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valerielynn
11-03-2017, 01:05 AM
So, I have this female character in her 30's that struggles with anxiety and depression and she wants to commit suicide but, she wants to make it look accidental. Her family, friends, and everyone else believe that it was an accident until her fiance finds her journal. I've been researching this for days and I haven't been able to figure out a way to make her suicide look accidental. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas?

Maryn
11-03-2017, 01:41 AM
It's perhaps too obvious, but someone driving late at night on wet or icy roads could easily hit a bridge abutment, and no one will ever know if they fell asleep, lost control, or did it on purpose.

AwP_writer
11-03-2017, 01:42 AM
Wait for a rainy or snowy day, speed over a high bridge, and "lose control" of the car. I really hope this IS for a book...

Edit: wow, exact same thought, exact same time.

talktidy
11-03-2017, 01:56 AM
I am mindful of my home electrics, which, while not dangerous, do need to be rewired. I'd be hazy on setting up the details, but maybe electrocution might work?

Once upon a time on a visit to the seaside my partner and I nearly drowned when we encountered an unexpectedly strong current with a nasty undertow. We were fortunate to be fished out of the drink. Perhaps your character knows of adverse currents in a certain beauty spot.

Shoeless
11-03-2017, 02:09 AM
Getting accidentally shot because of a discharge while cleaning a semi-automatic pistol has happened, so that's also a viable "accident."

Fruitbat
11-03-2017, 03:08 AM
Maybe a drug overdose. It might be hard to tell if someone took too much (of either a prescription or street drug)deliberately, or accidentally because they were already under the influence and had impaired judgment.

jclarkdawe
11-03-2017, 04:42 AM
Virtually any "accident" can be a suicide. Falling overboard from a boat drunk, bungee cord broke, walking into traffic, falling down a flight of stairs, whatever. All of these can be done as suicides, with the risk of discovery as a suicide instead of an accident a function of the care you go through in setting this up. Think of what your character likes to do and then figure out how to make it go wrong. Dead wrong.

For example, take a simple falling down the stairs. What happens if you stick a good stack of heavy books in your arms and run at the stairs. Fill the stairs with stuff to bring upstairs later. Take that flying leap into destiny, as the books go flying all over the place. Make sure to bring your head down into a diving position so you hit head first.

See how this works?

Jim Clark-Dawe

blacbird
11-03-2017, 05:34 AM
It's perhaps too obvious, but someone driving late at night on wet or icy roads could easily hit a bridge abutment, and no one will ever know if they fell asleep, lost control, or did it on purpose.

Only if the injuries are consistent with such an event, and/or there isn't a competent forensic examination conducted. I've seen situations exactly like this portrayed in true crime TV shows, and it's left me with the feeling that it really is damn hard to fake an accident credibly, if a thorough forensic examination takes place.

caw

jclarkdawe
11-03-2017, 05:58 AM
Blacbird -- It's a battle of the level of forensic examination of the accident versus attention to detail. A classic example is hanging by suicide, accident, or murder. Depending upon how the rope is placed, you can frequently tell which one it is. However, someone who knows the forensics involved can make sure the rope placement is correct for the type of incident that they wish. It will just be more difficult to do, as humans always take the normal and easiest way to do something.

Jim

Snitchcat
11-03-2017, 11:51 AM
Violent storm, the character is on the pier and gets washed out despite the railings and/or other precautions they took.

Al X.
11-03-2017, 08:47 PM
I'm not an expert in psychology, but it has been my experience (yes, actual experience) that suicides as such are usually thinly veiled by 'accidental' causes. Like the employee that crashed her car in to a tree late night. It took a few days, but the note finally surfaced.

Cyia
11-03-2017, 08:56 PM
A gas leak. An accidental shock from a broken lamp. An accidental shock from something falling into the bathtub. A slip and fall in the kitchen resulting in a fatal cut / stab wound. Accidental asphyxiation while warming up the car in the garage. Accidental poisoning. Accidental drowning by getting one's feet tangled in a lake. Accidentally walking in front of a car on a dark night. Accidental electrocution by forgetting to turn the power off while doing home repairs.

Life's dangerous. Just pick a place and look around to see what's handy.

WeaselFire
11-03-2017, 11:23 PM
Accidental drowning is the easiest suicide to fake. Auto accidents are actually fairly hard to determine if they were an accident or on purpose, without either an obvious suicide or obvious attempt to hit something. Take two sudafeds and get on a winding highway. Clip a tractor trailer at an on ramp and go into a canal. Drink five whiskeys and turn the wrong way on a divided highway. Without some suspicion, investigators don't do detailed forensics, it's a waste of time and money.

