View Single Post
Old 10-04-2014, 08:25 PM
Errata Errata is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Tennessee, U.S.
Posts: 2,937

Originally Posted by SirJohnFalstaff View Post
I have questions.

Is it possible to drug a victim with laudanum before killing her and the drug wouldn't show on a post-mortem (back in 1888, of course)?

Was MJK's blood tested for alcohol or other substance?

Not putting forward a theory, just looking for an angle for a fiction piece.

Laudanum has an odd smell. I can't really describe it, but it's kind of sweet, kind of spicy with just a hint of vomit smell... all wrapped up in booze. Kind of smells like someone lit a apple pie spice candle in a drunk tank. Sort of...

But the effects of laudanum were well known, so if she had what was considered to be a therapeutic dose in her back then (which is considered a terribly dangerous dose now) her death would not have masked the physical signs of opiate use. And if she was a habitual user, theres a lot of damage to the body.

Alcohol would mask the smell if they weren't looking for it, at least in her mouth and esophagus. I think it could be detected in the stomach.

But the weird thing with laudanum is that it's pretty easy to take a lethal dose, but extremely difficult to knock someone out, or render them insensible. It's the alcohol/opium combo. They fight each other just enough to keep people generally upright, but enough laudanum to knock someone unconscious is enough to kill them. I mean, if women couldn't go about their business after treating their menstrual cramps, the stuff never would have been so popular.
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote