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mtrenteseau
11-12-2010, 07:30 AM
I have a character who is murdered by a very effective stab in the heart by a large hatpin. They find her sitting down, leaned back into a corner, the hatpin sticking out of her chest.

What happens when one is injured in this manner? Is death immediate? If the person was asleep would they wake up, startled, then collapse? Could they walk around oblivious for a few minutes before collapsing?

In Christie's Cards on the Table, the victim is stabbed while the murderer and three others are playing bridge in the same room. So she implies that it's not a very noisy, messy, or time-consuming method. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

LBlankenship
11-12-2010, 04:41 PM
I don't get the impression that something as slender as a hatpin in the heart would lead to a quick or easy death... if you want the story to be realistic. It's not doing a whole lot of damage, even if you do manage to hit the pacemaker nerve bundle. I would think you'd need several stabs to try and make multiple holes, but small holes like that have a good chance of closing on their own (see: knitting needle accidents).

Poison would help...

>So she implies that it's not a very noisy, messy, or time-consuming method. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

IIRC, the Anarchist's Cookbook recommends a stranglehold from behind and stabbing in the kidney's main artery. Quiet, maybe. But not tidy.

Cyia
11-12-2010, 05:12 PM
A person who is adept at this sort of thing can use a thin bladed knife (which is a lot more substantial than a hat pin) to kill someone on a bus or a train while sitting next to or behind them, and no one would even know something had happened. It's usually an upward thrust between the ribs.

The person bleeds out before they can even make a sound, and aside from the blood, they might look like there were simply sleeping. (weird what we research for writing, isn't it?)