Originally Posted by SirJohnFalstaff
Thank you Errata and Magpie.
So there was no way that MJK could had a spiked drink without her noticing, or not appearing in the post-mortem that was done?
Oh her drink could have been spiked. In fact, Laudanum was cheaper than liquor and had about the same alcohol content, so people drank it like they drank booze. Which was a terrible idea, but boy did it soothe the shakes. She may have even drank it willingly. And there is a pretty good argument to be made that she wouldn't have smelled it or noted it. Crowded in a bar with unfortunates, addicts, her own sense of smell likely compromised from drink, the weather, and from the various smells coming from the people around her (bakers, butchers, tinkerers) she may not have smelled it at all, or simply assumed that the smell was coming from something (or someone) else. In her own home, she would have noticed. But maybe not so much in a bar.
But some kinds of booze can blunt the smell. Not something like vodka, but real gin (not bathtub gin) certainly might. Wine might. Liqueurs like Anisette or something definitely would. Spike those with laudanum, and she would probably not noticed even in her own home.
As for showing up in an autopsy, I'm not entirely sure. After 6 hours or so, the stomach contents should be gone. How much of a residue is left, I don't know. If she continued drink after being dosed, it might "wash" out the residue in the stomach contents. And I don't know where the drug is absorbed. If it is absorbed in the stomach, there is a real time limit on finding it. It it's absorbed in the intestines, there is a better likelihood of finding some in the stomach longer. I can't imagine that it sticks around for more than 72 hours. Very few things do that don't involve heavy metals. But within that, assuming it all hadn't already been absorbed into the bloodstream, I think it could be found. The test is specific. The real question is, did they test for it, and if they did and found it, did they simply assume that she, like many other drunks, had drank it because it was cheap and easy?