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11th September 2013: The world's gone mad and I'm the only one who knows
13th August 2013: Black is white. Fact. End of.
11th August 2013: Electric cars, not as green as they're painted?
18th June 2013: Wrinklies unite, you have nothing to lose but your walking frames!
17th May 2013: Some actual FACTS about climate change (for a change) from actual scientists ...
10th May 2013: An article about that poison gas, carbon dioxide, and other scientific facts (not) ...
10th May 2013: We need to see past the sex and look at the crimes: is justice being served?
8th May 2013: So, who would you trust to treat your haemorrhoids, Theresa May?
8th May 2013: Why should citizens in the 21st Century fear the law so much?
30th April 2013: What the GOS says today, the rest of the world realises tomorrow ...
30th April 2013: You couldn't make it up, could you? Luckily you don't need to ...
29th April 2013: a vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE, because THE ABOVE are crap ...
28th April 2013: what goes around, comes around?
19th April 2013: everyone's a victim these days ...
10th April 2013: Thatcher is dead; long live Thatcher!
8th April 2013: Poor people are such a nuisance. Just give them loads of money and they'll go away ...
26th March 2013: Censorship is alive and well and coming for you ...
25th March 2013: Just do your job properly, is that too much to ask?
25th March 2013: So, what do you think caused your heterosexuality?
20th March 2013: Feminists - puritans, hypocrites or just plain stupid?
18th March 2013: How Nazi Germany paved the way for modern governance?
13th March 2013: Time we all grew up and lived in the real world ...
12th March 2013: Hindenburg crash mystery solved? - don't you believe it!
6th March 2013: Is this the real GOS?
5th March 2013: All that's wrong with taxes
25th February 2013: The self-seeking MP who is trying to bring Britain down ...
24th February 2013: Why can't newspapers just tell the truth?
22nd February 2013: Trial by jury - a radical proposal
13th February 2013: A little verse for two very old people ...
6th February 2013: It's not us after all, it's worms
6th February 2013: Now here's a powerful argument FOR gay marriage ...
4th February 2013: There's no such thing as equality because we're not all the same ...
28th January 2013: Global Warming isn't over - IT'S HIDING!
25th January 2013: Global Warmers: mad, bad and dangerous to know ...
25th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
19th January 2013: We STILL haven't got our heads straight about gays ...
16th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
11th January 2013: What it's like being English ...
7th January 2013: Bleat, bleat, if it saves the life of just one child ...
7th January 2013: How best to put it? 'Up yours, Argentina'?
7th January 2013: Chucking even more of other people's money around ...
6th January 2013: Chucking other people's money around ...
30th December 2012: The BBC is just crap, basically ...
30th December 2012: We mourn the passing of a genuine Grumpy Old Sod ...
30th December 2012: How an official body sets out to ruin Christmas ...
16th December 2012: Why should we pardon Alan Turing when he did nothing wrong?
15th December 2012: When will social workers face up to their REAL responsibility?
15th December 2012: Unfair trading by a firm in Bognor Regis ...
14th December 2012: Now the company that sells your data is pretending to act as watchdog ...
7th December 2012: There's a war between cars and bikes, apparently, and  most of us never noticed!
26th November 2012: The bottom line - social workers are just plain stupid ...
20th November 2012: So, David Eyke was right all along, then?
15th November 2012: MPs don't mind dishing it out, but when it's them in the firing line ...
14th November 2012: The BBC has a policy, it seems, about which truths it wants to tell ...
12th November 2012: Big Brother, coming to a school near you ...
9th November 2012: Yet another celebrity who thinks, like Jimmy Saville, that he can behave just as he likes because he's famous ...
5th November 2012: Whose roads are they, anyway? After all, we paid for them ...
7th May 2012: How politicians could end droughts at a stroke if they chose ...
6th May 2012: The BBC, still determined to keep us in a fog of ignorance ...
2nd May 2012: A sense of proportion lacking?
24th April 2012: Told you so, told you so, told you so ...
15th April 2012: Aah, sweet ickle polar bears in danger, aah ...
15th April 2012: An open letter to Anglian Water ...
30th March 2012: Now they want to cure us if we don't believe their lies ...
28th February 2012: Just how useful is a degree? Not very.
27th February 2012: ... so many ways to die ...
15th February 2012: DO go to Jamaica because you definitely WON'T get murdered with a machete. Ms Fox says so ...
31st January 2012: We don't make anything any more
27th January 2012: There's always a word for it, they say, and if there isn't we'll invent one
26th January 2012: Literary criticism on GOS? How posh!
12th December 2011: Plain speaking by a scientist about the global warming fraud
9th December 2011: Who trusts scientists? Apart from the BBC, of course?
7th December 2011: All in all, not a good week for British justice ...
9th November 2011: Well what d'you know, the law really IS a bit of an ass ...


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Older stuff






We thought you'd be interested in this list of odd deaths over the centuries. The earlier ones may be a bit apocryphal, but we think the rest are mostly genuine. Obviously these events were quite distressing to those involved, but to the rest of us ... well, it's salutary to realise what incredible accidents can happen ...

