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Every episode presents three of the strangest deaths history has ever recorded - and the science that explains them. From the bible salesman who is struck by lightning under a cloudless sky to the pet lover who falls into a cat dish with less than three-inches of water, from a brick -layer who is provoked to laugh for 25 minutes straight to a French tailor wh o tests an experimental glider off the Eiffel Tower and a couple who endure 86 hours of holding each other close - all with fatal results.
|S01E01||At Work||31/10/2009||Struck Down: On what appeared to be a clear day in Southern Florida, Mateo Ortiz Ayala set out to sell his bibles door to door. Marian was suddenly struck by a bolt of dry lightning, seemingly from nowhere. Manhattan Mistake: In 1945 scientist Harry K. Daghlain was working on the Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bomb. During one of his experiments Daghlain accidentally dropped a brick of tungsten carbide onto a sphere of plutonium. The two struck one another producing a nuclear reaction resulting in the first ever “criticality” death. Falling Lawyer: In July of 1993 Canadian senior lawyer, Garry Hoy, ran into a tempered glass window on the 24th floor of the Toronto Dominion Tower. He did this to prove it was “unbreakable”. Unfortunately he crashed through it, falling to his death in front of a room full of interns.|
|S01E02||At Home||07/11/2009||Cat Dish Drowning: In 2003 New Zealander Peter John Robinson slipped outside his home, lost his balance and tumbled into a cat dish, where he drowned in 4cm of water. Lava Lamp Explosion: In 1998 Phillip Quinn attempted to make his lava lamp more efficient by heating it on the stove. This put the contents of the lamp under intense pressure thereby creating a bomb that eventually exploded and killed him. Laughing Himself To Death: In 1975 Richard Mitchell sat down for an evening with his favourite comedy series, “The Goodies”. One sketch made him laugh for over 25 minutes continuously, eventually stopping his heart and killing him.|
|S01E03||In a Contest||14/11/2009||Holding It In: Californian 28 year old Jennifer Strange entered a radio station contest to see who could drink the most water without peeing. The prize - a Wii console. Within 24 hours she died of water intoxication. Spitting Contest: Standing on the 11th floor balcony of his apartment, Ameer Jinah, an engineering student from Ottawa, calculated he would need a running start to win a spitting contest. He underestimated his momentum, flew over the balcony and died. Dancing Death: In 1923 Homer Morehouse participated in a popular dance marathon. After enduring 87 hours on his feet, Morehouse collapsed and died, placing him fifth in the contest.|
|S01E04||From the Deep||21/11/2009||Poison Pill: Bando Mitsugorio was one of Japan's most revered Kabuki actors from the 1930s until his death in January 1975. However, for all his fame during his life, Bando is probably best-known for his legendary death. At age 68, he visited a Kyoto restaurant with friends and ordered four livers of the fugu fish, which is widely-known to be extremely toxic. Claiming that he could survive their poisons, he ate the livers and, after seven hours, died of paralysis and convulsions. Sting Judy: In the Florida Keys, giant eagle stingray flew 6 ft. out of the water and landed on the face of a female sailor, killing her instantly. However, it was not the poisonous sting that took her life, but in fact the blunt force trauma of the eagly ray's hit. Over a Barrel: In 1920, 58 yr old part time daredevil, Charles Stephens, constructed what he believed was a foolproof vessel to carry him over Niagara Falls. He accounted for buoyancy, oxygen and impact, and made it safely over the falls. However, Stephens was remiss in devising his exit strategy and drowned inside the barrel.|
|S01E05||Against the Clock||28/11/2009||Tennessee Time Bomb: In 1905, Jack Daniels, the founder of a Tennessee whiskey distillery, was trying desperately to remember the combination to his office safe. Daniels became increasingly frustrated over the morning and eventually kicked the iron safe. This led to an injured left toe, causing an infection, which in turn resulted in gangrene and then six years later perotinitis, (blood poisoning) which he eventually died from. On 10 October 1911 this incident was a subject of a marketing poster with the line "Moral: Never go to work early." 50 Hours To Die: In 2005, Lee Seung Seop, a 28 year old South Korean, achieved global notoriety when he visited a nearby internet cafe and proceeded to play StarCraft for almost fifty consecutive hours. Ultimately, from both exhaustion and dehydration he induced heart failure and went into cardiac arrest. He died shortly thereafter at a local hospital. A friend commented: "He was a game addict. We all knew about it. He couldn't stop himself." Frozen Fall from Jet: In 1993 two men in red coats dropped from the undercarriage of an Air France Boeing 777 as the plane approached Shanghai airport after a flight from Paris. One of the men smashed through the roof of a house, leaving a large gash in the ceiling. The two, described as Caucasians in their 30s, had apparently suffered from frostbite, leading investigators to the conclusion that they were airplane stowaways.|
