Ed Graney’s Olympics Postcard

This isn’t your ordinary axe and block of wood. They date to the 16th Century and are housed on the top floor in the White Tower inside the Tower of London. They were used in many of the beheadings of those convicted of treason or other crimes. “Most of the beheadings took place outside,” said Joanne, tour guide and expert on all things murder, torture, corporal punishment and not getting any blood on the tower floors. “The axe was very blunt, so sometimes it took more than one try to get the head off. If you didn’t pay the executioner enough, he might have taken two or three swings on purpose to get the job done. Anne Boleyn was lucky. She got the sword, so her head came off cleanly. Lady Jane Grey, however, got the axe.” I’m thinking Joanne is just a peachy date when it comes to light dinner conversation.

— Ed Graney / Las Vegas Review Journal