• c.620 BC: Draco, Athenian law-maker, was smothered to death by gifts of cloaks showered upon him by appreciative citizens at a theatre
• 6th century BC: Legend says Greek wrestler Milo of Croton came upon a tree-trunk split with wedges. Testing his strength, he tried to rend it with his bare hands. The wedges fell, trapping his hands in the tree and making him unable to defend himself from attacking wolves, which devoured him
• 401 BC: Mithridates, a soldier condemned for the murder of Cyrus the Younger, was executed by scaphism, surviving the torture for 17 days. If you don't know what scaphism is, see here. It's a lulu.
• 272 BC: According to Plutarch, Pyrrhus of Epirus, conqueror and the source of the term “pyrrhic victory”, died while fighting an urban battle in Argos when an old woman threw a roof tile at him, stunning him and allowing an Argive soldier to kill him
• 270 BC: Philitas of Cos, Greek intellectual, is said by Athenaeus to have studied arguments and erroneous word usage so intensely that he wasted away and starved to death
• 207 BC: Chrysippus, a Greek stoic philosopher, is believed to have died of laughter after giving his donkey wine then watching it attempt to eat figs
• 162 BC: Eleazar Maccabeus was crushed to death at the Battle of Beth-zechariah by a war elephant that he believed to be carrying Seleucid King Antiochus V. Charging into battle, Eleazar rushed underneath the elephant and thrust a spear into its belly, whereupon it fell dead on top of him
• 4 BC: Herod the Great reportedly suffered from fever, intense rashes, colon pains, foot drop, inflammation of the abdomen, a putrefaction of his genitals that produced worms, convulsions, and difficulty breathing before he finally expired. So that showed him!
• 64 – 67: Saint Peter was executed by the Romans. According to tradition, he asked not to be crucified in the normal way, but was instead executed on an inverted cross. According to Origen of Alexandria, he said he was not worthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus
• c.98: Saint Antipas, Bishop of Pergamum, was roasted to death in a brazen bull during the persecutions of Emperor Domitian. Saint Eustace, his wife and children supposedly suffered a similar fate under Hadrian
• c.1st or 2nd century: Rabbi Akiva, a Tanna, a founder of Rabbinic Judaism, and a supporter of Bar Kokhba, was put to death by the Romans by having his skin flayed with iron combs
• 212: Lucius Fabius Cilo, a Roman senator of the 2nd century, "... choked ... by a single hair in a draught of milk"
• 258: According to tradition, Saint Lawrence of Rome was roasted alive on a giant grill, during the persecution of Valerian
• 336: Arius, presbyter of Alexandria, is said to have died of sudden diarrhoea followed by copious hemorrhaging and anal expulsion of the intestines. He may have been poisoned
• 415: Hypatia of Alexandria, Greek mathematician, philosopher, and last librarian of the Library of Alexandria, was murdered by a Christian mob who ripped off her skin with sharp sea-shells.
• 9th century: The legendary Prince Popiel, leader of the proto-Polish Goplans and Polans, and his wife, were allegedly eaten alive by mice in a tower in Kruszwica. This curse arose as a result of not obeying burial traditions
• 892: Sigurd the Mighty of Orkney strapped the head of his defeated foe, Máel Brigte, to his horse's saddle. The teeth of the head grazed against his leg as he rode, causing a fatal infection
• 1063: Béla I of Hungary died when his throne's canopy collapsed upon him
• 1327: Edward II of England, after being deposed and imprisoned by his Queen consort Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer, was rumored to have been murdered by having a red-hot iron inserted into his bottom (through a tube so there were no external injuries)
• 1410: Martin of Aragon died from a combination of indigestion and uncontrollable laughing
• 1478: George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, was executed by drowning in a barrel of Malmsey wine at his own request
• 1514: György Dózsa, Székely man-at-arms and peasants' revolt leader in Hungary, was condemned to sit on a red-hot iron throne with a red-hot iron crown on his head and a red-hot sceptre in his hand (mocking his ambition to be king), by Hungarian landed nobility in Transylvania. While Dózsa was still alive, he was set upon and his partially roasted body was eaten by six of his fellow rebels, who had been starved for a week beforehand
• 1601: Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer, according to legend, died of complications resulting from a strained bladder at a banquet. As it was considered extremely bad etiquette to leave the table before the meal was finished, he stayed until he became fatally ill. This version of events has since been brought into question as other causes of death (murder by Johannes Kepler, suicide, and mercury poisoning among others) have come to the fore
• 1649: Sir Arthur Aston, Royalist commander of the garrison during the Siege of Drogheda, was beaten to death with his own wooden leg, which the Parliamentarian soldiers thought concealed golden coins
• 1660: Thomas Urquhart, Scottish aristocrat, polymath and first translator of Rabelais into English, is said to have died laughing upon hearing that Charles II had taken the throne
• 1667: James Betts died from asphyxiation after being accidentally sealed in a cupboard by Elizabeth Spencer at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in an attempt to hide him from her father
• 1673: Molière, the French actor and playwright, died after being seized by a violent coughing fit, while playing the title role in his play “Le Malade imaginaire” (The Hypochondriac)
• 1687: Jean-Baptiste Lully, the French composer, died of a gangrenous abscess after piercing his foot with a staff while he was vigorously conducting his orchestra. It was customary at that time to conduct by banging a staff on the floor
• 1751: Julien Offray de La Mettrie, a major materialist and sensualist philosopher and author of “L'Homme machine”, died of overeating at a feast given in his honour
• 1753: Professor Georg Wilhelm Richmann, of Saint Petersburg, Russia, became the first recorded person to be killed while performing electrical experiments when he was struck on the head and killed by a globe of ball lightning
• 1755: Henry Hall died from injuries he sustained after molten lead fell into his throat while he was looking up at a burning lighthouse
• 1762: Crown Prince Sado, the heir to Emperor Yeongjo of Joseon, was ordered to be sealed alive in a rice-chest after his father decided he was unfit to succeed him. He survived inside for 8 days
• 1771: Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden, died of digestion problems on 12 February 1771 after consuming a meal of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, smoked herring and champagne, topped off with 14 servings of his favourite dessert, “hetvägg” served in a bowl of hot milk
• 1794: John Kendrick, an American sea captain and explorer, was killed in the Hawaiian Islands when a British ship mistakenly used a loaded cannon to fire a salute to Kendrick's vessel
• 1814: London Beer Flood, 9 people were killed (some drowned, some died from injuries, and one succumbed to alcohol poisoning) when 323,000 gallons of beer in the Meux and Company Brewery burst out of the vats and gushed into the streets
• 1816: Gouverneur Morris, an American statesman, died after sticking a piece of whale bone through his urinary tract to relieve a blockage. Like you do.
