View Full Version : Pretty please give me all your poison (or drugs)!

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-25-2016, 02:13 AM
So... I'm plotting my next story whilst the (crime) trilogy has gone off for proofreading.
I have all the main details, apart from one VERY important thing.

Poison. :evil

I know how, where, why, etc, it'll be injected. That's all hunky dory. What I don't know is what type of poison to use, but I do know that the amount of dodgy googling I've done this weekend has probably put me on some sort of watch list!

I don't mind if it's a chemical poison/drug or some nasty microbe.
It has to be potent - because of how it's injected it can only be a tiny amount going into the skin's surface layers.
I don't mind if it's a restricted substance, because I'll tailor my perp's background to enable them to get hold of the stuff.

I do know what I want the symptoms to be:
* They need to start 4-6 hours after being injected.
* Victim feels like they're coming down with the 'flu and/or some sort of gastro-bug.
* Goes to bed feeling rough as a badger's bum.
* Wakes up however many hours later (I'm flexible on this) realising something Is Very Badly Wrong.
* Symptoms can become horrific if necessary.
* Most people will end up dead.
* One reaches hospital in time and they manage to save him/her.

If any of you lovely people can suggest anything I can look into further I'd be beyond grateful.
If it's a drug - something that wouldn't show up on a standard tox screen.
If it's a microbe - something that would baffle the doctors, etc for a while.

Thanks in anticipation,


04-25-2016, 02:24 AM
I'm confused, injected or absorbed through the skin? There are plenty of poisons that can kill with a single drop, and plenty that can kill being absorbed through the skin.

Poison dart frog,asp or Egyptian adder, several jellyfish, blowfish toxin, cobra, mamba, stone fish, a number of spiders, lizards, scorpions, snakes... Lots to choose from to begin researching. And that's without manufacturing something.


Los Pollos Hermanos
04-25-2016, 02:31 AM
I had thought about something that could be absorbed through the skin (along the lines of aconite), but due to the location of where the stuff is "shared" (hehe...) it could put the perp at risk (you'll have to take my word for it) so I decided on something injectable. That doesn't mean that it can't be something that can also be absorbed through the skin though.


04-25-2016, 03:04 AM
Not sure if this is what you're looking for but maybe check out ricin. It can be inhaled, injected, or ingested. When ingested it causes gastrointestinal problems that manifest in about 6 hours, though I'm not sure if it's does when injected. I do know of at least one assassination case using a ricin pellet.

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-25-2016, 03:20 AM
Thanks! Another one that had crossed my radar and is on my possible list, along with aconite. It would work, as it's suitably potent, although I'm wondering if it's a little too well known? The plot could end up too much like the Georgi Markov assassination, minus the umbrella?

James D. Macdonald
04-25-2016, 03:26 AM

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-25-2016, 03:40 AM
Another contender. I'd have to find out if it can be made extra-concentrated so very little is needed. I've had a quick google (got to get up for work in a little over five hours!) and the symptoms have potential. Thanks!

04-25-2016, 04:46 AM
If not ricin, then maybe abrin? Symptoms are similar to ricin poisoning, but it's about twice as toxic, and I believe it's less well known.

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-25-2016, 10:27 PM
I'm quite liking that one from a quick google - many thanks. I shall now do some more research! :D

04-29-2016, 09:22 AM

That's exactly what I was thinking at first! Although apparently it's much more easily treatable than I thought, the paralysis is not permanent when treated, and only causes death in 40-50% of untreated cases. According to the web at least.

Mildly comforting, since my best friend (a med student) always talks about botulism and how it can get in food when cans/containers are dented. I was pretty freaked out there for a bit.

04-29-2016, 07:13 PM
check out Russian Novichok agents...the latest NV 6, 7, and whatever else they've produced lately still attack the NS and kill by paralysing main organs...some could be injected...will corespond to your symptoms

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-30-2016, 11:49 PM
Thanks for the extras! The more the merrier - well, not for the poor sods who end up dead... :evil

King Neptune
05-01-2016, 02:55 AM
Don't forget nicotine.
"..0.5-1.0 mg/kg can be a lethal dosage for adult humans... It is unlikely that a person would overdose on nicotine through smoking alone. The US Food and Drug Administration (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_and_Drug_Administration) (FDA) stated in 2013: "There are no significant safety concerns associated with using more than one OTC (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over-the-counter_drug) NRT (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine_replacement_therapy) at the same time, or using an OTC NRT at the same time as another nicotine-containing product—including a cigarette."[17] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine_poisoning#cite_note-FDANRTLabels-17)[18] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine_poisoning#cite_note-18)[19] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine_poisoning#cite_note-19) Ingestion of nicotine pharmaceuticals, tobacco products, or nicotine containing plants may also lead to poisoning.[4] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine_poisoning#cite_note-Schep-4)[5] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine_poisoning#cite_note-Smolinske-5)[6] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine_poisoning#cite_note-Furer-6) Smoking excessive amounts of tobacco has also led to poisoning; a case was reported where two brothers smoked 17 and 18 pipes of tobacco in succession and were both fatally poisoned.[2] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine_poisoning#cite_note-McNally-2) Spilling an extremely high concentration of nicotine onto the skin can result in intoxication or even death since nicotine readily passes into the bloodstream following skin contact.[20] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine_poisoning#cite_note-20)[21"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine_poisoning (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine_poisoning#cite_note-21)

Los Pollos Hermanos
05-01-2016, 04:16 AM
Another potential goodie - many thanks!

I'd wondered about insulin, but reckon that would take effect too quickly??

King Neptune
05-01-2016, 04:57 AM
Another potential goodie - many thanks!

I'd wondered about insulin, but reckon that would take effect too quickly??

Four to six hour wait time is too long for ricin and the others mentioned also. Botulism might fit that specification, but a good toxin that has a good chance of killing is going to start working soon after administration. There may be some binaries that one could give the second chemical four hours later, but excretion would have started, so the would be diminished effect. Specifying that it kill within six might be a good idea.

Los Pollos Hermanos
05-02-2016, 01:55 AM
I need a couple of hours before symptoms set in so they can get home, etc.
I'm quite happy for them to be dying/dead within six hours - that would work for the story.

How long would a jab of ricin/abrin take to show its effects?

I need something that only requires very small quantities.
Insulin would be too "bulky" ???

King Neptune
05-02-2016, 02:20 AM
Insulin is complicated:

Ricin is simpler: The median lethal dose (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_lethal_dose) (LD50) of ricin is around 22 micrograms (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micrograms) per kilogram of body weight https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricin

Aconitine is not as simple.

The estimated lower limit of a lethal dose of nicotine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine) has been reported as between 500 and 1000 mg.
Botulinum toxin
human median lethal dose (LD50) of 1.3–2.1 ng/kg intravenously or intramuscularly and 10–13 ng/kg when inhaled.

It appears that Botulinum toxin requires the smallest dose, but ricin and nicotine require very small amounts also and can kill with a single injection.

Los Pollos Hermanos
05-02-2016, 04:26 PM
Cheers for the goodies. For now I'm sniffing around (in a figurative sense - thankfully!) ricin and abrin.

I am, however, open to new ideas for bumping off unsuspecting victims...


King Neptune
05-02-2016, 05:11 PM
The delivery method can make asimple murder into something special. I recall reading of a special peach pie that included peach seeds (whatever one calls almonds of peach), and it was garnished with peach leaves. An adult can easily survive eating the cyanide in one peach pit, but there were many in the pie, and the pretty leaves could catch someone who couldn't stand the flavour of the pits.
And a TV show contained the line, "But they looked like little tomatoes."