Shoot yourself in the femoral artery while cleaning a gun, call 911 to get help and bleed out before they get there. Paint something in the garage, clean up with paint thinner and throw the rags in the trash. When the house is thick with smoke, call 911 and report it, die from smoke inhalation before help arrives. Take a kayak out in the ocean, roll it and tread water until you drown. Bump into a pedestrian, turn to look at them and step backward in front of a bus.

The key to using an accident is that you might accidentally survive but be disabled. :)

Jeff

Thomas Vail
11-04-2017, 01:07 AM
Getting accidentally shot because of a discharge while cleaning a semi-automatic pistol has happened, so that's also a viable "accident."
Err, no.

The only two conclusions anyone could draw from that happening would be 'she killed herself,' (99% chance) or 'she's lethally stupid.' (1% chance, unless the character really was that dim...)

Cekrit
11-04-2017, 01:51 AM
She can put a hit out on herself, ie: have someone shoot her and pay them (could find a junkie to do it for cash)
"fall asleep at the wheel",
if she is a drug user or has a prescription than she can overdose,
or if shes diabetic she can overshoot herself with insulin/fail too take it?
There are many poisons she can ingest that someone would legit have to be searching for in a tox screen.

Cekrit
11-04-2017, 02:05 AM
If she has an accomplice she can use helium to make an exit bag, her brain doesn't recognize that helium isn't oxygen so she will breathe just fine with no panic. She can lay in her bed, die peacefully and the accomplice can make it appear like she died in her sleep- it should look like a heart attack or other naturally caused death. Its quick, clean, and easy to hide.

braveboy
11-04-2017, 06:28 PM
If my Italian ex-wife is reading this forum question, I'm sure she could provide several scenarios. I was sleeping with both eyes open before finally escaping Italy.

mrsmig
11-04-2017, 11:12 PM
Ever read "The Problem of Thor Bridge?" It's a Sherlock Holmes story wherein a suicide sets up her death to look like a murder. Not quite the same scenario but it might give you some ideas.

Thomas Vail
11-05-2017, 04:06 AM
I recall one of those procedural crime shoes had a Holmes themed episode, where a suicide was made to look like a murder, when the 'victim' shot himself in the head, but had the gun on a elastic cord that pulled it up inside a fireplace after his fingers relaxed - how could it be a suicide if there was no weapon near the body? *dramatic sting*


or if shes diabetic she can overshoot herself with insulin/fail too take it?

That's another one like 'cleaning the gun,' where it would be pretty difficult to make it look like anything other than suicide, so it wouldn't be a sudden revelation when someone finds her journal. An overdose is something very hard to do accidentally (as in it's not just a little too much, but injecting yourself a LOT too much) and it would take months to years of not taking the injection to actually kill someone when kidney failure or systemic infectinon finally kicked in. :flag:

Beanie5
11-05-2017, 04:08 AM
the suicide note is the trcky thing

Roxxsmom
11-05-2017, 04:36 AM
Accidental overdoses on opioid painkillers is very common these days. If she got her hands on some, it wouldn't be hard. Of course, there would likely be questions if she'd done so accidentally or on purpose, and if she had no known history of abuse of these drugs, most would assume the latter.

Though sometimes people are surprised to discover a loved one has a problem, so if she didn't actually abuse drugs, maybe she could plant some evidence to make it look like she'd been using them for a while (and so it was possibly an accident).

Do you want everyone in her family, and the police, to assume it was just an accident, or do you want there to be some question before the note is found?

Also, most suicide victims don't leave a note (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22759663), so while the presence of a suicide note that is clearly not forged may be one of the most definitive signs that a death is a suicide, there can be considerable evidence, even certainty, that a death was by suicide in the absence of a note too.

JDlugosz
11-05-2017, 07:17 AM
. An overdose is something very hard to do accidentally (as in it's not just a little too much, but injecting yourself a LOT too much) and it would take months to years of not taking the injection to actually kill someone when kidney failure or systemic infectinon finally kicked in. :flag:

I thought overdosing on Tylinol is scary easy, since the effective dose is so close to the toxic dose.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paracetamol_poisoning

WeaselFire
11-06-2017, 05:04 AM
Err, no.

The only two conclusions anyone could draw from that happening would be 'she killed herself,' (99% chance) or 'she's lethally stupid.' (1% chance, unless the character really was that dim...)

Err, double no. Google "Glock Leg" for examples. These deaths happen about 500 times a year currently (down from a decade ago by quite a bit).

