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euclid
03-04-2016, 09:33 PM
Does anyone know anything about suicide pills? I'm interested in the WW2 period. I need to know:

Were suicide pills inserted into teeth in that period?
If so, how could they be removed for use?
Was there some sort of hinged mechanism or removable crown on the tooth?

Any information or relevant links gratefully received.

Thanks

JJ

Glyax
03-04-2016, 09:37 PM
Ohhhh, spiffy secret spy stuff!!!

I'm interested to see what others say, but I know Camp X (I believe it was called) had a manual that came out covering how to do all the high speed low drag super secret stuff for American spies during WW2. Which nationality are you looking at?

Also, here's the wiki for Suicide pills. It should have helpful information, as well as relevant links :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_pill
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_pill)-----------------

During World War II (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II), British and American secret services developed the "L-pill" (lethal pill) which was given to agents going behind enemy lines. It was an oval capsule, approximately the size of a pea (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pea), consisting of a thin-walled glass ampoule covered in brown rubber (to protect against accidental breakage) and filled with a concentrated solution of potassium cyanide (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_cyanide). It could be carried in the mouth, shaped as a false tooth; if it was accidentally swallowed it would pass harmlessly through the body. To use, the agent would bite down on the pill, crushing the ampoule to release the fast-acting poison. Brain death (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_death) occurs within minutes and the heartbeat (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_rate) stops shortly after.

euclid
03-04-2016, 09:39 PM
My spy is German. Thanks for the link.

Glyax
03-04-2016, 09:41 PM
My spy is German. Thanks for the link.

I 'spose I should have guessed that given the cover art in your signature lol

frimble3
03-05-2016, 12:18 AM
Am I the only person who thought "Eww, broken glass crunching in your mouth", before remembering 'doesn't matter, dead in a couple of minutes'?

Ravioli
03-05-2016, 10:58 AM
Am I the only person who thought "Eww, broken glass crunching in your mouth", before remembering 'doesn't matter, dead in a couple of minutes'?
Nope, me too.

Roxxsmom
03-05-2016, 11:45 AM
We just covered this in class last week (during our unit on metabolism). Potassium cyanide kills via the inhibition of cytochrome C oxidase enzyme in the inner mitochondrial membrane. This shuts down the electron transport chain, which means the cells stop making ATP (the most important source of cellular energy). Death follows from energy starvation, and it can occur very quickly via hypoxia of neurons in the brain (in a matter of minutes) if the toxin is absorbed quickly. However, it doesn't always go this smoothly, as various factors can affect the speed at which it is absorbed, most notably stomach acidity.