• 1830: William Huskisson, statesman and financier, was crushed to death by a locomotive (Stephenson's “Rocket”), at the public opening of the world's first mechanically powered passenger railway
• 1834: David Douglas, Scottish botanist, fell into a pit trap accompanied by a bull. He was gored and possibly crushed
• 1862: Jim Creighton, a very early baseball player, died when he swung a bat too hard and injured himself, possibly by rupturing his bladder
• 1871: Clement Vallandigham, U.S. Congressman, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound while defending a murder suspect in court. Vallandigham was arguing to the court that the victim could have accidentally shot himself while drawing his gun. As Vallandigham was demonstrating with his own gun, which he had believed to be unloaded, it accidentally discharged, killing him
• 1884: Allan Pinkerton, detective, spy, and founder of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, allegedly died when he contracted gangrene after slipping and biting his tongue
• 1912: Franz Reichelt, tailor, fell to his death off the first deck of the Eiffel Tower while testing his invention, the overcoat parachute. It was his first ever attempt with the parachute. And last, actually
• 1916: Grigori Rasputin, Russian mystic, was reportedly poisoned, shot in the head, shot three more times, bludgeoned, and then thrown into a frozen river after being castrated. When his body washed ashore, an autopsy showed the cause of death to be hypothermia; however, some now doubt the credibility of this account. Another account said that he was poisoned, shot, and stabbed, at which time he got up and ran off – and was later found to have drowned in a frozen river
• 1918: Gustav Kobbé, writer and musicologist, was killed when the yacht he was on was struck by a seaplane landing off Long Island, New York.
• 1919: In the Boston Molasses Disaster, 21 people were killed and 150 were injured when a tank containing as much as 2,300,000 of molasses exploded, sending a wave travelling at approximately 35mph through part of Boston, Massachusetts
• 1920: Ray "Chappie" Chapman, shortstop for the Cleveland Indians baseball team, was killed when a ball thrown by Carl Mays hit him in the temple. Chapman collapsed and died about 12 hours later. He remains the only baseball player killed by a pitched ball
• 1920: Dan Andersson, a Swedish author, died of cyanide poisoning while staying at Hotel Hellman in Stockholm. The hotel staff had failed to clear the room after using hydrogen cyanide against bed bugs
• 1920, 25 October: Alexander I, King of the Hellenes, was taking a walk in the Royal Gardens, when his dog was attacked by a monkey. The King attempted to defend his dog, receiving bites from both the monkey and its mate. The diseased animals' bites caused sepsis and Alexander died three weeks later
• 1923: Frank Hayes, a jockey at Belmont Park, New York, died of a heart attack during the course of his first race. His mount finished first with his body still attached to the saddle, and he was only discovered to be dead when the horse's owner went to congratulate him
• 1923: Amateur Egyptologist George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, died allegedly because of the so-called King Tut's Curse after a mosquito bite on his face, which he cut while shaving, became seriously infected with erysipelas, leading to blood poisoning and eventually pneumonia
• 1923: Martha Mansfield, an American film actress, died after sustaining severe burns on the set of the film “The Warrens of Virginia” after a smoker's match, tossed by a cast member, ignited her Civil War costume of hoopskirts and ruffles
• 1925: Zishe (Siegmund) Breitbart, a circus strongman and Jewish folklore hero, died after demonstrating he could drive a spike through five one inch thick oak boards using only his bare hands. He accidentally pierced his knee and the rusted spike caused an infection which led to fatal blood poisoning
• 1926: Phillip McClean, 16, from Queensland, Australia became the only person documented to have been killed by a cassowary. After encountering the bird on their family property, McClean and his brother decided to kill it with clubs. When McClean struck the bird it knocked him down, then kicked him in the neck, opening a cut in one of his main blood vessels. Though the boy managed to get back on his feet and run away, he collapsed a short while later and died from the hemorrhage
• 1926: Harry Houdini, the famous American escape artist, was punched in the stomach by an amateur boxer. Though this had been done with Houdini's permission, complications from this injury caused him to die days later, on October 31, 1926. It was later determined that Houdini died of a ruptured appendix
• 1927: J.G.Parry-Thomas, a Welsh racing driver, was decapitated when his car's drive chain snapped and whipped into the cockpit
• 1927: Isadora Duncan, dancer, died of a broken neck when her long scarf caught on the wheel of a car in which she was a passenger
• 1928: Alexander Bogdanov, a Russian physician, died following one of his experiments, in which the blood of L.I.Koldomasov, a student suffering from malaria and tuberculosis, was given to him in a transfusion
• 1930: William Kogut, an inmate on death row at San Quentin, committed suicide with a pipe bomb created from several packs of playing cards and the hollow leg from his cot. At the time, the red ink in playing cards contained flammable nitrocellulose, which when wet can create an explosive mixture. Kogut used the heater in his cell to activate the bomb
• 1932: Eben Byers, an American industrialist and socialite, died of radiation poisoning after having consumed large quantities of Radithor, a popular patent medicine containing radium and thorium
