Thursday, November 23, 2006

Alexander Litvinenko, and other poisonings

Alexander Litvinenko, an ex-KGB agent and a critic of Putin regime died on November 23rd. Litvinenko suffered a sudden illness after eating at a Sushi restaurant in London. Wikipedia writes: "On 1 November 2006, Litvinenko fell suddenly ill while investigating the death of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. He had had lunch at Itsu, a sushi restaurant on Piccadilly, with an Italian acquaintance, Mario Scaramella, to whom he made the allegations regarding Prodi.[6] Scaramella, attached to the Mitrokhin Commission investigating KGB penetration of Italian politics, claimed to have information on the murder of Politkovskaya, 48, the journalist who was killed at her Moscow apartment in October 2006. He passed Litvinenko papers on the Russian journalist's fate. On 20 November, it was reported that Scaramella had gone into hiding and was in fear for his life. [...] Scotland Yard is investigating claims that Litvinenko was poisoned by thallium. ".

If Litvinenko was poisoned, it wouldn't be the first time, as Google Answers Researchers reveal. Take, for example, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho). According to a compilation of religious leaders with heart diseases (by Tutuzdad), "the Bhagwan claimed that his heart damaged was caused four years prior to his death by thallium poisoning in a failed assassination attempt by the CIA." Yes, the same thallium.

In 1978, Gregori Markov, an opponent of the Bulgarian regime, was poisoned in London by the Bulgarian Secret Service, which used an umbrella laced with ricin to insert the poison into his body. Tehuti writes about this (and other 1978 events) in her answer. The same London, playground for secret assassins.

Another person "starring" in British shadowy history is Hildegard Pongracz. No, I won't spoil your reading of answerfinder's detective work. I'll just say that this is another case of a mysterious person, although in her case, she probably caused her own death from poisoning.

Poisoning is very popular in politically motivated murder, all over the world - in the past (see the Han Feizi case) and in the present. Not only in the UK, but also in China (Feizi), the United States (according to the Bhagwan conspiracy believers), and of course, the (former) East Bloc. We cannot finish this review of answers, without discussing the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko - to which Crabcakes provides a medical explanation (Dioxin is also known as "Agent Orange" and therefore is one of those poisons appearing quite frequently on GA questions).

Many more scary poisonings out there, as an answer by Richard-ga reveals:
"I have read several fiction books where a character is killed using an
'untraceable' poison. I was wondering if an untraceable poison exists
and if so how does it work, as after a person dies the poison could
not be processed by the body any further and therefore should still
remain in the body. "

And Richard answers:
"Apparently there was a conspiracy to assassinate Fidel Castro using
one such poison, botulinum toxin. [...] biotoxin ricin, which is made from the castor bean plant (the same plant which we get castor oil from). This poison is purportedly being made by Iraq and other terrorist nations and is supposedly
untraceable."

Well, the problem is, that reality surpasses every fiction...

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