i opened and a man stood in the door way. Beyond him there were two other men. Which one of them was to touch ! the lever and make the connection with ' the chair was not known.. Warden Durston said it never will be known. ! The dynamo in the machineshop was running at good speed aud the voltme ter on the wall showed a little more J than 1000 volts. The warden turned to i the assembled doctors and those im- ■ mediately around the execution chair and said: "Do the doctors say it is all ! right?'' Hardly a minute bad elapsed since the adjustment of tbe straps. There was no time for Kemmler to have 1 weakened then, if his marvelous cour- 1 age had not been equal to the test of j further delay, but there was no fear that he would lose couraSe. He was as firm in the chair aa before be entered ! the room. THE FIRST SnOCK. At the warden's request Dr. Fell stepped forward with a long syringe in his hand and deftly wetted two sponges which were at the electrodes, one on top ol the head and the other at the base of the spine. Tho water which he put on them was impregnated with salt. Dr. Spitzra answered the warden's question with a shout of "All right" which was echoed by others about him. "Heady?" said Durston again aud then "Good bye." He stepped to tiie door and through the opening said to some one in the next room, but to whom will probably never be known with certainty, "Everything is ready." There was an almost im mediate response and at HAS the elec tric current was turned on. There was a sudden oouvulsion of the frame iv tbe chair. A spasm went over Kemmler from head to foot. He was confined by straps and springs that held him so firmly that no limb or other part of the body stirred more than a small fraction of an inch from its resting place. The twitching tbat the muscles of the face underwent gave it for a moment an expression of pain, but no cry escaped from the lips; which were free to move at will, no sound came forth to suggest tbat consciousness lasted more than tbe infinitisimal fraction of a second—be yond the calculation of human mind. The body remained in a riged position for seventeen seconds. The jury and witnessses who remained seated up to this moment came hurriedly forward and surrounded the chair. There was no movement of the body beyond the first convulsion. It was not a pretty sight, the man in his shirt sleeves bound hand and foot, body and even head, with the heavy' frame work pressing down on top of the skull. Dr. McDonald held a stop watch in his hand and as the seconds flew by be, noted their passage. Spitzka looked at the stop watch and as the tenth second expired he cried out "Stop!" other voices cried "Stop." The ward en turned to the doorway, called out "Stop" to the man at the lever. A quick movement of the arm and the electric current was switched off. There was a relaxation of the body in the chair. "He's dead," said Spitzka calmly. COMING BACK TO LIFE. Dr. Balch was leaning over the body looking at the exposed skin, Sudden ly he cried out sharply "Dr. McDon ald, see that rupture." In a moment Drs. Spitzka and McDonald had leant over and were looking where Balch was pointing at a little red spot ou the hand that rested on the right arm of tbe chair. The index finger of the hand had curved baokward as the muscles contracted and soraped a small hole in the skin at the base of the thumb on the back of the hand. There was nothing strange in this alone, but the little rupture was drip ping blood. "Turn the current on instantly. The man is not dead," cried Spitzka. Faces grew white and forms fell back from the chair. The warden sprang to the doorway and cried "Turn on the current." But the current could not be turned on. When the signal to stop had come, the operator had pressed the little button which gave the sign to the engineer to stop the dynamo. The dynamo was almost at a standstill and the volt metre registered an almost imperceptible current. The opera tor sprang to the button and gave a sharp quick signal. There was rapid response, but it was not quick enough to anticipate tho signs of reviving consciousness. As the group or horror-stricken witnesses stood help lessly by, all eyes were fixed on the chair. Kemmler's lips began to drip spittle and in a moment the chest be gun to move and from the mouth came heavy stertorous sounds, quickened and increasing with respiration. There was no voice but that of the warden crying to the operator to turn ou the current, and tbe wheezing sound, a half groan, which forced itself past the tightly closed lips, sounded through the still chamber with ghastly distinctness. Some of the witnesses turned away from the sight. ONE . FAINTED. Tho scene seemed a long time in reaching the climax. In reality there were but 73 seconds in the inter val which elapsed between the mo ment when the first sound issued from Kemmler's lips until the response to the sienal came from the dynamo room, it came with the same sudden ness that marked tbe first shock which passed through Kemmler's body. The sound which horrified the listeners about the chair was cut off sharply as the body once more became rigid. The slimy ooze still dropped from the mouth aud ran slowly down the beard and on to the gray vest. Twice wero there wrenches of the body as the electri- I cians in the next room threw the cur- j