Recently another large rattlesnake picture showed up in my inbox but without much accompanying information other than it was claimed to be from South Carolina. A quick internet search revealed some additional details. Apparently, the snake was killed in Goose Creek, Berkeley County, South Carolina and measured six feet and seven inches long (~ 2 m). It is now in the hands of a taxidermist. I also read the snake was killed with jumper cables, which sounds like an odd and dangerous way of killing anything, let alone a large venomous snake. Let's hope this part of the story isn't true, or at least that there's a rational explanation.
Although I can't confirm the details of the story, it generally appears plausible. A snake this size is a huge individual but the length is within reason for a big, old, snake. Today, the cotton rats have one less thing to be afraid of in their neighborhood.
Let's see how long it takes for these pictures to start circulating with a story about how it weighed 80 pounds and was ten feet long (and from your town!).
I've handled dozens of eastern diamondback rattlesnakes and have never been bitten. It helps that I am extremely careful (and sober) whenever I do so. This applies to dead animals as well, it's possible for your finger to nick a fang when moving around a dead snake. Fangs may also poke out the side of the animal's mouth, so I'd advise against holding the snake as shown in the above picture. With a little care and some distance, rattlesnakes don't pose much of a risk. The safest strategy is always to leave these animals alone, particularly if all you have on you are jumper cables.