• 1933: Michael Malloy, a homeless man, was murdered by five men in a plot to collect on life insurance policies they had purchased. After surviving multiple poisonings, intentional exposure, and being struck by a car, Malloy succumbed to gassing
• 1935: Baseball player Len Koenecke was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher by the crew of an aircraft he had chartered, after provoking a fight with the pilot while the plane was in the air
• 1939: Finnish actress Sirkka Sari died when she fell down a chimney into a heating boiler. She had mistaken the chimney for a balcony
• 1940: Marcus Garvey died as a result of two strokes after reading a negative premature obituary of himself
• 1941: Sherwood Anderson, writer, died of peritonitis after swallowing a toothpick at a party
• 1942: 32 men died when the British cruiser HMS Trinidad accidentally torpedoed itself
• 1944: 74 men died when the US Submarine Tang (SS-306) accidentally torpedoed itself during a combat patrol off the coast of Taiwan
• 1944: Inventor and chemist Thomas Midgley, Jr. accidentally strangled himself with the cord of a pulley-operated mechanical bed of his own design
• 1945: Scientist Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. accidentally dropped a brick of tungsten carbide onto a sphere of plutonium while working on the Manhattan Project. This caused the plutonium to come to criticality; Daghlian died of radiation poisoning, becoming the first person to die in a criticality accident
• 1946: Louis Slotin, chemist and physicist, died of radiation poisoning after being exposed to lethal amounts of ionizing radiation from the same core that killed Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. The core went critical after a screwdriver he was using to separate the halves of the spherical beryllium reflector slipped
• 1947: The Collyer Brothers, extreme cases of compulsive hoarders, were found dead in their home in New York. The younger brother, Langley, was crushed to death when he accidentally triggered one of his own booby traps that had consisted of a large pile of objects, books, and newspapers. His blind and paralysed brother Homer, who had depended on Langley for care, died of starvation some days later
• 1951: Professor Malcolm H. Soule, scientist, killed himself with an injection of snake venom and morphine after being fired from heading the department of bacteriology at the University of Michigan
• 1955: Margo Jones, theater director, was killed by exposure to carbon tetrachloride fumes from her newly cleaned carpet
• 1958: Gareth Jones, actor, collapsed and died between scenes of a live television play, Underground, at the studios of Associated British Corporation in Manchester. Director Ted Kotcheff continued the play to its conclusion, improvising around Jones' absence
• 1959: In the Dyatlov Pass incident, nine ski hikers in the Ural Mountains abandoned their camp in the middle of the night, some clad only in their underwear despite sub-zero weather. Six died of hypothermia and three by unexplained injuries. The corpses showed no signs of struggle, but one had a fatal skull fracture, two had major chest fractures, and one was missing her tongue. Soviet investigators determined only that "a compelling unknown force" had caused the deaths
• 1960: In the Nedelin catastrophe, more than 100 Soviet rocket technicians and officials died when a switch was accidentally turned on, causing the second stage engines of a rocket to ignite, directly above the fully fueled first stage. The casualties included Red Army Marshal Nedelin, who was sitting just 40 meters away overseeing launch preparations
• 1960: Inejiro Asanuma, 61, the head of the Japanese Socialist Party, was stabbed to death with a wakizashi sword by extreme rightist Otoya Yamaguchi during a televised political rally
• 1960: Alan Stacey, Formula One race driver, died in a crash during the Belgian Grand Prix when a bird flew into his face, causing him to lose control
• 1961: U.S. Army Specialists John A. Byrnes and Richard Leroy McKinley, and Navy Electrician's Mate Richard C. Legg were killed by a water hammer explosion during maintenance on the SL-1 nuclear reactor in Idaho
• 1961: Valentin Bondarenko, a Soviet cosmonaut trainee, died after suffering third-degree burns from a flash fire in the pure oxygen environment of a training simulator
• 1963: Thích Quang Duc, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, sat down in the middle of a busy intersection in Saigon, covered himself in gasoline and lit it, burning himself to death
• 1966: Worth Bingham, son of Barry Bingham, Sr., died when a surfboard, lying atop the back of his convertible, hit a parked car, swung around, and broke his neck
• 1966: Skydiver Nick Piantanida died from the effects of uncontrolled decompression four months after an attempt to break the world record for the highest parachute jump. During his third attempt, his face mask came loose (or he possibly opened it by mistake), causing loss of air pressure and irreversible brain damage
• 1967: Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger B. Chaffee, NASA astronauts, died when a flash fire began in their pure oxygen environment during a training exercise inside the Apollo 1 spacecraft. The spacecraft's escape hatch could not be opened because it was designed to seal shut under pressure
• 1967: Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov became the first person to die during a space mission after the parachute of his capsule failed to deploy following re-entry
• 1972: Leslie Harvey, guitarist of Stone the Crows, was electrocuted on stage by a live microphone
• 1974: Basil Brown, a 48-year-old health food advocate from Croydon, drank himself to death with carrot juice
