Fred Leuchter is a humanitarian. He wants to take the discomfort out of execution.
He’s an engineer from Malden, Massachusetts who’s devoted his life to making the most efficient and painless electric chair. Fred Leuchter says “if you’re going to fry people, isn’t it better that their eyeballs don’t fly across the room and hit the wall?”
He’s a perfect subject for the filmmaker Errol Morris. He’s peculiar. He’s obsessively eccentric. He’s pre-occupied with death. If Fred Leuchter hadn’t got involved with some Neo Nazi Holocaust deniers, he might have prospered in his day job as an execution specialist.
Instead, he took his new bride to Auschwitz and spent his honeymoon poking around the rubble of the gas chambers, looking for traces of cyanide gas. He didn’t find any and issued the Leuchter Report which has become the standard bible now for Holocaust deniers.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Errol Morris, creator of the film “Mr. Death”