Jeff

Obi-Wan Nobody
11-06-2017, 01:28 PM
Appearances are important. The character should prepare for suicide while getting involved in a lot of scheduled meetings, sharing plans for the future with friends. She will pretend to be happy, perhaps taking a trip on a cruise boat and jump in the water at midnight, heavily drunk (just in case of the body will be found, which is highly improbable).

Thomas Vail
11-06-2017, 10:55 PM
Err, double no. Google "Glock Leg" for examples. These deaths happen about 500 times a year currently (down from a decade ago by quite a bit).

Jeff
No, my post was right, so there's no need to google anything. You didn't pay attention to the post I was responding to. 'Accidentally' shooting yourself while cleaning your gun has as much to do with actually cleaning a firearm as 'eating your gun' has to do with making dinner. It's a euphemism for suicide, and would make a pretty lousy setup for 'oh my god, it wasn't an accident, it was really suicide.'

Not to mention, if you're unfamiliar with how firearms work, you really can't clean a loaded gun. The rounds would get in the way as you're trying to clean the action, chamber, and barrel 1: telling you that you're doing the whole thing very, very incorrectly, 2: you're doing something as safe as cleaning the inside of a lawnmower while the blades are spinning. That's why I gave a 1% chance for lethal stupidity. :D

Cyia
11-06-2017, 11:04 PM
There was a TV procedural where a person committed suicide by putting the handle end of a kitchen knife into a door jamb and slammed the blade into their back. They were attempting to fake a murder so their family could get their life insurance (which is voided by suicide).

I also recall one of those police "gun round-ups" where they'll take weapons in, no questions asked. A woman called about a gun she'd inherited from a relative and set in her closet. The officers who came to get it nearly flipped. It was a military-grade automatic she'd set on a top shelf, without realizing it was loaded, as she didn't know anything about guns. No safety engaged. If it had fallen off the shelf, it could have fired easily, through the door, and through anyone close enough to be in range. They said it was more common than people think, as people who inherit firearms often don't want them, but don't know how to dispose of them, so they try and "store them safely." A set-up like that might be a believable story for accidental shooting.

WeaselFire
11-08-2017, 09:23 PM
No, my post was right, so there's no need to google anything. You didn't pay attention to the post I was responding to. 'Accidentally' shooting yourself while cleaning your gun has as much to do with actually cleaning a firearm as 'eating your gun' has to do with making dinner. It's a euphemism for suicide, and would make a pretty lousy setup for 'oh my god, it wasn't an accident, it was really suicide.'

Not to mention, if you're unfamiliar with how firearms work, you really can't clean a loaded gun. The rounds would get in the way as you're trying to clean the action, chamber, and barrel 1: telling you that you're doing the whole thing very, very incorrectly, 2: you're doing something as safe as cleaning the inside of a lawnmower while the blades are spinning. That's why I gave a 1% chance for lethal stupidity. :D

Never cleaned a Glock have you? The first step is removing the magazine, rack the slide to eject the chambered round, then pulling the trigger to release the internal connector for disassembly. Dozens of people every year manage to pull the trigger with a round in the chamber and hit themselves or others. And that's just cleaning a gun, there are plenty more accidents with firearms that can be lethal.

Carelessness applies to everything, distractions are always present and even the pros are not immune to negligent discharges. And deaths from negligent discharges, for 2015, were about 500 in the US. These are classified as such by the law enforcement agencies and medical examiners investigating them. Closer to 10,000 are classified as suicides, as determined again by the authorities investigating them. There wouldn't be a classification to put those 500 deaths into if they were all so obviously suicides.

Not arguing anymore, neither of us are writing this and It's not my task to make someone use this for a faked suicide.

Jeff

tenuki
11-11-2017, 12:06 AM
Just a thought - making it seem like a murder seems like a horrible idea. The last thing you want is an investigator looking into the death at the level of detail and cross reference a murder investigation entails. Accidental death is definitely the way to go.

WeaselFire
11-11-2017, 01:40 AM
Just a thought - making it seem like a murder seems like a horrible idea. The last thing you want is an investigator looking into the death at the level of detail and cross reference a murder investigation entails. Accidental death is definitely the way to go.

I never though of that aspect. I automatically thought of making a suicide look like murder being to punish someone where a suicide wouldn't be punishment enough. As in a jilted woman getting back at her lover by both killing herself and framing her lover for the crime.

Dang! Stop giving me ideas for new mystery plots! :)

Jeff

Quentin Nokov
11-12-2017, 03:54 AM
What about a caffeine overdose? You can buy caffeine powder and the FDA has actually released statements warning people not to buy it in powder form because it's too dangerous. Link (https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-content/caffeine-powder) Just 1 teaspoon contains 4,706 mg of caffeine. If your character particularly likes coffee or caffeine beverages this could make it look like an accident. Your character would go into cardiac arrest.


