Category Archives: Lethal Chemicals in Murder Mysteries

Ricin – A Most Lethal Weapon

I was shopping with a friend recently and she had castor oil on her grocery list. That gave me pause. From my early days as a retail pharmacist, I remembered that castor oil was sold over the counter as a … Continue reading

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Propofol – The Milk of Amnesia

Propofol is a short-acting sedative-hypnotic that’s used to initiate and maintain general anesthesia. It also decreases levels of consciousness along with a loss of memory for sedation during minor medical procedures. It is administered intravenously. The drug was discovered in 1977. … Continue reading

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How To Write a Bloodless Death Scene

The storylines of the novels I write often call for one or more of the characters to be murdered. That’s simple enough when you write murder mysteries—you shoot or stab the person, or use a dozen other ways to kill … Continue reading

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Clean Your Windows – Clear Out Your Enemies!

A couple of years ago there was considerable news coverage of an unusual attempted murder case. A South Carolina college student allegedly tried to kill her roommates by spraying their food with a window cleaning product. The student was caught … Continue reading

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The Deadly Truth About Household Cleaners

In last week’s blog, I discussed carpet and upholstery cleaners as potential lethal poisons. This week I’d like to discuss the dangers of other household cleaning products and their potential to cause harm. Air Fresheners: Most of these products work … Continue reading

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BELLADONNA – It’s More Than a Pretty Woman

Some of history’s most lethal substances were once used for cosmetic purposes—well, at least before their deadly qualities became obvious. Unfortunately, the evolution from cosmetic to murder weapon developed somewhat from an “on the job training” thing! An example of … Continue reading

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COPPER SULFATE – The Green Chemical

Copper sulfate is a fascinating substance that burns with a green to aquamarine colored flame. Often it’s used in high school chemistry classes to demonstrate just such a phenomenon. It’s also considered a “green chemical” in that the US agricultural … Continue reading

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