Strychnine  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
"Strychnine" is also the title of a composition by garage rock band The Sonics.

A very toxic, colourless crystalline alkaloid, derived from nux vomica, used as a pesticide

Notable strychnine poisonings

  • The poisoning of James Preston Metzker in the Almanac case
  • In the 1904 Olympics, Thomas Hicks (U.S.) won the marathon at St. Louis and collapsed. It took hours to revive him; he had taken brandy mixed with strychnine to help him win his gold medal.
  • Was the first of many poisons used by Agatha Christie to dispatch her victims in her debut novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles in 1921.
  • In the well-known stage play Arsenic and Old Lace, the poisoned wine the two dotty aunts use to dispatch their "lonely old men" victims is comprised of arsenic, cyanide and "just a pinch of strychnine".
  • Used by Norman Bates in Psycho to kill his mother and her lover.
  • A tonic laced with arsenic and strychnine that was religiously given to legendary racehorse Phar Lap may have caused his death.
  • Strychnine was used in several of the murders committed by serial killer Thomas Neill Cream, who poisoned prostitutes on the streets of London.
  • Famous Delta Blues legend Robert Johnson's whiskey bottle was laced with strychnine, resulting in pneumonia.
  • A childhood friend of Vincent Van Gogh, Margot Begemann, attempted suicide by ingestion of strychnine.
  • Jane Stanford, who cofounded Stanford University with her husband, Leland Stanford.
  • In the Bengali movie Shubho Mahurat (Adaptation of The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side), by Rituparno Ghosh, Padmini's character, played by Sharmila Tagore, uses strychnine to kill her ex-colleague, Kakoli Mondal, and the hairdresser. The former was given a strychnine laced drink, while the latter was offered a strychnine laced inhaler.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Strychnine" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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