At least two deaths have been officially reported (http://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-overdose-facts-and-fiction) from overdosing on caffeine powder when accidentally ingested 2 spoonfuls.


Some caffeine-related deaths



Caffeine Overdose Documented Cases

Caffeine overdose does happen and has been documented. Here are some of the more recent cases resulting in death or hospitalization;


19-year-old James Stone dies (http://digitaljournal.com/article/158679) after taking 25 to 30 No Doz pills (https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-content/no-doz) in 2007. (at least 2.5 grams of caffeine)
40 Seagulls die from caffeine overdose in Canada this year from eating used coffee grinds.
17-year-old Jasmine Willis, a Durham, UK waitress overdosed (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-475021/Overdose-drama-girl-14-cups-espresso.html) by drinking 7 double espressos (https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-content/espresso) in 2007. She was taken to the hospital but recovered soon after. (thatís roughly 1.078 grams)
In the late 1990ís an Australian woman, with a heart condition died after consuming a guarana based shot from her local health food store. This product is no longer on the market. (10g/liter, ok thatís just nuts!)
2010 a 23-year-old British man (http://www.torontosun.com/news/world/2010/10/30/15889811.html) from Mansfield, England died after taking to 2 spoonfuls of pure caffeine powder washed down by an energy drink at a party. His death was ruled accidental.
2011 Fourteen-year-old Anais Fournier (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/24/anais-fournier-energy-drinks-caffeine-toxicity-poisoning_n_1373655.html), died after she consumed two 24 ounce Monsters (480mg of caffeine) in a 24 hour period. The cause of death was a heart arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity. There seem to be some conflicting stories as to how much she really consumed and this seems true since 480mg in a 24 hour period isnít a toxic amount. Update October 2012: Her parents are suing Monster Energy for wrongful death although the girl did have a known pre-existing heart condition.
2012 The FDA is investigating Monster Energy (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57538063/fda-investigates-five-deaths-one-heart-attack-linked-to-monster-energy-drinks/) since the energy drink has been linked to five deaths over the past year.
2013: According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, energy drink-related ER visits have doubled in the last 4 years, however, 42% of these visits involved caffeine in combination with other drugs such as alcohol or other narcotics. src (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/16/er-visits-tied-to-energy-drinks-double-since-2007/1838871/).
2013 a New Zealand woman died from cardiac arrhythmia associated with her 10 liter/day Coca-Cola (https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-content/coca-cola-classic) habit. She also smoked 30 cigarettes a day and barely ate. Caffeine was a contributing factor, but the 900-1000mg daily dose wasnít the only factor. src (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-21423499).
2013 A mother is suing Monster Energy for the death of her 19-year-old son, Alex Morris, after he died of cardiac arrest. She claims that he drank two 16 ounce Monsters the day before his death and at least two a day for the 3 years preceding his death. A California Coronerís office reported that he died from cardiomyopathy and cardiac arrhythmia.
October 2013: John Jackson from the UK dies after eating a whole tin of HERO Energy Mints (https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-content/hero-energy-mints). Each tin contains 12 mints, so he consumed 984mg of caffeine. He also had cirrhosis of the liver, which prevented him from processing the caffeine properly allowing it to build up in his bloodstream to lethal levels. (src. (http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/dad-john-jackson-died-caffeine-6170091))
March 2014: A 14-year-old boy from Norway was hospitalized with kidney failure after drinking 4 liters of a caffeine-laced energy drink while gaming for 16 hours straight. This would be around 1,280mg of caffeine if he was consuming a ďRed BullĒ like energy drink. (src (http://www.thelocal.no/20140320/boy-hospitalised-after-energy-drink-fuelled-gaming-binge).)
September 2014: A Tennessee man was taken to the hospital after consuming 20 caffeine pills to ďtest the limits of his bodyĒ according to what the man told the paramedics. He ingested 4000 mg of caffeine at once. src.




Top 10 Caffeine Overdose SymptomsHere are the usual symptoms in order from the first ones to be experienced to the more severe, later stage consequences.


Jitters, Restlessness, and Nervousness
Increased heartbeat
Nausea
Anxiety (https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-anxiety-and-panic-attacks)
Heart palpitations (cardiac arrhythmia)
Insomnia
Sweating
Dizziness
Vomiting
Cardiac arrest

Antipode91
11-12-2017, 06:02 AM
I guess the question is how visceral are you looking to make this? Because any of these suggestions would technically work.

Or you could go a more final destination route for how they set up their dead D: