Taking away another human being’s life is a disturbing thing to do for a living. Usually it’s considered a crime, but sometimes it’s the opposite: a punishment. And behind every execution is an executioner: someone who is paid by the state to kill in the name of justice. This job has existed throughout most of human history, and in many places it still exists to this day.
It’s not an easy job. It takes someone with thick-skin to be an executioner, and in some cases it takes someone very sadistic too. Most people who take the job suffer, whether it’s because of their own issues or through being shunned by their peers. And so this complicated, controversial job can lead people to do strange things and live strange lives.
With most executions, the spotlight is on the person on the receiving end. But if you take a look at the person who flicks the switch, swings the axe, or ties the noose, you might be surprised at what you find. The people behind the execution often have stories that are just as sinister as the person being executed.