rent on and off. There was no mistake I this time about the killing. The dyna mo was run up to the highest speed, and again the full current of 2000 volts was sent through the body. How long this was kept in action no one knows. To the excited group about tho chair it seemed an interminable time. Dr. Daniel, who thought he had an approx imate idea of the time at least, said it was four and a half minutes in all. The warden's assistant who stood over the dynamo, said on the record signal the machinery was run only three aud a half minuted all together. No one was anxious to give the signal to stop. AH dreaded the re sponsibility of offering, to the man a chance to revive or give again at least those appearances of returning anima tion which startled and sickened the witnesses a few minutes before. As the anxious group stood silently watching the body, suddenly there I rose from it A WniTE VAPOR Bearing with it the pungent and sick ening odor of a body burning. Again there were cries to stop the current and again the warden sprang to the door and gave a quick order to his assistan. The current was stopped and again there was a relaxation of the body. Xo doubt this time the current had done its work, if not well at least com pletely. Dr. Fell who stood by the side of the special correspondent of the Associated Press, turned and said: "Well, there is no doubt about one thing, the mau never suffered untold of pain." In atter consultations other physicians expressed the same belief. It was some mitigation of the horrors of the situation to learn this, butthe mitigation wa3 extremely slight when it developed at another point that some doctors disagreed very materially. DOCTORS AT VARIANCE. Was Kemmler dead when the chest moved and the lips gave forth those strange ghastly sounds? Was be breathing or was there an involuntary and phenomenal movement of the chest muscles? Some of the eminent experts in attendance said to an Associated Press correspondent while the body was still warm in.tho chair that there was no doubt these were signs of returning animation; that respiiation. for respiration they believed it to be, was growing stronger, and tbat in time if the current tjad not been turned on again he would have revived. Others, among them Dr. Spitzka, stated with equal positiveness of couviction that the first shock killed Kemmler instantly. Doctors Daniels and Southwick, the fathers of electrocide, believe that Kemmler was dead, but they think the current should have been continued longer than 17 seconds, which was the official time of the first contact. There is no way in which a positive deter mination of tbe question can be made. It will always remain unsolved. OTHER DETAILS. something Wrong with the Machln- ory—A Bungling Job. Auburn, New York, Aug. 6.—As sociated Press.]. Kemmler bad gone peacefully to sleep in tbe night and had slept soundly and was snoring still at 5 o'clock when he was awakened by one of his guards. Pastor Houghton, who attended Kemmler and Prison Chaplain Yates were with him. They read to him troin tbe Bible and be prayed with them. He dressed himself without aid in a suit of gray mixed goods. His hair he combed and brushed with great care. His shoes were well polished aud while be made himself finally tidy the warden and a tall stranger, who is a deputy marshal in Buffalo, entered the cell. The warden explained to Kemmler that be must have the top of bis head shaved. The prisoner demurred. He had taken great pains in dressing bis hair and beside, as he explained to the warden, be did not want to be disfigured. Kemmler's hair is a dark brown and wavy with a hyperion curl that fell on his forehead, Of this he was proud. In the shadow of death his vanity asserted itself. His hair how ever, was cut, but tbe curl was saved and, as the sequel proved, with no good results. The shaven spot was 2i by U inches in size, and was not really shaven but was cropped fairly close. While this was proceeding the wit nesses examined the chair. The death belt was run by the dynamo, and the incandescent test lamps in the ante chamber glowed faintly. " How feebly they burn," exclaimed Dr. Mac Do nald, who was the only one who got into the ante-room, and that while ignorant of the warden's desire to keep its se crets inviolate. In response to Dr. Mac Donald's comment, Electrician Davis remarked that there was "some thing wrong about the machinery down there," referring to the dynamo end of the circuit. This remark took place before the electricizing. It is well to remember, and was undoubt edly as true a few minutes lator when the bolt was applied to Kemmler. The condemned man, after having his hair cut on top his head listened to the readiug of tho warrant by the warden. When the current waa first turned on tho least unhappy of all in the room was Dr. Southwick of Buffalo, the father of electricizing in capital cases and who has been study ing and been working upon the sub ject since 1881. "There," he exclaimed, as he strode away from the chair to the knot of witnesses at the other end of the room, "there is the culmination of ten years work and study. We live in a higher civilization from this day. But even while he spoke a quick sharp cry went up from those yet closely watching about the silent figure in the chair. There had been a movement