Fun_People Archive
21 Feb
A Dozen Dodgy Deaths Deftly Described

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 97 14:33:44 -0800
To: Fun_People
Subject: A Dozen Dodgy Deaths Deftly Described

Forwarded-by: Eric Steese <>
Forwarded-by: Dorothy Kress/Michael Rains

This list is from THE BOOK OF LISTS.  I copied the list from a college paper;
INSITE UNIVERSITY REPORTER V.  3:7, INsite Magazine of Colorado, 934 Pearl
St., Ste. 1-2, Boulder, CO 80302 303-442-6626, Published
by Geoff Smith and Jeff Suskin  (I'm nervous about copyright stuff, did I
forget anything I should've included? - I didn't find anything about THE
BOOK OF LISTS to give.)


 1. Zeuxis (Greek painter; 5th century B.C.) - Laughed so hard at his own
    painting of an old hag that he broke a blood vessel and died.

 2. Agathocles (tyrant of Syracuse; 361-289 B.C.) - Died as a result of
    choking on a toothpick.

 3. Isadora Duncan (U.S. Dancer; 1878-1927) - Was strangled to death when,
    while riding in a car (a Bugatti), her long scarf became entangled in a
    rear wheel and her neck was broken.

 4. Lionel Johnson (British critic and poet; 1867-1902) - Died of injuries
    incurred when he fell off a barstool.

 5. Arnold Bennett (British Novelist; 1867-1931) - Died in Paris of typhoid
    contracted from a glass of local water-which he drank to demonstrated
    that the water in Paris was perfectly safe.

 6. Thomas May (English historian; 1596-1650) - As he grew fatter and fatter,
    May found it espedient to tie up his drooping chins with strips of cloth.
    This arrangement finished him off one day when he swallowed too much
    and choked to death.

 7. Francis Bacon (English philosopher and writer; 1561-1626) - On a sudden
    impulse to discover whether snow would delay putrefaction of a dead body,
    Bacon stopped his carriage, purchased a hen, killed it, and stuffed it
    with snow.  He was later seized with a sudden chill which resulted in
    his death.

 8. Claudius I (emperor of Rome; 10 B.C.-54 A.D.) - Claudius choked to death
    on a feather.  His physician Xenophon shoved the feather down Claudius's
    throat in an effort to induce vomiting (Claudiaus's wife had been
    serving poisoned mushrooms). Some say the feather was also poisoned.

 9. George, Duke of Clarence (English nobleman; 1449-1478) - Reportedly died
    when his brother, Richard III, had him drowned in a barrel of wine.

10. Marcus Licinius Crassus (Roman financier and politician; 115?-53 B.C.) -
    According to one story, this notorious Roman leader and moneylender met
    his death at the hands of Parthian soldiers who poured molten gold down
    his throat.

11. John Whitson (British adventurer; 1557-1629) - At the age of 72, Whitson
    fell from a galloping horse and neatly impaled his head on a nail that
    had been standing upright outside a blacksmith's shop.

12. Langley Collyer (U.S. collector and eccentic recluse; 1886-1947) -
    Mr. Collyer was crushed to death in his own home by his own booby trap.
    While carrying food to his equally reclusive brother Homer, Collyer
    tripped his burglar trap and was buried under bundles of old newspapers,
    three bread boxes, a sewing machine and a suitcase filled with metal.
    His brother starved to death and the two bodies were not found for three

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