• 1974: Christine Chubbuck, an American television news reporter, committed suicide during a live broadcast on July 15. Eight minutes into her talk show on WXLT-TV in Sarasota, Florida, she shot herself in the head with a revolver
• 1974: Deborah Gail Stone, 18, an employee at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, was crushed to death between a moving wall and a stationary wall inside the revolving America Sings attraction
• 1975: Bando Mitsugoro VIII, a Japanese kabuki actor, died of severe poisoning when he ate four fugu (puffer-fish) livers. Mitsugoro claimed to be immune to the poison and the fugu chef felt he could not refuse him
• 1975: Alex Mitchell, a 50-year-old from Norfolk, England, died laughing while watching “The Goodies”. A particular scene had caused Mitchell to laugh nonstop for twenty-five minutes before dying of heart failure
• 1976: Keith Relf, former singer for British rhythm and blues band The Yardbirds, died while practising his electric guitar. He was electrocuted by an improperly grounded amplifier
• 1977: Tom Pryce, a Formula One driver at the 1977 South African Grand Prix, was killed when he was struck in the face by a track marshal's fire extinguisher. The marshal, Frederik Jansen van Vuuren, was running across the track to attend to Pryce's team-mate's burning car when he was struck and killed by Pryce
• 1978: Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident, was assassinated in London with a specially modified umbrella that fired a metal pellet with a small cavity full of ricin into his calf
• 1978: Janet Parker, a British medical photographer, died of smallpox in 1978, ten months after the disease was eradicated in the wild, when a researcher at the laboratory where Parker worked accidentally released some virus into the air of the building. Parker is the last known smallpox fatality
• 1978: Kurt Gödel, the Austrian/American logician and mathematician, died of starvation when his wife was hospitalized. Gödel suffered from extreme paranoia and refused to eat food prepared by anyone else
• 1979: Robert Williams, a worker at a Ford Motor Co. plant, was the first known human to be killed by a robot, after the arm of a one-ton factory robot hit him in the head
• 1979: John Bowen, a 20-year-old of Nashua, New Hampshire, was attending a halftime show at a New York Jets football game at Shea Stadium on December 9, 1979. During an event featuring custom-made remote control flying machines, a 40-pound model plane shaped like a lawnmower accidentally dove into the stands, striking Bowen and another spectator, causing severe head injuries. Bowen died in the hospital four days later
• 1980: Monica Myers, the 70-year-old mayor of Betterton, Maryland, died when she slipped into a 25-foot tank of raw sewage and drowned in human waste
• 1981: David Allen Kirwan a 24-year-old, died from third-degree burns after attempting to rescue a friend's dog from the 93°C water in Celestine Pool, a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park
• 1981: Boris Sagal, a film director, died while shooting the TV mini-series “World War III” when he walked into the tail rotor of a helicopter and was decapitated
• 1981: Kenji Urada, a Japanese factory worker, was killed by a malfunctioning robot he was working on at a Kawasaki plant in Japan. The robot's arm pushed him into a grinding machine, killing him
• 1981: Paul Gauci, a 41-year-old Maltese man, died after welding a butterfly bomb to a metal pipe and using it as a mallet, thinking it was a harmless can
• 1982: Vic Morrow, actor, was decapitated by a helicopter blade during filming of “Twilight Zone: The Movie”. Two child actors were also killed; Myca Dinh Le, who was decapitated, and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, who was crushed
• 1982: David Grundman was killed near Lake Pleasant, Arizona while shooting at cacti with his shotgun. After he fired several shots at a 26ft tall Saguaro Cactus from extremely close range, a 4ft limb of the cactus detached and fell on him, crushing him
• 1982: Navy Lieutenant George M. Prior, 30, died in Arlington, Virginia from a severe allergic reaction to Daconil, a fungicide used on a golf course he attended. He had unwittingly ingested the substance through his habit of carrying the tee in his mouth when playing
• 1983: Four divers and a tender were killed on the Byford Dolphin semi-submersible, when a decompression chamber explosively decompressed from 9 atm to 1 atm in a fraction of a second. The diver nearest the chamber opening literally exploded just before his remains were ejected through a 24inch opening. The other divers' remains showed signs of boiled blood, unusually strong rigor mortis, large amounts of gas in the blood vessels, and scattered hemorrhages in the soft tissues
• 1983: Sergei Chalibashvili, a professional diver, died as a result of a diving accident during the 1983 Summer Universiade in Edmonton, Alberta. When he attempted a three-and-a-half reverse somersault in the tuck position from the ten meter platform, he struck his head on the platform and was knocked unconscious. He died after being in a coma for a week
• 1983: American author Tennessee Williams died when he choked on an eyedrop bottle-cap in his room at the Hotel Elysee in New York. He would routinely place the cap in his mouth, lean back, and place his eyedrops in each eye
• 1983: Jimmy Lee Gray, during his execution in a Mississippi gas chamber, died bashing his head against a metal pole behind the chair he was strapped into. The poisonous gas had failed to kill him but left him in agony and gasping for eight minutes
• 1983: Dick Wertheim was an American tennis linesman who died from blunt cranial trauma at a match at the 1983 US Open. Stefan Edberg sent an errant serve directly into his groin, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement
