"Ladies and Gentlemen! Come and see the very first death recorded on film!"
Yes, in 1903 the Edison Moving Image Company recorded live the very real and very shocking electrocution of Topsy the Elephant in Luna Park, Coney Island!
She was electrocuted, ladies and gentlemen!
Then she was poisoned!
And then strangled!
No, not hung, no, but strangled! The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the SPCA, supervised the whole thing!
And they most certainly did certify that it was all very humane, this poisoning, electrocution, and strangling!
What other crimes was Topsy blamed for but actually innocent of? Was it just good for business to have a bad reputation?
One article from the 1902 incident with the whiskey glass shows that there was a murderous elephant named "Tops" and another innocent elephant named "Topsy". So was Topsy murdered for crimes she did not commit?
You be the judge.