June 18, 1898
Paris, France
Xavier-Ange Carrara is executed by guillotine for the robbing, murdering, and burning the body of Augustin Lamarre, a collection clerk

Carrara’s execution was a gruesome affair, as executions by guillotine were known to be. A newspaper article described the events in vivid detail:

What followed beggars description. The executioner and his aids seemed no longer to be men employed to carry out the ends of justice; they looked like butchers. They seized the condemned man, some by the ears, some by the legs, while others held down the center of the body and kept holding him up to the very moment when, with a sudden rumble, the knife fell, the head rebounded into the basket and the abomination was at an end.

“But one should be present to see the pavements covered with blood, the gory knife, the blood spurting from the decapitated trunk, the ignominious washing at the nearby fountain and the gutters rolling to the sewer a purple colored mud, in order to be able to comprehend all the horrors of an execution in Paris.” [Full article]

The image posted is a keepsake from the execution, a button taken from the jacket of Carrara following his execution and sealed with wax to denote its authenticity.

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