Cloaks, Beer Floods & Cyanide

If one’s number is up and the celestial heavens doth agree it is time for you to shuffle off your mortal coil… thank your god you weren’t one of these poor schmucks…..

620 BC: Draco, Athenian law-maker, was smothered to death by gifts of cloaks showered upon him by appreciative citizens at a theatre.

207 BC: Chrysippus, a Greek philosopher, is believed to have died of laughter after watching his drunk donkey attempt to eat figs.

415: Hypatia of Alexandria, Greek mathematician and Pagan philosopher, was murdered by a Christian mob by having her skin ripped off with sharp sea-shells; what remained of her was burned.

892: Sigurd the Mighty of Orkney strapped the head of a defeated foe to his horse’s saddle. The teeth of this head grazed against his leg as he rode, causing an infection that killed him.

1219: Inalchuk, the Muslim governor of the Central Asian town of Otrar, was captured and killed by the invading Mongols, who poured molten silver in his eyes, ears, and throat.

1327: Edward II of England, after being deposed and imprisoned by his Queen consort and her lover, was rumored to have been murdered by having a red-hot iron inserted into his anus

1514: Gyorgy Dozsa, peasants’ revolt leader in Hungary, was condemned to sit on a red-hot iron throne with a red-hot iron crown on his head and a red-hot sceptre in his hand (mocking at his ambition to be king), by Hungarian nobility in Transylvania. While Dózsa was still alive, he was set upon and his partially roasted body was eaten by six of his fellow rebels, who had been starved for a week beforehand.

1649: Sir Arthur Aston, Royalist commander of the garrison during the Siege of Drogheda, was beaten to death with his own wooden leg, which the soldiers thought concealed golden coins.

1814: London Beer Flood, 9 people were killed when 323,000 imperial gallons of beer in the Meux and Company Brewery burst out of their vats and gushed into the streets.

1912: Franz Reichelt, tailor, fell to his death off the Eiffel Tower while testing his invention, the coat parachute. It was his first ever attempt with the parachute and he had told the authorities in advance he would test it first with a dummy.

1920: Dan Anderson, a Swedish author, died of cyanide poisoning while staying at Hotel Hellman in Stockholm, because the hotel staff had failed to clear the room after using hydrogen cyanide against bedbugs.

1930: William Kogut, an inmate on death row at San Quentin, committed suicide with a pipe bomb created from several packs of playing cards and the hollow leg from his cot, which he heated with a kerosene heater. At the time, the ink in red playing cards contained nitrocellulose, which is flammable and when wet can create an explosive mixture.

1947: The Collyer Brothers, extreme cases of compulsive hoarders, were found dead in their home in New York. The younger brother, Langley, died by falling victim to a booby trap he had set up, causing a mountain of objects, books, and newspapers to fall on him crushing him to death. His blind brother, Homer, who had depended on Langley for care, died of starvation some days later.

1959: In the Dyatlov Pass Incident, nine ski hikers in the Ural Mountains abandoned their camp in the middle of the night, some clad only in their underwear despite sub-zero weather. Six died of hypothermia and three by unexplained injuries. The corpses showed no signs of struggle, but one had a fatal skull fracture, two had major chest fractures, and one was missing her tongue. Soviet investigators determined only that “a compelling unknown force” had caused the deaths, barring entry to the area for years.

I have hundreds more and they just keep on getting more and more bizarre….. I’ll continue the list some other time and we can all try our best to ensure that when it’s time to go, we exit with dignity and never end up on one of these lists….

I’ll tell you what happened with my neurologist tomorrow.

Have a Great Day.

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