|S01E06||By Their Own Invention||05/12/2009||The Flying Tailor: On 4 February 1912, Franz Reichelt tested a prototype of a potentially revolutionary invention - his combination overcoat/parachute. He decided to try it out from the Eiffel tower and plunged to his death. The Glowing Scientist: In 1903 Marie Curie pioneered the discovery of radioactivity and even coined the term. She went on to discover Polonium and Radium and became the first person to win the Nobel Prize twice. However, after experimenting with radium for over three decades, Currie succumbed to its devastating effects - radiation poisoning - in 1934. Hoarding To Death: Homer Lusk Collyer and Langley Collyer were two American brothers who had became famous because of their compulsive hoarding. Langley had built intricate booby traps and tunnels around their home in Harlem, New York, to keep invaders from stealing the 100 tonnes plus of rubbish they had amassed over several decades. 1947 both were found dead in their brownstone under the thousands of items they were attempting to protect.|
|S02E01||Death By Sport||00/00/0000||Ray Chapman faced pitcher Carl Mays, whose unique submarine delivery combined with a scuff-ball, created a ball whose path was impossible to predict. Chapman didn’t even duck as the ball struck him on the head... “Tide Up, Pinned Down”: An angler spent the day fishing without a single bite. He decided to catch a quick nap underneath his truck before fishing into the night... “Game, Set, Death!”: Tennis superstar Vitas Gerulaitis had spent the day giving tips to corporate donors. He’d decided to take a nap in the pool house where he was staying...|
|S02E02||Death By Security Measures||00/00/0000||“Garden of Death”: When neighborhood dogs threatened a gardener’s plants, he decided to build an electric fence. Unfortunately, he forgot to include an energiser, a unit which makes flow of electricity intermittent. So when the gardner accidentally grabbed hold of his fence, the constant current made his muscles unable to let go and the constant voltage killed him. “Homeowner With A Shotgun”: A retired engineer sought to keep his house safe by creating 19 booby traps on all three stories of his house, all of which were connected to shotguns. Unfortunately, 19 proved too many to keep track of. He literally triggered his own death by tripping one hidden in his crockery dish. “Unlocking Death”: A saleswoman on the road returns to her hotel after a long day. Wet from rain, she slid her passkey through the door’s electronic entry system and collapsed to the floor. A faulty wire leading to an air conditioner had made contact with the metal door, electrifying it and unlocking her death.|
|S02E03||Death By Handiwork||00/00/0000||“Overheated”: A retired teacher was such a do-it-yourself kind of guy that he made his own sauna. It worked well, heating the inside to over 80 C, but when the door handle broke off, both he and his wife where trapped inside. The elevated temperatures also elevated his heart heat, causing him to experience terminal cardiac arrest. “Electric Justice”: In the early 1900s, Charles Justice was jailed for attempted murder in the Ohio Penitentiary. As he served his sentence he also served as custodian for the death chamber, where he made an innovation to their electric chair, replacing the leather straps with metal clasps. Eleven years later, Justice was convicted of murder and died in that very same chair. “Microwaved!”: An amateur repairman tried to fix his own microwave. Although he took the precaution of unplugging it first, he was not aware that the machine’s capacitor continued to hold a charge even after it was unplugged. When his metal screwdriver touched the capacitor, approximately 2000 volts went through him and stopped his heart.|
