6/ An assassination worthy of a crime novel
Have you heard of the play by Frank Harvey, “The Sins of the Night” ? Don’t worry you probably haven’t as this play was played for the first and the last time in London in 1896. The actor Temple Edgecumbe Crozier was playing the role of the merchant, the villain in the story. In the final scene of the play, the play’s hero had to stab the merchant with a fake knife. As Crozier’s co-actor cried “Die, villain, die!“, while striking him with a knife, the audience literally shuddered as the fake knife had been replaced by a real one!
7/ A quickly resolved inquest
In 1881, a rich bourgeois asked his butler to buy him a revolver. Once he had bought the gun, the butler couldn’t help but take a closer look. He was particularly interested in the trigger mechanism. While examining the instrument he managed to shoot himself in the mouth. The chamber maid had been there to witness the scene. When the police arrived on site, she wanted to show them exactly how the scene took place, and even repeated the events exactly the same way… including the same mistake as her colleague! The police didn’t find it difficult to resolve the inquest. However these are two very astonishing ways to die!
8/ The first car accident in history
The end of the 19th century, saw the beginning of the first cars which were run on steam. These cars only had three wheels with two very big and heavy wheels at the back of the car. In 1869 Mary Ward had the chance to climb on board a new stream powered car designed by her cousins, the Parsons. As an intelligent lady of science she of course jumped at the chance to experience this new technology. However as the car moved gradually at a speed of 6 miles per hour, Mary Ward unfortunately fell from the passengers seat as they went around a tight corner. The driver didn’t have an enough time to react. As a result the poor lady’s neck was crushed by the back wheel of the car. Of all the surprising road accidents, Mary Ward’s is by far the most unusual in fact it is the very first!
9/ Death sugar
During the Victoria Era, sugar was a very rare and expensive commodity. Sellers of this “white gold” cut their sugar packets with plaster or limestone which wouldn’t have tasted great! However in 1858 a supplier of a grocery store confused plaster with arsenic. The shopkeeper who was himself ill had also sold the sugar to 2,000 people! Luckily it quickly spread that the sugar was dangerous and “only” 21 people died.
10/ A betting idiot
One night in 1893, a Londoner called Walter Crowle had drunk too much. He ended up finding himself in a bar will billiard tables that could be used by customers. Cowle told a drinking buddy that he could put a billiard ball in his mouth and close his lips. Once he had placed the object in his mouth, the man immediately began to choke. The bartender and his friends attempted to dislodge the billiard ball but in vain. In the end Walter Cowle died after making a stupid bet. Nevertheless his friends claimed that their dear friend had already managed to do this stunt before but no one had really seen it happen…
Astonishing ways to die that seem unbelievable!