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Old 01-09-2015, 12:08 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Milky Way Galaxy
Posts: 35,730
Considering the amount of force needed to break the neck in cadavers, under "ideal" conditions, is in excess of 800 N (cite - pdf), and adding to that the further force required to shear the soft tissues and decapitate the subject, I would say that someone being able to bring off a bare-handed beheading is implausible in the extreme - especially unintentionally.

The British government put together a table to determine how far a hanging subject should be dropped in order to break the neck and kill, but without severing the head. Note that a 120-lb. subject needs to be dropped well over seven and a half feet in order to reliably break the neck. To actually sever the head, one would have to generate considerably more force over a considerably shorter distance, and is thus that much less likely.

I would say that Mr. O'Neil is telling a good story rather than being strictly accurate.

tl;dr version - BS.