Electrocution is a horrible way to die. Cell phones, science experiments, tasers, faulty wires, and even ordinary outlets can be delivery systems for shocking deaths. Accidental electrocution fatalities are common, and homicides involving electrical torture occur with terrifying frequency. Sometimes, electricity is even used as the murder weapon.
See Also: 10 Shocking Myths About Electricity
10 Cocaine And Tasers
In February 2015, Florida police tased Calvon Reid to death. Wynmoor retirement community residents called authorities, and indicated that Reid, 39, had been injured and needed medical attention. After Reid refused the officers’ help, they tased him multiple times in the chest. Witnesses recall hearing Reid cry “I can’t breathe” and “they are going to kill me”.
Reid’s death was ruled a homicide and led to the abrupt retirement of the Coconut Creek police chief. Initially, investigators kept information regarding Reid’s death a secret. Three of the four officers involved had let their taser certifications lapse. The autopsy revealed that “recent cocaine use” exacerbated Reid’s condition. However, “complications of an electro-muscular disruption device” was the cause of death. Cocaine has been linked to taser fatalities in the past. In most cases, cocaine is listed as the cause of death in an attempt to demonize the victims of overzealous police.
9 A Spy’s Death In Cairo
In early 2016, the body of Giulio Regeni, 28, was found in a ditch in the outskirts of Cairo. The Cambridge PhD student had been missing for two weeks. The autopsy revealed a brain hemorrhage, seven broken ribs, and electrocution to his penis. He had also been sliced with a razor, bludgeoned, and repeatedly kicked and punched. The tops of both ears had been lobbed off, and multiple finger and toenails had been ripped off.
Regeni was most likely killed as a suspected spy. The Italian grad student had been studying Egyptian trade unions. He wrote several articles critical of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s administration. Three Egyptian security officials revealed Regeni had been taken into custody. All three confirmed that he had triggered red flags due to his research project and contact with the leftists April 6th movement and the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood – both considered enemies of the state.
8 Iphone Horror
In 2014, the charred body of Wu Wenyuan was discovered bed next to a broken iPhone 4S. The phone’s screen was smashed, and the 18-year-old Xinjian resident was not breathing. The coroner’s report revealed electrocution marks on her neck, hands, and left foot. The cause of death was electrocution from the cell phone’s “electrical leakage”. Investigators determined the phone had been plugged into a knock-off charger, which might have caused the electrocution.
This is not the only time an iPhone has electrocuted someone to death. In 2015, Evegina Sviridenko was killed when she dropped her cell phone into the bath. The 24-year-old Moscow resident had been looking at her social media page when the plugged-in phone hit the water. Sviridenko’s roommate discovered her pale and floating. Her skin was still quaking from the electrical shock. Investigators believe that an off-brand charger was likely responsible for Sviridenko’s cell phone electrocution death.
7 Electro Pedophile
The body of Sonia Payi was discovered in the undergrowth near a Strunaway industrial park. The autopsy revealed the seven-year-old South African girl had been raped before she was electrocuted to death. Sonia was abducted while sneaking out with a friend to buy snacks from a local shop. A joint force of police and locals began the search. Specialized K9 search and rescue units combed the cemeteries and alleys.
A mob of 200 New Brighton residents, mostly women, chased the man who allegedly abducted, raped, and electrocuted Sonia Payi. They pelted him with stones and beat him. Police had to intervene. According to the vigilantes, the man had been pretending to be deaf and was spotted playing with children near where Sonia was abducted. Residents were immediately suspicious, as the man was not a local. When questioned he doubled-down on his deaf act and escaped, leaving his false teeth behind.
6 Don’t Try This At Home
A 15-year-old Ohio boy was electrocuted to death recreating a YouTube video. Morgan Wojciechowski was attempting the “Jacob’s Ladder” experiment, which involves a high-voltage arc of electricity traveling between two points – frequently wires. The high school freshman’s parents were alerted to the trouble when they heard “a lot of noise” coming from the garage. Emergency crews were dispatched but it was too late. Morgan was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.
Investigators discovered a microwave battery pack attached to an electrical outlet via multiple extension cords. Jumper cables from the battery pack connected with wire hangers, believed to be the points where electricity would travel. The Wojciechowski family was aware of Morgan’s experiments. However, they are unaware which video prompted him to recreate the fatal experiment. Jacob’s Ladder displays can be found at museums and science centers. They are dangerous and should not be trifled with at home.
5 Sex Tape Murder Suicide
In January, Virginia police discovered the naked body of Kim Yeon on the basement floor of an Annandale home. She was handcuffed to a clothed 73-year-old man. When authorities approached, the man wrapped an electrical cord around his wrist and began to convulse. The cord was connected to an awls jammed into a circuit breaker – an improvised electrocution device. Yeon, 56, was pronounced dead at the scene. The unidentified man was taken into custody and hospitalized.
Police traced Yeon’s cell phone to the Annandale residence. Knocks went unanswered, but they discovered the grisly scene by peeking through the basement window. Investigators discovered a note, which indicated that the man wanted to kill Yeon and take his own life. There was also a DVD sex tape of the couple. There was no indication that Yeon was abducted. However, her death is being investigated as a homicide. The motive remains a mystery.
4 Sexual Jealousy Slaughter
Last summer, Indian police discovered the naked remains of Alka Kumari in her family home in Amishar. The coroner’s report revealed that the 25-year-old was a victim of homicide. First, she was strangled. Then her breasts and genitals were electrocuted. She was violated with a two-foot sword, before electrical current was sent through it, burning her internal organs.
Police believe the slaying was motivated by “sexual jealousy”. They discovered a note reading, “I miss you”. Cold beverages were sitting in the room where her body found. The police also discovered a mobile phone missing a SIM card. Cash, gold, and silver ornaments were taken. However, investigators believe this was to give the perception of a robbery, and throw them off the real killer’s trail. The brutality of the murder suggests a person with a personal connection to Alka. Five years before her murder, Alka was married. It lasted only days.
3 Copper Theft Gone Wrong
In 2015, the Jefferson county sheriff’s office received a report of a dead body near Highway 221. The deceased was Charles “Chip” Ridenour. The coroner’s report revealed the 39-year-old died from electrocution. Warrants were issued for David Wade, 43, and Robert Brown, 52. Georgia authorities believe the two, along with Ridenour, were trying to steal copper wire from the tops of power poles. The pair has been charged with felony murder, concealing a death, and theft by taking. At the time of his death, Ridenour was on probation for stealing an air-conditioning unit.
Copper theft is an epidemic. Estimates report that the business of illegal copper is worth $1 billion a year. It remains valuable as scrap because of its uses in fiber optics, plumbing, and nearly all electrical gadgets. As a tangible asset, it is extremely hard to trace. Thieves will go nearly anywhere to find the precious metal.
2 Cuckold Killer
In 2014, the body of Choa Chu Kang was discovered in Malaysia’s Sungei Gedong Camp. Maggots seethed through the badly decomposed corpse. His hands were bound and his t-shirt was pulled up to his neck. His scalp was damaged and his eyes, missing. The autopsy revealed that he died from blunt force trauma to the head and face.
Chia Kee Chen, 55, was charged with the murder. Prosecutors believe the feud developed over an affair between Kang and Chen’s wife. The relationship was broken off. However, a New Year’s text message triggered a rampage. Chen and two accomplices assaulted Kang in a parking lot and forced him into the back of a van. They tied him up and electrocuted him. They then beat Kang to death before dumping his body. Chen’s longtime friend Chua Leong Aik, 66, and business partner Febri Irwansyah Djatmiko have also been charged with the murder.
1 Cell Phone Honor Killing
17-year-old Amine Demirtas was electrocuted to death by her brother for using a cell phone without his approval. According to Kasim Demirtas, 29, he developed suspicions his sister was using a mobile to meet new people. He asked for the phone repeatedly and demanded the passcode so that he could read her messages. When she refused. Kasim tortured and electrocuted her to death. Their father was arrested along with Kasim for encouraging the brutality.
Nearly 300 women are killed from domestic violence each year in Turkey. Honor killings are common, and activists believe that many go unreported as suicides. The murder took place in a Batman, Turkey. Between 1995 and 2006, at least 71 women committed suicide in the conservative city. Murders in which a woman’s family kills her following a “shameful” act are illegal in Turkey. However, officials often look the other way and judges hand out light sentences.
About The Author: Abraham Rinquist is the executive director of the Winooski, Vermont, branch of the Helen Hartness Flanders Folklore Society. He is the coauthor of Codex Exotica and Song-Catcher: The Adventures of Blackwater Jukebox.