Over the course of my life, I’ve probably seen 10,000+ people die, right in front of me. Ok, sure, they all died on TV & movie screens — never in real life. But after you’ve seen so much fake dying, you start to wonder: how realistic are these deaths? Hence my interest in this report from a Dr Beaurieux who witnessed the execution by decapitation of a man named Languille in 1905. The article and excerpt below are graphic, so tread lightly if you’re bothered by that sort of thing.
It was then that I called in a strong, sharp voice: “Languille!” I saw the eyelids slowly lift up, without any spasmodic contractions — I insist advisedly on this peculiarity — but with an even movement, quite distinct and normal, such as happens in everyday life, with people awakened or torn from their thoughts. Next Languille’s eyes very definitely fixed themselves on mine and the pupils focused themselves. I was not, then, dealing with the sort of vague dull look without any expression, that can be observed any day in dying people to whom one speaks: I was dealing with undeniably living eyes which were looking at me.
(via constant siege)