in the breast of the man whom all had believed had died one minute and 47 seconds before. The harrowing scenes attending the second electrocution fol lowed. The doctors in general declared that the man from the very first contact was beyond consciousness and some thought that the action which startled all and sent the war den away with a white face to order the current renewed, was ouly reflex muscular action. Not so ono physician, who declared that he would stake his name that he would bring Kemmler back to consciousness and life with brandy and bypodormics. Meantime one of the witnesses, Mr. G. G. Bain of Washington, D. C, had fainted and lay upon the bench where he was being fanned. When finally tbe electric mask was removed Kemmler's eyes were found to be half closed and without tho glassy stare common to eyes in death. The lids were lifted and tests of the pupils with bright light were made. There was no contraction of the pupils. Where the mask had pressed the fore head there was a livid mark, the mark of the law's righteous desecration. The nose and region of its base was a deeply livid hue. Purple spots soon be gan mottling the hands, arms and nock, and the doctors said he was surely dead. Oue of the Buffalo doc tors seven minutes after the straps were removed cut the skin at the tem ple for a microscopic specimen of the dead man's blood. 'It was immediately examined - and found slightly coagulated. On the electrodes being withdrawn from contact with the body, hair adhered to the rim of the upper disc. Drs. McDonald and Shrady examined the head. They found there waa a deep circular imprint on the top of the head made by the Stlllflll SALE The space upon which this notice is printed is very expensive; therefore unless we had some thing very important to announce we should not use and pay for it. You probably follow the leader so far as passing bombastic non sense in the shape of advertise ments. Be kind enough to give this modest announcement a look. Go further, analyze it, and if it is not asking too much come and be convinced that we have actual BARGAINS for you. Everything must be closed out during the month of August to make room for fall purchases now in transit. Corner Spring and Temple Streets. We Close at 6p. m. Saturdays at xo p. m. T -*$8 A' YCA RK— ' P Buy« the Daily Herald and' k $2 the Weekly Herald. k IT IS NEWSY AND CLEAN. ( 80. .O. rO, r<S rCS rfri <Oi 10l 10l FIVE CENTS. sharp pressure of the electrode's rim. The "spot where a tuft of Kemmler's hair had been cut off just before death was found to constitute not more than one-third of the area of contact with the electrode and close examinatien disclosed tbat the edges of copper within tueeloctrode had slightly burned the scalp just where the head bad been cut. Had not Kemmler's desire to avoid disfigurement by the cutting off of bis hair prevailed, contact would have been more perfect aud ths chances ot instaneous death would have been very much greater, and possibly the disfigurement which he dreaded would have been avoided. Aa to the causes of the fail ure to kill Kemmler instantly, there is said by all physicians to be no doubt that consciousness was stricken from the brain instantly. Tlie fact that he waa not instantly killed is the result of improper contact or insufficient voltage or pressure. Warden Durston says 1700 volt 3 were first applied to Kemmler. When ques tioned tonight by an Associated Press correspondent if the 20 incandescent lamps on the circuit were burning when the bolt was discharged into the murderer, he stated that they were. They should not have been. The mo ment before switching the current into Kemmler the teat lamps should have been cut off. Each lamp consumes 50 volts, hence 20 took 1000 volts at once out of the current sent to Kemmler. That left 700 volts to cause death. The best authorities state that lo per oent. of a current is stopped at tne points of contact, and that 85 is thua expended in the body. Eighty-five per cent.of the 700 volts not consumed today by the test lamps is 590 volts of measure. This is not enough to surely kill instantly with good contact and that of today was not perfect. The warden says all was working right this morning,though last night at midnight his appliances were in such order that he was not certain whether the execution would take place today, even though be had summoned hia guests to the prison at an early hour this morning. Warden Durston has been througu a terrific ordeal, and the knavery of men has been pressed upon him so much where he least expected, that he scarcely knowa whether to trust himself. We will approach the eletricizing of Fish here with more light. The concensus of opinion among witnesses here today is that there is not the slightest doubt that a human being may be instantly killed by 1000 volts applied through a perfect contact and continued 20 seconds. The body of Kemmler will doubtless be disposed, of tomorrow in the prison burying ground with quick lime to hasten dissolution. Frightful Railway Accident. Vienna, Aug. 6. —[A railroad train was thrown from the track today near Pilson, Bohemia. The cars rolled down an embankment into a marsh. Tbe stoker and several passengers were killed. Eight persons were injured Most of the passengers were emi grants bound tor the United States.