A Victorian poisoning mystery




Henry VIII would have had someone boiled regardless of any lack of evidence.


I know this one; send in Vastra, Jenny and Strax!


She would have sedated him with the chloroform, then introduced the rest of it to his stomach by way of a funnel and rubber hose.


Or poured it in something that would dissolve in the stomach, like some sort of sugar candy. Or he drank it by mistake mistook the burning sensation for the burning sensation of strong liquor and everyone has overestimated the visibility of burns caused by drinking chloroform. How many cases of chloroform ingestion had the coroner investigated?


It still leaves the question of motive since in that era they would probably not have been able to able to game the autopsy and legal defense, so that suggests some sort of accident. Given the fellows desire for kinky sex, he may have been duped in some sort of game.


Considering that one of the early promoters of chloroform praised the excellence of its taste, and that it’s a chlorocarbon of no great acidity or alkalinity, I’m curious about this idea of chloroform ‘burns’. Was there some characteristic reaction of the mucous membranes to concentrated chloroform over time? Or was commercial liquid chloroform contaminated with lye from the manufacturing process?


If I wanted to kill my husband, I’d retire to bed, waft a little chloroform under his nose and once he was unconsicious, I’d get out a rubber tube and thread it down his throat. Then I’d use a funnel and pour the rest of the chloroform directly into his guts. Voila - le morte.

closed #9

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