Gelsemium and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the Self-Poisoner
Featured Poison

Gelsemium and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the Self-Poisoner

Before there was Sherlock Holmes and his trademark deerstalker cap, there was an English physician, Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle. And before that there was just plain old Arthur Conan Doyle, a student at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, and where we will begin. On September 20th, 1879 the British Medical Journal published a letter entitled “Gelseminum as … Continue reading

Homicidal Poisonings: Not Common, but Watch Out for the Chocolate Cremes
Poisonous History / Quick Commentary

Homicidal Poisonings: Not Common, but Watch Out for the Chocolate Cremes

Homicidal poisonings are not nearly as common as people think or prime-time TV dramas would have you believe. The fact is, successfully poisoning someone takes work. One must first acquire the means to carry it out, which entails researching the poison and procuring it. Then a plan must be constructed so that the death appears … Continue reading

Who Put Strychnine in my Beer?
Poisonous History

Who Put Strychnine in my Beer?

One of the hallmarks of strychnine is its extreme bitterness (click for a review of the science, history, and toxicity of strychnine).  So bitter, in fact, that homicidal poisonings are difficult to pull off.  But with enough sweeteners and other flavors to mask the taste it is possible, as history has shown us.  And with … Continue reading