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Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.
~ Excerpt from 1984 by George Orwell.

Torture is a vast and complex phenomena that spreads across countless societies and time-periods, having long been used as a tool for both misguided "good" and unredeemable evil. It has claimed the lives of untold victims across the world and scarred many more, it is also a device that appears many times in fiction - the use of torture was once considered an acceptable and even honorable thing but in the modern world people who utilize torture are seen as brutal, sadistic and criminal.

This does little to stop tyrannical regimes or terrorists from utilizing torture and many of these groups find the fear torture inspires to be beneficial in their overall plans - criminals also utilize torture quite often either to intimidate rivals or for personal enjoyment.

Often torture results in the death of the victim, but not always.

Torture can be roughly put into two main categories:

  • Physical (designed to break the victim through physical pain)
  • Psychological (designed to drive a victim insane (sometimes regarded as worse than Physical Torture) )

Torture methods (Physical)

Torture methods (Psychological)

Torture murder

A subset of torture is a torture murder, which is a murder where death was preceded by the torture of the victim. In many legal jurisdictions a murder involving "exceptional brutality or cruelty" will attract a harsher sentence if the killing is not sanctioned by authorities or carried out by state security forces themselves.

Notable torture murderers