List of people who were beheaded

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The following is a list of notable people who were beheaded, arranged alphabetically by country or region and with date of decapitation. Special sections on "Religious figures" and "Fictional characters" are also appended.

These individuals may have lost their heads either accidentally or intentionally (as a form of execution or posthumously).

Salome and the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, by Titian
The Beheading of Saint Paul. Painting by Enrique Simonet in 1887





  • Jordão da Silva Cantanhede (2013) – a Brazilian amateur football referee,[3] was lynched, quartered and beheaded by football spectators after he stabbed a player in a match he officiated on June 30, 2013. Spectators then put his head on a stake in the middle of the pitch. A viral video later surfaced of medical officials reassembling his body.[4][5][6]
  • João Rodrigo Silva Santos (2013) – Brazilian football player

Byzantine Empire[edit]


  • Tim McLean (2008) – murdered and decapitated on Greyhound bus



Democratic Republic of Congo[edit]

  • Zaida Catalán (2017)- Swedish politician of Chilean descent, found decapitated during 2017



The heads of famous English traitors were customarily spiked on London Bridge
Piers Gaveston at the feet of the Earl of Warwick, 1312
Execution of Hugh Despenser the younger, 1326
The execution of Edmund Beaufort, 4th Duke of Somerset at Tewkesbury, 1471
Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, 1587
Raleigh just before being beheaded in 1618– an illustration from c. 1860
This contemporary German print depicts Charles I's decapitation in 1649.
Execution of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth by Jack Ketch on Tower Hill, 15 July 1685 (O.S), in a popular print.

European New World colonies[edit]

Blackbeard's severed head hanging from Maynard's bowsprit
Execution of Diego de Almagro

British North America[edit]

  • Wingina (1586) – Roanoke Indian chief executed by first English settlers in the New World[17]
  • Wituwamat (1623) – Neponset warrior killed and beheaded by the Plymouth Colony Pilgrim/soldier Miles Standish
  • Metacomet (1676) – New England Indian chief "King Philip" executed for resisting white settlement
  • Blackbeard (1718) – Famous pirate beheaded after capture at Ocracoke Island



  • Dutty Boukman (1791) – Executed by the French for promoting a slave rebellion


  • Joaquim José da Silva Xavier (Tiradentes) (1792) – the body was quartered after his hanging for revolutionary activity






Ancien Régime[edit]

French Revolution[edit]

Note: some estimates place the number of persons executed by the guillotine, particularly during the Reign of Terror (1793–1794), at 40,000.

The execution of Robespierre

French First Republic[edit]


French Republic[edit]



Pre-20th century[edit]

Execution of Johann Wittenborg, 1363
Execution of Pirates in Hamburg, 1573

Weimar Republic[edit]

  • Fritz Haarmann (1925) – The Butcher (or Vampire) of Hanover – Guillotined in Hanover for murder
  • Peter Kürten (1931) – The Vampire of Düsseldorf – Guillotined in Cologne for murder

Nazi Germany[edit]

Modern Germany[edit]

Great Britain[edit]

Jeremiah Brandreth's head, 1817



  • Guru Tegh Bahadur (1675) – Ninth guru of Sikhs executed in Delhi by order of Mogul emperor Aurangzeb
  • Saint John de Brito (1693) – executed in India for preaching Christianity
  • Raja Dahir (712) – executed on command of Muhammad bin Qasim after Dahir's kingdom of Sindh was defeated.
  • 2013 India–Pakistan border skirmishes- Two Indian soldiers, Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh were killed and their bodies were apparently found mutilated, with one decapitated by Pakistan Army.


Ancient Mesopotamia[edit]





The Execution of Marino Faliero, Eugène Delacroix, 1827.

Ancient Rome[edit]

Medieval Italy[edit]

Later Italy[edit]

Giovanni Battista Bugatti, executioner of the Papal States between 1796 and 1865, carried out 516 executions


Head of Kim Okgyun, 1894

Home islands[edit]

Sergeant Siffleet's execution at Aitape, 1943

Japanese-occupied territories (20th century)[edit]

Modern Japan[edit]



Beheading of Johan van Oldenbarnevelt

Ottoman Empire[edit]

  • Ali Pasha of Yanina (1822) – Shot and beheaded by order of Sultan Mahmud II
  • Bajo Pivljanin (1685), Serb hajduk in Venetian service, beheaded and head sent to Sultan Mehmed IV


  • Northwest India before 1947
Raja Dahir (712) – executed on command of Muhammad bin Qasim after Dahir's empire was defeated.
  • Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Daniel Pearl (2002) – American journalist killed by terrorists





  • Nicolae Labiş (1956) – fell off of a tram while going to a friend's house and was decapitated when his head hit the pavement between the two trams


Saudi Arabia[edit]


The Scottish Maiden on display at the Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

South Africa[edit]

  • Peter Revson (1974) – racing driver decapitated in testing crash


Sri Lanka[edit]


Execution of Anna Månsdotter. The executioner Dalman stands to the far left, hiding his axe behind his back.



Execution of Greifensee garrison

United States[edit]


Execution of Pierre Dumoulin-Borie


Religious figures[edit]

Hebrew Bible[edit]

  • Goliath – after he was killed by David, this example illustrates the aforementioned post-mortem decapitation

Other Biblical figures[edit]

Judith Beheading Holofernes (Caravaggio)

Catholic saints[edit]

The martyrdom of Saints Cosmas and Damian by Fra Angelico (Musée du Louvre, Paris)
The martyrdom of St Nicasius

Greek mythology[edit]



Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Most Horrifying Shark Attacks in History - TomorroWoman". 6 November 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "World's 10 worst shark attacks". Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "Fans decapitate soccer referee after he stabs, kills player:police". NY Daily News. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Brazil referee decapitated after stabbing player". BBC News. 7 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Brazilian Referee Beheaded by Fans for Killing Player". International Business Times. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Brazilian Soccer Fans Decapitate Ref After He Stabs, Kills Player". Deadspin. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp "Confirmed executions at Tower Hill". Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "Thomas Mowbray". Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "The Martyrdom of Archbishop Richard Scrope". The Catholic University of America. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  10. ^ Thomas Pennant Wybunbury to Darlaston Excerpt From Chester to London (1780), at
  11. ^ "Richard III (DNB00)". DNB. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "Hungerford, Walter (1503-1540) (DNB00)". Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "Fane, Ralph (DNB00)". Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "Foxe's Book of Martyrs". Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  15. ^ "Danvers, Sir Charles (c.1568–1601), soldier and conspirator". Oxford DNB. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  16. ^ "Gregory Clement, Regicide, 1594-1660". Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  17. ^ Oberg, Michael Leroy (2010), The Head in Edward Nugent's Hand: Roanoke's Forgotten Indians (Series: Early American Studies), University of Pennsylvania Press
  18. ^ "Earl of Strafford Killed; Decapitated by an Express Train at a Railroad". New York Times. 17 May 1899. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  19. ^ Deréktól hiányzik Kádár János – többen őrzik a sírkertet Lánchíd Rádió, cs, 2007-05-03 17:40
  20. ^ The Pacy and the Levant. Google Books. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  21. ^ "Why Bernard Then was beheaded". Asiaone. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  22. ^ "Grandmother beheaded in Tenerife supermarket was defenceless in 'abhorrent attack'". 19 February 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  23. ^ Acts of the Apostles: Commentary
  24. ^ The Apostle Saul (Paul) at