• 1984: Tommy Cooper, British comedian, died of a heart attack while performing during a live TV broadcast at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. Initially the audience, thinking it was part of the act, continued to laugh as he lay collapsed on the stage. He was then pulled from sight as attempts were made to revive him off stage
• 1984: Jon-Erik Hexum, an American television actor, died after he shot himself in the head with a prop gun loaded with a single blank cartridge. Hexum was playing Russian Roulette during a break in filming
• 1986: Hrand Arakelian, a Brink's armored truck guard, was crushed by several 25-pound boxes of quarters when the driver braked suddenly in Los Angeles, California
• 1986: More than 1,700 were killed after a limnic eruption from Lake Nyos in Cameroon, released approximately 100 million cubic meters of carbon dioxide that quickly descended on the lake and killed oxygen-dependent life within a 15-mile radius, including three villages. The same phenomenon is also blamed for the deaths of 37 near Lake Monoun in 1984
• 1987: Budd Dwyer, the State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, committed suicide during a televised press conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Facing a potential 55-year jail sentence for alleged involvement in a conspiracy, Dwyer shot himself in the head with a revolver
• 1987: Franco Brun, a 22-year-old prisoner at Toronto East Detention Centre, in Toronto, Ontario, choked to death after attempting to swallow a Gideon's Bible
• 1988: Clarabelle Lansing, an Aloha Airlines flight attendant, was sucked out of a Boeing 737 when a large section of its fuselage tore off in mid flight
• 1991: Maximo Rene Menendez, a 25-year-old man from Miami, fell into a coma and eventually died after drinking a Colombian soft drink that had been laced with cocaine in an apparent smuggling scheme
• 1991: Edward Juchniewicz, a 76-year-old man from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, was killed when the unattended ambulance stretcher he was strapped to rolled down a grade and overturned
• 1991: Carl Hulsey, 77, of Cherokee County, Georgia, was butted to death by a pet goat he had been training to act as a guard dog
• 1993: Actor Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was shot and killed by a prop gun during the making of the movie “The Crow”. The accident happened after a mistake in prop handling procedures: In a prior scene a revolver was fired using a cartridge with only a primer and a bullet, but the primer provided enough force to push the round out of the cartridge into the barrel of the revolver, where it stuck. The gun was then reused to shoot the death scene of Lee's character. This time it was reloaded with a blank cartridge that contained propellant and a primer. When actor Michael Massee fired the gun, the bullet was propelled into Lee
• 1993: Garry Hoy, a 38-year-old lawyer in Toronto, Ontario, fell to his death on July 9, 1993, after he threw himself against a window on the 24th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Centre in an attempt to prove to a group of visitors that the glass was unbreakable. The first time he did it, all was well; the second time, the glass did not break but popped out of the window frame
• 1994: Jeremy Brenno, a 16-year-old golfer from Gloversville, New York, was killed when he threw his club against a bench in a fit of rage, breaking the shaft. Part of the shaft bounced back and pierced his heart
• 1995: A 39-year-old man committed suicide in Canberra, Australia by shooting himself three times with a pump action shotgun. The first shot passed through his chest, but missed all of the vital organs. He reloaded and shot away his throat and part of his jaw. Breathing through the throat wound, he again reloaded, held the gun against his chest with his hands and operated the trigger with his toes. This shot entered the thoracic cavity and demolished the heart, killing him
• 1996: Sharon Lopatka, from Maryland, was killed by Robert Glass who claimed that she had solicited him to torture and kill her for the purpose of sexual gratification
• 1997: Karen Wetterhahn, a professor of chemistry at Dartmouth College, died of mercury poisoning ten months after a few drops of dimethylmercury landed on her protective gloves. Although Wetterhahn had been following the required procedures for handling the chemical, it still permeated her gloves and skin within seconds. As a result of her death, regulations were altered
• 1998: Tom and Eileen Lonergan were presumed dead after being stranded after scuba diving with a group of divers off Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The group's boat accidentally abandoned them after an incorrect head count taken by the dive boat crew. Their bodies were never recovered. The film “Open Water” was based on the story
• 1998 October: The entire association football team of Bena Tshadi playing against Basanga was killed by lightning during a match in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Everyone on Basanga, the home team, survived
• 1999: Dominguez Garcia was killed February 25, 1999, by a flying cow in Vacaville, California. The animal had strayed onto the highway and was struck by another vehicle, launching it into his lane where it crashed through his windscreen
• 1999: Owen Hart, a Canadian-born professional wrestler for WWF, died while performing a stunt where he was to be lowered into the ring from the rafters of the Kemper Arena on a safety harness. The safety latch was accidentally released early and Owen dropped 78 feet and landed chest-first on the top rope, severing his aorta
