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Encyclopedia > Crocodile shears

The crocodile shears was an instrument of torture used in late mediaeval Europe and typically reserved for regicides, viz., those who attempted (and, perhaps, succeeded) to assassinate the king. Made of iron, the shears was based upon the concept of a pincers, but--instead of standard jaws or blades--ended in a pair of hemicylindrical blades that, when closed together, formed a long, narrow tube. The insides of the blades were generously lined with teeth or spikes. After being heated red-hot, the crocodile shears was applied to the erect penis, which--once exposed to sufficient tension--was torn from the prisoner's body.


  • The Book of Torture and Execution by Richard Sair (typically credited to the editor, Arnold Hirsch, M.D., insofar as Sair's name appears nowhere in the work, only in the Library of Congress card catalogue, indexed under HV8593 .S3).



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