View Full Version : Would chloroform do this?

04-23-2013, 06:45 AM
I'm writing a short story where I need to knock someone out and then kill. I did some Google searches on chloroform but would like to get confirmation & clarification on using it in this way.

This is my scenario: Adult character in modern day wants a teenager death to look like a suicide. He sneaks up behind the teenager, puts a rage soaked in Chloroform to his face and holds him down long enough for it to take effect. Then cut one of the victim's wrist letting him bleed to death.

The adult character doesn't want police looking for him so if it looks like a suicide the police or medical examiner wouldn't detect or think to test for chloroform. Chloroform use to be used as an anesthetic so I think it would last through the pain.

Would this work?
Would the pain from the cut wake the victim up? I read this is VERY painful but I can dose him again if needed.
Would the body react to being cut even if the victim stays unconscious. Example: Would the arm pull away.

Thanks for any help

04-23-2013, 07:00 AM
If you use a sharp enough knife, the pain doesn't hit for a bit. However, if he is unconscious, there would be very minimal movement of the arm. As a result, blood splatter would be virtually non-existent. There's a marked difference in blood splatter between suicides where the victim has taken a drug to suppress reactions, and a fully conscious victim.

Without blood splatter, the police would be questioning what had happened and whether the victim was on something. The knife cut would also be different from a self-inflicted wound.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

04-23-2013, 07:27 AM
Chloroform can kill on its own.

It's not hard to make, and some teens have been known to use it as an inhalant. You could probably make a plausible scenario where the police assume it's accidental death by overdose.

04-23-2013, 04:40 PM
The act of holding the teenager down could by itself easily leave bruising that would raise questions in the pathologist's mind. The adult is better off using a method that involves minimal contact between them and the victim. Also, you have to get the dose of chloroform correct, and it can take time to have effect--it's not instant like in the movies--so you're looking at the adult possibly having to restrain the teenager for some minutes, which again risks bruising.

What's the relationship between them, if any? Is the adult in a position to overdose the victim using drugs and alcohol? Although that's a method of suicide more common in females, it's not unknown among males. There are also drug interactions you can use. Not sure I should be discussing those, really....

04-23-2013, 07:14 PM
Most cases, this would be an automatic coroner's case and just about any M.E. would notice suffocation evidence. Suffocation + exsanguination is murder not suicide.

I don't know how difficult it is to make but purchasing chloroform will require a DEA number, so doctor, veterinarian, etc. It's traceable.

04-23-2013, 08:44 PM
Hm, I’m either going have to completely rewrite this or find creative ways to account for these.

I was thinking detecting of Chloroform could be explained to police as the teenager wanting to numb the pain before doing the act. Maybe I can use another drug to knock the teenager out before the adult approaches.

I very much want to leave the cutting of wrist or some form of active killing. The story focus on how he mentally struggles with killing this teenager he knows will grow up to do bad things (time travel involved). So I like to avoid simply poisoning which would be mentally easier.

What I learned and will change:
· Adult is shouldn’t be a professional, this will explain his many mistakes.
· He is surprised by how long the Choloform takes.
· The bruises & blood splatter can be a ‘oh crap’ moment he realizes too late.
· Crime doesn’t have to be perfect.

Thank for your help.

04-23-2013, 10:16 PM
If you have time travel you can leave the scene of the crime. Why is he bothered about detection? Or was it a one-way trip?

04-23-2013, 10:55 PM
It would be much easier to hide the body - a nice twist would be to bring it back to the future at a time period when it's no longer being actively searched. The police & family would be looking for him but there is still an uncertainty between death, accident, kidnapping, or a simple case of running away. No body, no crime.


04-24-2013, 01:43 AM
Chloroform is detectable in a postmortem forensic exam (autopsy).

The correct term in criminalistics for globs/traces of blood found on the scene is spatter.

05-07-2013, 10:06 AM
Chloroform just screams "murder" to pretty much anyone, IMHO - it's a bit overdone :-) What about getting the teen to ingest something like LSD and then pushing him over a balcony? Even if the LSD shows up in his system, the police would be more likely to believe he took it himself and went over on his own.