• 1999: Professional golfer Payne Stewart and five others died when the airplane they were on lost cabin pressure in-flight, causing fatal hypoxia. The aircraft continued on auto-pilot for several hours before running out of fuel and crashing in South Dakota
• 2001: Bernd-Jürgen Brandes, from Germany, was voluntarily stabbed repeatedly and then partly eaten by Armin Meiwes, the “Cannibal of Rotenburg”. Brandes had answered an internet advertisement by Meiwes looking for someone for this purpose. Brandes explicitly stated in his will that he wished to be killed and eaten
• 2001: Gregory Biggs, a homeless American man in Fort Worth, Texas, was struck by a car being driven by Chante Jawan Mallard and became lodged in her windscreen with severe but not immediately fatal injuries. Mallard drove home and left the car in her garage with Biggs still lodged in her car's windscreen. Biggs died of his injuries several hours later
• 2001: Michael Colombini, a 6-year-old American boy from Croton-on-Hudson, New York, was struck and killed, at Westchester Regional Medical Center, by an oxygen tank when it was pulled into the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine while he underwent a test. He had begun to experience breathing difficulties while in the MRI and when an anesthesiologist brought a portable oxygen canister it was pulled from his hands by the powerful magnetic field and struck the boy in the head
• 2002: Brittanie Cecil, a 13-year-old American, was struck in the head by a hockey puck shot by Espen Knutsen at an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio. She died two days later in the hospital
• 2002: Richard Sumner, a British artist suffering from schizophrenia, went into a remote section of Clocaenog Forest in Denbighshire, Wales, handcuffed himself to a tree and threw the keys out of his reach. His skeleton was discovered three years later. There were signs that he may have later changed his mind
• 2003: Brian Douglas Wells, an American pizza delivery man in Erie, Pennsylvania, was killed when a time bomb fastened around his neck exploded. At the time of his death he had been apprehended by the police for robbing a bank. Wells told police that three people had locked the bomb around his neck and would not remove it unless he committed the robbery
• 2003: Dr. Hitoshi Christopher Nikaidoh, a surgeon, was decapitated as he stepped into an elevator at Christus St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, Texas
• 2004: Phillip Quinn, a 24-year-old from Kent, Washington, was killed while heating up a lava lamp on his kitchen stove. The lamp exploded and a shard pierced his heart
• 2004: Ronald McClagish, from Murrow, Cambridgeshire in England, died after being trapped inside a cupboard for a week. A wardrobe outside had fallen over, trapping him
• 2004: An unidentified Taiwanese woman died of alcohol intoxication after immersion for twelve hours in a bathtub filled with 40% ethanol. Her blood alcohol content was 1.35%. It was believed that she had immersed herself as a response to the SARS epidemic
• 2004: Tracy J. Kraling, 31 was killed at Regions Hospital in Minnesota after entering a walk-in autoclave. The door closed while she was inside, and the machine automatically started, scalding her with 180°F water
• 2004: Francis "Franky" Brohm, 23, of Marietta, Georgia was leaning out of a car window and decapitated by a telephone pole support wire. The car's intoxicated driver, John Hutcherson, 21, drove nearly 12 miles to his home with the headless body in the passenger seat, parked the car in his driveway, then went to bed. A neighbour saw the bloody corpse still in the car and notified police. Brohm's head was later discovered at the accident scene
• 2005: Kenneth Pinyan from Seattle, Washington, died of acute peritonitis after receiving anal intercourse from a stallion
• 2005: Lee Seung Seop, a 28-year-old South Korean, collapsed of fatigue and died after playing the videogame “StarCraft” online for almost 50 consecutive hours
• 2006: Erika Tomanu, a seven-year-old girl in Saitama, Japan, died when she was sucked 10 metres down the intake pipe of a current pool at a water park
• 2006: Steve Irwin, an Australian television personality and naturalist known as the Crocodile Hunter, died when his heart was impaled by a short-tail stingray barb while filming a documentary in Queensland's Great Barrier Reef
• 2006: Alexander Litvinenko, a former officer of the Russian State security service, and later a Russian dissident and writer, died after being poisoned with polonium-210 causing acute radiation syndrome
• 2007: Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old woman from Sacramento, California, died of water intoxication while trying to win a Nintendo Wii console in a KDND radio station's "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest, which involved drinking large quantities of water without urinating
• 2007: Humberto Hernandez, a 24-year-old Oakland, California resident, was killed after being struck in the face by an airborne fire hydrant while walking. A passing car had struck the fire hydrant and the water pressure shot the hydrant at Hernandez with enough force to kill him
• 2007: Kevin Whitrick, a 42-year-old British man, committed suicide by hanging himself live in front of a webcam during an internet chat session
• 2007: Mike Coolbaugh, a 35-year-old former Major League Baseball player, was killed when he was struck in the head by a line drive while standing in the first base coach's box during a minor league game between the Tulsa Drillers and the Arkansas Travelers
• 2007: Surinder Singh Bajwa, the Deputy Mayor of Delhi, India, died after falling from his building's terrace while trying to fight off attacking monkeys
