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Jonathan.Bentz
07-21-2012, 11:49 PM
So, I'm writing this really creepy novella where the character uses a paralyzing agent on his victims before puncturing a major artery and bleeding them out in minutes. My question is, if the character is not a chemist or chemistry teacher, what kind of paralyzing agents would he have access to? Or is it better to make the character decent at chemistry, but not recognized as one of the above mentioned titles? What kind of paralyzing agents are available, for 'those in the know'?

lorna_w
07-22-2012, 12:29 AM
Here's an article (http://www.wyff4.com/SCSO-Wife-Stole-Paralyzing-Drug-To-Kill-Husband/-/9324882/10077294/-/5ls09b/-/index.html) on someone who stole some, which may be the best way to go. I spent 10 minutes googling trying to figure out how to make curare at home (probably getting my computer on a watch list, lol), and I'm not sure that it can be accurately done--too little, no effect, too much, dead.

I thought "botox" for a minute, but to effect stillness you'd have to have the person unconscious and shoot them up all over, wouldn't you? So much easier to just konk them on the head to get them not to move.

Jonathan.Bentz
07-22-2012, 12:47 AM
I read the article and looked up the mentioned substance, so if you're on a watch list so am I (cheerful grin). It mentioned it being used at times for euthanasia/immobilization of horses, and that reminded me of an episode of Criminal Minds, 'No Way Out'. The killer in that uses a horse tranquilizer to immobilize his victims but keep them aware. I can't believe I forgot about that one. Luckily, I have that season of the show and can look up what it was.

As for why I was going for paralysis instead of just knocking them over the head is because, like the character on that Criminal Minds episode, the killer is a particularly sadistic bastard who is cannibalistic, and wants to fill those last few minutes of the person's life taunting them with their fate. Its actually going to be the final book in a series of stand-alone novellas I'm working on focusing on the mentality of killers and what motivates them. Each one covers a different type of killer, and I decided, due to the content, that the 'cannibalistic killer' is best saved as the final book since that, I think is the most horrific type of killer. But maybe that's just me.

Anyways, thanks for doing that link, because I wouldn't have remembered the horse tranquilizer thing. Since the guy I'm making into the killer lives in a sort of rural area outside of a large city, it wouldn't take much to make him to a horse-breeder or something.

Of course, that means I'll have to look up horse-breeding, which shouldn't get me on any watch-lists, LOL.

Maryn
07-22-2012, 12:51 AM
I must add that my first though was, Ah-ha, paralyzing agents--that's how to get their attention!

Maryn, whose second thought was also curare

Edit: And my third thought is whether it's necessary for them to remain conscious, because there are more substances which cause temporary unconsciousness.

Jonathan.Bentz
07-22-2012, 01:06 AM
I must add that my first though was, Ah-ha, paralyzing agents--that's how to get their attention!

Maryn, whose second thought was also curare

Edit: And my third thought is whether it's necessary for them to remain conscious, because there are more substances which cause temporary unconsciousness.

As I said above, the guy's a rather sadistic nutjob who wants to get just a little more enjoyment out of their fear. Not sure if you saw that before you wrote your reply, or maybe you saw it afterward. Just thought I'd clarify in case you missed it in my previous reply to Lorna's answer. I know I tend to ramble and my point sometimes gets lost (even to me!).

Unimportant
07-22-2012, 02:31 AM
Yup, my first thought upon reading the thread title was "how to paralyse a literary agent"!

Unimportant
07-22-2012, 02:32 AM
I think ketamine is the drug you want; the 'date rape' drug? Leaves the person conscious but unable to move.

Dryad
07-22-2012, 11:46 AM
I thought I'd be reading about paralyzing literary agents as well. I guess that says something creepy about us.

I've got a nifty book called Book of Poisons: A Guide for Writers by Stevens and Bannon. It lists about 25 poisons for paralysis, and then you could look each one up to find the particulars. Based on their names alone, some of them your guy could get his hands on. For all the details, grab a copy of this book. It's really pretty awesome.

I've got tons of book cases in my main room, but for some reason the most popular book that guests choose to pull off the shelves is this one. Catchy title, I guess.

Old Hack
07-22-2012, 01:02 PM
I was also expecting a thread about paralysing literary agents. Perhaps we should consider it as a submissions strategy!

While Lorna's right that Botox would require lots of injections to work, botulism, which is where botox comes from, probably wouldn't. And it's free, if you happen to have a rotting cabbage to hand.

mackandblues
07-23-2012, 12:07 AM
Ok so I'm a pharmacist and so I'll be your drug expert :)

Paralyzing agents will cause the person to not be able to move a muscle - literally - they can't even blink their eyes but they will be aware of everything going on. They are used in medicine when we want to put a tube down their throat because they cant breath on thier own. But we give them a sedative first because to paralyze someone without sedating them is cruel cruel torture. The common paralyzing agents will be succinylcholine, rocuronium, and vecuronium. Those are the generic names and should never be capitalized, only brand names of drugs are capitalized. The best way for someone to get their hands on these drugs would be to steal them from a hospital, like in the ER. Let me know if you need any more information.

mackandblues
07-23-2012, 12:09 AM
Ketamine is not the "date rape drug". Its a sedative and has a variety of uses in medicine like when we need to sedate someone to do a procedure such as to set a broken bone.

Sedating = person is out and doesnt know whats going on and will not remember

paralyzing = person is conscious and aware but not able to move

rugcat
07-23-2012, 12:47 AM
The common paralyzing agents will be succinylcholine, rocuronium, and vecuronium. Those are the generic names and should never be capitalized, only brand names of drugs are capitalized. The best way for someone to get their hands on these drugs would be to steal them from a hospital, like in the ER. Let me know if you need any more information.Succinylcholine has been used in murders, notably the Carl Coppolino case. (Though not very successfully.)

Here's an interesting site and blog about that case and others involving its use.

http://writersforensicsblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/succinylcholine-is-it-the-perfect-murder-weapon/

MMcDonald64
07-29-2012, 04:37 PM
The thing with succinylcholine is that the person also will not be able to breathe so unless someone is going to ventilate the victim they are going to lose consciousness.

lbender
07-29-2012, 11:41 PM
I agree, as far as the drugs that others have mentioned. However, is it absolutely necessary to mention a drug name? Can't you use the phrase 'paralyzing agent' or something similar without being specific. If you describe the effects, people who know what drugs work will supply the names, and people who don't know will either say 'ok' or google drugs themselves. There's an advantage to being non-specific.

WeaselFire
07-30-2012, 12:53 AM
Thorazine works well. Tranquilizer for large animals, recreational drug for many. Ketamine as well, Special K on the streets. It's really the dosage that is the issue.

Jeff