The Garrotte... Seriously guys, this is the one that gives me chills. There are some very horrific methods of  inflicting pain out there, but this one.. definitely gives me several layers of goose pimples (or 'goosebumps' for those not born in the UK)

One version known as the silent killer,  another a form of capital punishment. Both completely evil with only one motive, to kill.

ok... in history some people are definitely deserving, but most people who lived through and died from the garrotte, did not deserve such.

"Garrote, device used in strangling condemned persons. In one form it consists of an iron collar attached to a post. The victim’s neck is placed in the collar, and the collar is slowly tightened by a screw until asphyxiation occurs. Another form of garrote is a length of wire with wooden handles at the ends, held by the executioner."

Garotting appears to have developed from the early Chinese form of execution known as the bow-string. The criminal was tied to an upright post with two holes bored in it through which the ends of a cord from a long bow were passed and pulled tight round the neck by the executioner until the condemned strangled.
A garrotte is a weapon, usually a handheld length of chain, rope, scarf, wire or fishing line used to strangle a person.

[1] Garrotte is normal British English spelling, with single 'r' as an alternate.[2] Garrote with a single 't' is US English spelling. A Spanish version is garrote vil.

The garrote

(or garrotte etc and so on)

was the standard civilian method of execution in Spain.

It was introduced in 1812/13, at the beginning of the reign of Ferdinand VII, to replace the crude form of hanging previously used.


At least 736 people, including 16 women, were executed in Spain in the 19th century.


It is not clear how complete earlier records are and even modern ones are somewhat patchy.

Some 96 people, including two women, were garroted between 1900 and 1935 with a further 110 men and three women being put to death in the post Civil War period.  Executions also took place by shooting during this period and Spain’s last executions were by firing squad.  Shooting was more commonly handed down by military tribunals, however, it is unclear why people were shot for civilian murders.  Most 20th century executions were for murder or terrorist related crimes, although banditry remained a capital crime, certainly into the 1950’s.

Sixty five men and two women were executed by garrote between 1950 and 1974 in various parts of Spain, including one man in Las Palmas on Grand Canaria.  All of these suffered either for murder, banditry or major acts of terrorism.  Eleven men were executed by firing squad in the same period.

The garrote was the main device used for capital punishment in Spain for hundreds of years. Originally, it was an execution where the convict was killed by hitting him with a club (garrote in Spanish). This later developed into a strangulation device, where the condemned was tied to a wooden stake, with a loop of rope placed around his neck. A wooden stick was placed in the loop, and by rotating the stick, the rope was tightened until the condemned person was strangled to death. As time went on, the execution method was modified in the form of a wooden chair to which the condemned was bound, while the executioner tightened a metal band around his/her neck with a crank or a wheel until asphyxiation of the condemned person was accomplished.

Other versions of this device incorporated a fixed metal blade or spike directed at the spinal cord to cause the severing of the spinal cord and/or breaking of the neck, 
In some versions, two brass collars were used. One collar was attached to the lever whilst the other was fixed to the post. Both collars were hinged to admit the prisoner's neck. When all preparations were complete, the executioner operated the mechanism forcing one collar outwards whilst the other remained stationary thus, if correctly adjusted, dislocating the prisoner's neck and causing immediate unconsciousness followed by death

The spiked version, called the Catalan garrotte, was used as late as 1940. American authorities kept the garrotte for a time in the Philippines after that Spanish colony was captured in 1898. Its use was abolished in 1902 (Act No. 451, passed 2 September 1902).

Below the next couple of images, you will be able to read about the last man to be killed in this manner.

On this date in 1974, in the face of an international controversy, Spain executed anarchist Salvador Puig Antich — the very last execution by garrote.
Handsome young Salvador radicalized as a youth in the 1960s under the oppressive semi-fascist Franco dictatorship.

As was the style at the time, the Catalan nationalist’s philosophy soon migrated to anarchism, and he brought his army experience to the Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación (MIL), whose direction-action credo entailed bank robberies branded as “expropriation.”

Puig Antich was caught in a police ambush that also claimed the life of a police officer — at least some of the bullets seemingly delivered by police friendly fire.


But his defense that his own gun discharged only as he was beaten senseless by the gendarmes never had a chance, since between arrest and trial, another set of proscribed leftists assassinated Prime Minister Luis Carrero Blanco.

Blanco’s successor went by the handle “Butcher of Malaga” for his depredations as a nationalist prosecutor during the Spanish Civil War.

So there was no quarter forthcoming from the Spanish regime, notwithstanding domestic general strikes and worldwide gnashing of teeth.


Salvador Puig Antich went on to a post-mortem existence as anarchist martyr. To help take the political edge off the scene, a non-political murderer, Heinz Ches (Spanish link), was garroted at almost the same time, in a different prison.


Spain soon did away with the discomfiting garrote; its very last executions were carried out by firing squad.

Salvador Puig Antich was the subject of a 2006 film, Salvador. Excerpt below.

The junior partner in the day’s twin killing, Heinz Ches, was himself the subject of a documentary, Nobody’s Death: The Enigma of Heinz Ches, exploring the weird near-total obscurity of the man who shared the headlines with Salvador Puig Antich

Help keep this site ad free. 

Without you, we could never achieve so much.

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Awesome email from Shadezofblack!

Copyright © 2019, Shadezofblack