• 2008: Abigail Taylor, a 6-year-old from Edina, Minnesota, died nine months after several of her internal organs were partially sucked out of her lower body while she sat on an excessively powerful swimming pool drain. Surgeons had replaced her intestines and pancreas with donor organs, but she later succumbed to a rare transplant-related cancer
• 2008: Gerald Mellin, a U.K. businessman, committed suicide by tying one end of a rope around his neck and the other to a tree. He then got into his Aston Martin DB7 and drove down a main road in Swansea until the rope decapitated him
• 2008: David Phyall, 50, the last resident in a block of flats due to be demolished in Bishopstoke, near Southampton, cut off his own head with a chainsaw to highlight the injustice of being forced to move out
• 2008: James Mason, 73, of Middlefield, Ohio, died of heart failure after his wife exercised him to death in a public swimming pool. Christine Newton-John, 41, pulled Mason around the pool and prevented him from getting out of the water 43 times
• 2008: Isaiah Otieno, 23, a Kenyan student living in Cranbrook, British Columbia, was killed when a Bell 206 helicopter crashed on top of him as he walked along a residential street
• 2008: Nordin Montong, 32, a janitor at the Singapore Zoo, committed suicide by entering an enclosure containing white tigers and provoking them with brooms and a pail until they mauled him to death
• 2009: Jonathan Campos, an American sailor charged with murder, killed himself in his Camp Pendleton, San Diego, California, cell by stuffing toilet paper into his mouth until he asphyxiated
• 2009: Sergey Tuganov, a 28-year-old Russian, bet two women that he could continuously have sex with them both for twelve hours. Several minutes after winning the $4,300 bet, he suffered a fatal heart attack, apparently due to having ingested an entire bottle of Viagra just after accepting the bet
• 2009: Taylor Mitchell, a Canadian folk singer, was attacked and killed by two coyotes
• 2009: Vladimir Likhonos, a Ukrainian student, died after accidentally dipping a piece of homemade chewing gum into explosives he was using on another project. He mistook the jar of explosive for citric acid, which was also on his desk. The gum exploded, blowing off his jaw and most of the lower part of his face
• 2010: Jenny Mitchell, a 19-year-old English hairdresser, was killed when her car exploded after fumes, caused by chemicals mixing with hydrogen peroxide leaking from a bottle of hair bleach, ignited as she lit a cigarette
• 2010: Amy Rose Coxall, a 15-year-old British schoolgirl studying in Hong Kong, died of strangulation shortly after her scarf got caught in the wheel of a go-kart she was driving on a karting course
• 2010: Vladimir Ladyzhensky, a competitor from Russia, died in the World Sauna Championships in Finland, after he had spent six minutes in a sauna that had been heated up to 110°C
• 2010: Mike Edwards, 62, a musician and a founding member of rock group Electric Light Orchestra, was killed when a 600kg bale of hay rolled down a hill and landed on his passing van in Devon
• 2010: Jimi Heselden, owner of the Segway motorized scooter company, was killed when he accidentally drove off a cliff on a Segway at his estate near Boston Spa
• 2010: Robert Boardman, 63, was gored to death by a mountain goat at Olympic National Park
• 2010: Robert Gary Jones, 38, was killed while jogging on a beach in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina when he was hit from behind by a small plane making an emergency landing
• 2010: A 71-year-old man from Annerstad, Sweden died after a hunter fired a single shot that passed through an elk before hitting and killing him
• 2011: Jose Luis Ochoa, 35, died after being stabbed in the leg at a cockfight in Tulare County, California, by one of the birds that had a knife attached to its leg
• 2011: Arthur Sexton, 80, drowned after falling off a step ladder and landing upside down in a water butt containing only a couple of feet of water
• 2011: Acton Beale, 20, died after falling from a balcony in Brisbane, Australia, the only person known to have died while participating in a fad known as 'planking'
• 2011: A 25-year-old woman from Ottawa, Ontario and Steven Leon, 40, of Gatineau, Quebec, died after an airborne American black bear smashed through the windshield of their SUV near Luskville, Quebec. The bear had been hit by another vehicle, launching it into the oncoming lane where it landed on the SUV
• 2011: Sheila Decoster, 62, died from asphyxiation after falling head first into a recycling bin at her home in Toledo, Ohio
• 2011: Brian Depledge, 38, died from asphyxiation at his home in Bradford, England, after tripping and falling into a plastic clothes airer and trapping his neck in the rungs
• 2011: Ally McCrae, 23, died from a heart attack after being crushed by a cow carcass at an abattoir in Paisley, Scotland
• 2012: Erica Marshall, a 28 year old vet, was killed in an explosion at the Kentucky Equine Sports and Rehabilitation Center in Ocala, Florida. A horse she was treating, in a pressurised hyberbaric chamber kicked out, and its steel shoe created a spark that ignited the oxygen-rich atmosphere

... to which should be added the very sad story last March of Simon Burgess, 41, who died following a seizure in a 3 foot deep boating lake in Walpole Park, Gosport while no less than 25 members of the emergency services looked on, afraid to enter the water because they hadn't got the right certificate. Two fire engines, two ambulances and a helicopter were present. Members of the public, including members of the local model boat club who regularly wade in to rescue their boats, were prevented by police from saving him.
Very well done, all those involved. We hope you're proud of yourselves.


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