Death Facts

Mass murder suicide: A Japanese farmer committed suicide by drinking the pesticide chloropicrin. Doctors tried to save his life by inducing vomiting. Unfortunately, toxic fumes killed 54 other people, 31 of whom were hospital staff and the rest were innocent bystanders and patients.

In 2005, in Britiba Mirim, Brazil, the cemetery was full, laws forbid building a new one, and the law prohibited cremation. The solution – outlaw death. Officials in a small Italian town of Marano, Italy, had a lottery for burial spot in the local cemetery. There were few takers for fear of the undertaker. It would be strange except that the Ross Bay Cemetery in Canada used the same scheme, but actually raised over $1 million dollars for 200 plots to expand their own cemetery.

In 2008, a Malaysian couple were beaten to death in a Ramadan ceremony. The ritual was supposed to stop them from smoking. Well, death does kill the urge for cigarettes.

Composer Charles-Valentin Alkan crunched his toe with his walking stick during the first performance of final masterpiece. He died of gangrene from the injury. Be grateful for modern medicine.

Henry Purcell died of mercury poisoning, which was the standard (and only) syphilis treatment at the time.

Composer Frantisek Kotswara liked kinky sex up to the very end. He died from erotic asphyxiation.

Some people get to choose how they die, and some of them choose a last toast. In 1478, George Plantagenet requested – and was executed – by drowning in a barrel of Malmsey wine, reportedly his favorite.

In 1998, every player on a soccer team in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was struck by a forked bolt of lightning. The metal in the cleats of their shoes is the suspected cause.

There are all kinds of wierdos on the internet. Armin Meiwes of German found, ate, then killed a volunteer he had found via the Internet. His defense for murder was that the victim asked for it.

It has been legal for centuries to execute a queen or princess for adultery. The last known case was that of Princess Misha’al bint Fahd al Saud, executed in Saudi Arabia in 1977.

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