|S02E04||Deaths In New York||00/00/0000||“New York Sucks”: Three New York City workers were assigned the task of clearing debris from a 50 cm drainpipe in a reservoir. One of the workers stood in the three-foot deep water and steadied their boat, while another used a pole to unblock the drain. But clearing the blockage created a vortex that sucked a city worker 200 feet down the pipe, to his death. “Steamed in New York”: Thinking she was perfectly safe, a young woman took a mid-afternoon nap in her third-story apartment. Outside her window, workers struggled to fix a leak in the kilometres of steam pipes buried beneath New York City. But a worker’s oversight created a steam explosion that threw mud and boulders 18 stories into the air and through the young woman’s bedroom window. “The Electric Dog Walker”: A graduate student walked her dogs down a New York Street. Slush and snow covered the lid of a utility box buried in the street, which faulty wiring had electrified. Her dogs stepped on it and as the graduate student rushed to help, she also received a constant shot of 57 volts, which killed her.|
|S02E05||Rich and Famous Deaths||00/00/0000||“As the Crow Flies”: On the set of The Crow, martial arts master Brandon Lee was filming his first starring role. But a real gun, loaded with blanks, also stored a deadly obstruction in its barrel. When ‘action’ was called, the gun was fired and the camera captured the real death of Brandon Lee. “Ra, Ra, Rasputin”: Rasputin, a self-proclaimed mystic with strong ties to the Russian royal family, proved surprisingly hard to kill. His enemies first fed him potassium cyanide, to little effect. He was then shot, but was later found crawling through a courtyard, where he was shot again and then bludgeoned to death. “The Leaping Dancer”: Isadora Duncan, known as the queen of modern dance, was riding in a sports car. She wore a long silk scarf, which was her trademark. Unfortunately, her choice of fashion would prove fatal when the scarf got caught in the open spokes of the car’s wheels and strangled her.|
|S02E06||Death Under Pressure||00/00/0000||“In Hot Water”: A high school student attended an alcohol-free after-prom party where students hit the hot tub, not the bottle. When the jets were turned on, she was sucked to the bottom, where an improperly installed grate created so much suction that her friends couldn’t free her before she drowned. “Massive Decompression”: Underwater welders inside a diving bell were being winched to the surface. But a simple mistake as the diving bell was being connected to a decompression chamber led to explosive decompression, killing everyone inside. “Sneeze of Death!”: A senior citizen, under medical supervision in his nursing home, sneezed so violently that he tore the membrane surrounding his brain. While this isn’t usually a life-threatening occurrence, his heart medication prevented his blood from clotting and he died from internal bleeding.|
|S02E07||Death From Innocent Pastimes||00/00/0000||“Killer Bubble Gum”: A student chewed gum to increase his concentration. To add to his pleasure he kept a bag of citric acid on his desk. Unfortunately, his desk also held a bag of potassium chlorate used in fireworks. When he mistakenly dunked his gum in the wrong bag, his next chew was his last. “Return of the Pox”: A medical photographer developed photos in her lab. Just one floor below, researchers were experimenting with the deadly Smallpox virus. Unknowingly, the virus escapes into the building’s air vents and the photographer developed the perfect picture of death as well as the last death from Smallpox in the world. “Prawn Trawler Electrocution”: A greenhorn fisherman waiting out a storm at sea is playing video games in the ship’s quarters. But when a freak rogue wave crashed through the window and down to his cabin below, a faulty wire sends a shock of 240 volts through him, it was game over|
|S02E08||Death By Remedy||00/00/0000||“Carrot Juice Overload”: A health enthusiast believed the path to good health was paved with Vitamin A. So much so, that he daily drank 5 litres of carrot juice and took 21 times the recommended daily dose of Vitamin A tablets. The resulting overdose overloaded his body and he died of acute liver damage. “Trapped!”: A man cleaning out his closet took an awkward tumble, which caused an upright wardrobe to fall, trapping him inside. Hoping to gain freedom, he tore a pipe from the wall, which caused water to gush. Seven days later he was found dead from a severe bronchial infection. “Tanned Alive!”: A woman suffering from a skin rash went to her doctor, who prescribed the drug Psoralen and UV radiation. The pills she got from the pharmacist and the UV light she got from a tanning booth. But a pre-existing ultra-sensitivity to light caused third degree burns from a single tanning session and she died in hospital.|
