The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'poison'


Former Russian spy turned defector Alexander Litvinenko has died in a London hospital, having been mysteriously poisoned. The authorities still don't know what substance was used to kill him, though thallium and radioactive agents were both suspected. The Russian secret services have denied poisoning him (though they of course would). Some are pointing the finger at Russian President Putin, an ex-KGB man, whose government Litvinenko had criticised.

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Medical specialists from Britain, the US and France claim that Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yuschenko was poisoned in the run-up to the country's (now invalidated) presidential election. Who ordered the poisoning (believed to have been done with a rare poison) is unknown, though it could go all the way to Moscow (which stands to lose influence if the pro-Western Yuschenko comes to power).

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Nagyrev is an unexceptional Hungarian village; it was also the site, some 90 years ago, of a conspiracy by the local women to poison their husbands:

"The women used to come to Mrs Fazekas with their problems," Mrs Gunya recalls. She said that when they complained about their drunken or violent husbands, Mrs Fazekas told them: "If there's a problem with him, I have a simple solution". That solution was arsenic, distilled by the midwife by soaking flypaper in water.

Some have claimed that the women of Nagyrev have been poisoning their husbands "since time immemorial"; meanwhile, corpses exhumed in nearby towns have been found to have contained arsenic.

And Maria Gunya points out wryly that after the poisonings the men's behaviour to their wives "improved markedly".

I suspect that the incidents of Nagyrev were the inspiration for the film Hukkle.

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Apparently killing zoo animals isn't just an Adelaide thing; some nutter has been poisoning zoo animals in Sao Paolo, Brazil:

Victims over the past week include monkeys, golden-headed lion tamarinds and more than 30 porcupines. Three chimpanzees, an orang-utan, three tapirs, four camels, an elephant and a bison died during the previous month.

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