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Shock to the System: Famous Electrocutions
by Staff
Electricity brings us light, heat and Netflix. But sometimes, when it courses through man, woman or beast, electricity brings sudden death. Which is why executioners in the early 20th century looked at power lines and had light bulbs flash over their heads.

Which execution method has supplanted electrocution in the U.S.?

  • gas chamber
  • hanging
  • lethal injection

Which execution method was the most popular in the U.S. before the electric chair was introduced?

  • beheading
  • hanging
  • stoning

How long does a typical electrocution take?

  • 2 seconds
  • 2 minutes
  • 2 hours

When was the first official electrocution conducted in the U.S.?

  • 1794
  • 1890
  • 1938

Who was the first person ever executed in the electric chair?

  • George Atzerodt
  • Marie Antoinette
  • William Kemmler

Who was the first woman put to death in the electric chair?

  • Lizzie Borden
  • Martha Place
  • Mary Surratt

How many U.S. states used electrocution at its peak of popularity?

  • 5
  • 26
  • 50

Which was the last U.S. state to use electrocution as the sole method of execution?

  • Alabama
  • Nebraska
  • Texas

Which rock guitarist was electrocuted onstage by a microphone during a sound check at the Top Rank Ballroom in Swansea, Wales?

  • Glen Buxton
  • Les Harvey
  • Randy Rhoads

This Yardbirds guitarist died in his basement after being electrocuted by an improperly grounded guitar.

  • Dave Davies
  • Keith Relf
  • Leigh Stephens

Who electrocuted an elephant in 1903 to discredit alternating current as a form of electricity distribution?

  • George Westinghouse
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Thomas Edison

Someone condemned to sit in the electric chair was destined -- at least to those with a penchant for dark comedy -- to do this.

  • "bestride the bolt"
  • "cruise the current"
  • "ride the lightning"

In 2012, which world-famous animal made headlines when he died of electrocution while landing on a power pole in Iowa?

  • D12, the bald eagle
  • Ling Ling, the panda
  • Smokey, the bear

What convicted killer asked for the Ohio electric chair in 2001 to prove a point about the horror of capital punishment?

  • John William Byrd Jr.
  • Richard Ramirez
  • Wilford Berry

Who first proposed the idea of using electric current to kill a human being?

  • Alfred Southwick
  • David B. Hill
  • Thomas Edison

This killer of the Lindbergh baby died in the electric chair.

  • Bruno Hauptmann
  • Isidor Fisch
  • John F. Condon

Two of the most infamous spies in American history died in the electric chair in 1953. Who were they?

  • Caril Fugate and Charles Starweather
  • Ethel and Julius Rosenberg
  • Myra Hindley and Ian Brady

How many volts of electricity surge through a person's body during an execution by electrocution?

  • 2,000 volts
  • 20,000 volts
  • 2,000,000 volts

Which notorious serial killer was put to death in Florida's electric chair in 1989?

  • Allen Lee Davis
  • Charles Starkweather
  • Ted Bundy

Who wrote "The Effects of Electric Shock on Man" and then invented the ground-fault circuit interrupter to prevent such a shock from happening?

  • Charles Dalziel
  • Charles Darwin
  • Philip K. Dick