|S02E09||Death By the Great Outdoors||00/00/0000||“Hole in One”: A golfer, having a great game, blew it all by hitting a ball of the course. Taking his rage out on his clubs, he smashed his driver against a bench. But the shaft shattered and pierced his heart, leading to a sub-par day. “Killer Kite”: A sportsman built a kite with a surface area of 14,000 sq. feet, the size of a football field. With a single gust of wind, he entered the Guinness Book of World Records. But one mistake left him entangled in one of the bridal lines and he’s pulled not to fame and fortune, but a curious and unusual death. “Copperhead Kills!”: Campers planned the perfect trip. They entered the woods carrying not only their equipment, but also a barrel of beer. Unfortunately, a Copperhead snake decided that the barrel would make a good burrow and the results were not only intoxicating, but deadly.|
|S02E10||Trapped By Death||00/00/0000||“Buried Alive!”: When a student went for a long-pass during a day at the beach, he fell into a 2-metre deep hole, previously dug and abandoned. Friends rushed to his aid, but the vibrations of their steps only caused the further collapse of the sand hole. Buried beneath the sand, he suffocated. “Caved In!”: A caver is squeezed into a tiny finger deep inside an underground cave. A protruding rock acted like fish hook, allowing him to go in but not out and he was stuck, hanging upside down. A rescue team mounted a 28-hour effort, but was unable to free him before he succumbed to internal injuries. “Moscow, We Have a Problem …”: A Soviet cosmonaut is confined in a pressure chamber. Near the end of a ten-day training exercise, he carelessly causes a fire. But because the room is saturated with oxygen, help is unable to reach him before his burns become lethal.|
|S02E11||Death By Routine Maintenance||00/00/0000||“Caught in a Line!”: Closing time at a downtown car wash and an employee’s last task was to power-wash the interior. But he completed this task while the scrubbers are still traveling at 100 RPMs. When the hose of his power-washer got caught in the still spinning scrubbers, he was pulled into the machinery, where blunt force trauma resulted in death. “The Smell of Death”: A wild party left a theatre director with oil paint stains on her carpet. Professional cleaners removed the paint using the chemical tetrachloride. Although the carpet felt dry, microscopic amounts of the chemical were trapped in the fibers. She fell asleep as the chemical off-gassed, filling the room with toxic fumes which killed her. “Love Stinks”: Newly-weds spent their honeymoon at a motel in Rotorua, New Zealand, attracted to the region’s mud pools and hot springs. Unfortunately, the combination of naturally occurring hydrogen sulfide gas in the groundwater and an improperly installed heat-exchanger filled their room with poison gas and death did them part.|
|S02E12||Didn't See Death Coming||00/00/0000||“Collapse”: A couple were celebrating their wedding anniversary in an upscale restaurant. They chose to sit in the atrium, unaware that 18 stories above them, a 320 KG decorative concrete slab on the outside of the building was loose. Bad timing and faulty installation combined when the slab fell and crashed through the glass ceiling, injuring the husband and killing his wife. “Wrestling Demons”: An amateur wrestler has a chance to make his university’s NCAA wrestling team when a spot opens up in a lower weight class. The only problem – he has to drop 19 pounds in three days. Through a regimen that includes working out in a rubber suit inside a sauna, he drops the pounds but loses his life to massive dehydration in the process. “Pressure Cooked”: A homemaker decided to preserve some beets and to save time she boiled them in a pressure cooker. Unfortunately, the model she used was old and worn. When the pressure valve stuck, steam built up inside the stovetop unit and the resulting explosion killed her.|
|S02E13||Death By Home Hardware||00/00/0000||“Death, Calling …”: A military cadet, visiting his grandmother, answered the phone. At the same moment, a thunderstorm passed overhead and lightning struck a metal plumbing vent. Every electrical line in the house was charged, including the phone line and it wasn’t the line that went dead, but the cadet. “The Maltese Butterfly”: A farmer was harvesting his potatoes and pulled an odd-looking, iron canister from the dirt. Being a frugal man, he turned it into a sledgehammer. But he didn’t realize that the device was actually a German butterfly bomb and it exploded the first time he used it. “Exploding Laptop”: A man left his laptop on a couch. But the Lithium ion batteries malfunction and the couch is set on fire. The flames spread quickly and he is unable to escape|