Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Suicide by snake bite

I'd never heard of anyone besides Cleopatra using snake bite as a suicide method. But, you know, humans -- we get up to all sorts of crazy things.


"A Texas medical office has ruled that a teen’s July death from snakebites was suicide, according to the examiner’s report. 
The 18-year-old was found dead in an SUV with “several bites” from a deadly monocle cobra on each arm, KVUE reports. The autopsy found that Thompson first had bites on his left shoulder, consistent with a right-handed person intentionally receiving a snakebite. The venom would have led to paralysis and death in as few as 30 minutes. 
The teen loved reptiles and had a “history of suicidal ideation,” according to the medical report. He was found in the SUV with its door open and an empty cobra container, though the snake was gone.  
Animal control conducted a large-scale search until the snake was found dead by a road."

2008 May;79(5):604-6. doi: 10.1007/s00115-008-2431-4.

[Attempted suicide by snake bite. Case report and literature survey].

[Article in German]


Unusual suicide attempts often remain undetected, and bizarre methods can be a clue to psychotic origin. We report a suicide attempt by proxy--the bite of a puff adder--and provide a brief literature survey about further archaic self-injurious behaviour. Due to the easy availability of venomous snakes and the close networking of suicidal patients via the Internet, an increase in similar cases can be anticipated. A failed suicide attempt should always be considered in patients surviving bizarre accidents.

2012 Jan;52(1):40-3. doi: 10.1258/msl.2011.011020. Epub 2011 Nov 25.

Homicide by direct snake bite: a case of contract killing.


It has been estimated that five million snake bite cases occur worldwide every year, causing about 100,000 deaths. Snake bite is exclusively accidental in nature. Suicide by snake bite is very rare and homicidal snake bite is not reported. In the present case, a contract killer was hired, who used a poisonous snake to kill an elderly couple by way of direct snake bite. We believe this to be the first case reported where a snake was directly used for the murder of two victims through a contract killer.

1 comment:

  1. "As FEW as 30 minutes"? Seems to me, while suffering from a nerve toxin from a cobra, 30 minutes could be a really long time ...


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