Are there times when certain people make you so mad you’d like to poison someone—and not get caught? As a crime writer, I explore these kinds of things and other ways to kill people. Some people think it’s an odd way to spend your time. A couple years ago, the editors of a crime anthology invited me to write a short story. I tried to think of an unusual way to commit murder. I settled on poison since it’s not common these days. Of course, I’ve never poisoned anyone.
Therefore, I had to do research.
That process proved as fun as writing the story itself. Over the years, I worked as a criminal defense lawyer. The Medical Examiner’s office conducts an autopsy in most homicides. In preparation for murder trials, I often interviewed the doctors to review their findings. I found them to be great people, anxious to share their knowledge, and all had a good sense of humor.
That led to a story they told me. The killers of a young man tossed his body into a local creek. It sat underwater for two weeks. When it bobbed to the surface, it was quite decomposed. The case required an autopsy. But the body was so stinky and bloated, no one wanted to perform it. They drew straws and forced the unlucky, losing doctor to do the work. (Not like what we see on the TV show, CSI!)
I became friends with one of the doctors. When the editors asked me to submit a story, I went to my friend for advice. How could I kill someone and fool an autopsy? How could I get away with it? He thought about it for a week and called me back.
As a result, he sat down with me and started talking. I could tell my friend was excited and anxious to help me—a little creepy, I thought. But he gave me my answer: poison. Specifically, ethylene glycol. The same stuff used in radiator fluid for cars. It’s colorless, odorless, and slightly sweet. How about mixing it in a drink? It kills in about an hour and will not be detected—or even suspected—at the crime scene. A routine autopsy would not reveal it either.
In turn, I thought it was a perfect idea for the perfect murder. I wrote the story and the editors loved it, including it in their anthology.
Therefore, I later included the story in a collection of short stories of my own, called Taste of Temptation. If you’re interested in how to use poison to commit murder, you can find the book by searching Colin T. Nelson at:
Let me know how it works . . . .