26. Going Medieval on a Medieval Monster
In 1581, Peter Niers was captured for a second time. This time, there was no escape. He was taken to the Bavarian city of Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz for a public execution, in which the authorities went medieval on him, literally and figuratively. Even for an era in which torture and gruesome executions were routine, Niers’ execution, which commenced on September 16th, 1581, stood out.
It was a three day ordeal, with the first day spent flaying Niers’ skin, then pouring hot oil on his exposed muscles to slough off layers of his flesh. On the second day, his feet were coated in grease, and his lower body was slowly grilled over a low fire. On the third day, his body was broken on the wheel, with dozens of blows that smashed his major bones to pieces. Finally, the executioners quartered him while still alive, sawing his body into pieces.