Originally Posted by SirJohnFalstaff
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.