The Man They Couldn't Fry
rating: 0+x

Basic Information

According to the story, Thomas Edison was in a battle with advocates of Alternating Current. Edison felt strongly that AC was inherently dangerous, and thought he could prove this to the public by devising a method of execution by electricity which would forever link AC with Death: the Electric Chair

It didn't work out exactly that way. The criminal placed in the Chair actually survived, although he suffered incredible agony. It took several tries and a period of trial and error before the executioners determined the correct voltage to kill a man. Even then, it often took multiple applications of the current to do the job, and on occasion the condemned man would still survived due to a botched set-up.

In 1947 a case before the Supreme Court argued that a man who survives the electric chair has already been executed and therefore cannot be executed again. The Court disagreed.

Victorian science sometimes identified electricity as the Vital Force of life. There was a short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in which a criminal placed in an electric chair is actually revitalized, and the process makes him impossible to kill. This idea was used in a sadly-forgotten horror film called The Indestructible Man

The electric chair has largely been superseded in states with capital punishment by lethal injection.

See Also:


2. Fiction: "The Los Amigos Fiasco" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Game and Story Use

  • Marv from Sin City anyone? Of course, we suspect Marv just had a lot of hitpoints….
  • Electricity based post-humans might well be unfryable, as might anyone with the ability to convert electricity into something else - indeed, plugging in someone who can (for example) convert electricity into psychokinetic energy could be a really stupid thing to do.
  • Likewise traditional interpretations of Frankenstein's Monster and similar constructs - Roger the homonculus from the Hellboy series also thrived on grid power.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License