Anna Månsdotter
Anna Månsdotter, a 48 years old widow lived with her grown
son Per in the south of Sweden. Per had been Anna's lover ever
since his early youth. Their sexual relationship even continued
after Per had married, and Anna was jealous on Per's bride.
Together they killed Per's young wife. Per received a life
sentence while Anna was sent to the scaffold.
On August 6, 1890 at 8:00 a.m. Anna was led to the low block.
She was dressed up like going to a party in a white dress, that
fell beautifully over her slim figure. Her steps were unsecure
and her big eyes looked around nervously.
Anna made no resistance as she walked to the scaffold. She
kneeled down at the block, looking a last time at her
executioner who hided the axe behind his back. An assistant
blindfolded her and Anna laid down with her head on the block
sobbing like a child. Just before the blow she moaned and lifted
her head. The assistant had to press it back in position, and this
time the soft sound of the blow could be heard. Anna's
blindfolded head rolled forward while a jet of blood sprayed
from her neck which yellow skin looked like the skin of a
Two seconds after Anna's head fell a medical
student examined it. For one minute her eyes
seemed blank and "alive" as if they could see.
The blade stroke her right under her ears,
cleaved her tungue and went through her mouth,
leaving her chin with the body.
Anna's body was quickly removed and undresed
for scientific experiments. Her heart was
removed while it was still beating.
The head was assigned to an artist, who made a
death mask for the Wax Museum "Panoptikum"
in Stockholm
(see picture at left).