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How do you deliver enough glycoside to kill a man?

How do you deliver it?

How much is enough?

These are the questions a poisoner must ask himself, if he is to be successful.

Would a teaspoon be enough?

By a bottle and ask the pharmacist.

Would you cut open a pasty and pour it in, or drizzle through a hole in the crust?

Would he see it, taste it?

Or would you pour it into his coffee?



black please.



22 Comments Post a comment
  1. Maybe a few little scratches to the knuckles?

    July 1, 2016
  2. I don’t see the situation where a man could do that to another man without copping a fair amount of resistance.

    July 1, 2016
  3. True, but there are ways:

    July 1, 2016
  4. Where was Polyakov arrested?

    …. found this

    Among the dozens of agents Mr. Ames betrayed was one of the C.I.A.’s most valuable ever, Gen. Dmitri F. Polyakov of Soviet military intelligence, who worked for the United States out of ideological sympathy and never accepted payment. Polyakov was arrested, brutally interrogated over a period of years and executed in 1988. And so, at the end of the cold war — just as the Communist empire was crumbling — we had no secret agents in Moscow.

    July 1, 2016
  5. ellen #

    Whatever happened to the syringe found at the scene?

    July 2, 2016
  6. There was no syringe found at the scene …. according to the police report. There was mention of a syringe found on the beach in a comment on The Smithsonian. Somewhere.

    July 2, 2016
  7. Gordon, that would be a lot of men to deploy in Adelaide, and if it were fewer, would the graze have been more likely to have come from a punch?

    July 2, 2016
  8. Clive #

    Pete, A dumb question, again! But, would the poison “work” if it had been painted onto the grazed knuckles?

    July 2, 2016
  9. ellen #

    If the poison were on the poisoner’s knuckles, wouldn’t the poisoner be taking a big chance that he would be poisoned too; since in combat his skin could be broken too?

    July 3, 2016
  10. B Deveson #

    Leane mentioned finding a syringe 100 yards (from memory) from where SM was found. Leane talking in the 1978 TV doco.

    July 3, 2016
  11. B Deveson #

    DA has said that Jessie had a life-long interest in pharmacology. She was working as a nurse at the time of SM’s death. Jessie’s uncle was at times a pharmacist, a pharmacologist, a court expert witness and official analyst for toxic drugs, and a pharmaceutical manufacturer. What are the odds that there isn’t a connection with SM’s poisoning?

    July 3, 2016
  12. Pete. From what I understand its a 3 person job to contain someone this way. As far as using the grazed skin area to administer poison, think in terms of how a TB or smallpox test was given. Scratch, apply solution then wipe.
    I am leaning towards SM being an Mi 5 or a turned agent. The somewhat tenuous clue being the tie he was wearing.

    July 3, 2016
  13. Meant to add this link:

    The story line refers to the Powers U2 incident and poison but I am fairly certain powers did not have such a pin.

    July 3, 2016
  14. Byron, what state was the uncle working in?

    July 3, 2016
  15. Gordon … applying poison to an extremity – in this case his knuckles – puts a lot of faith in the circulation system to achieve a quick, fatal result.

    July 3, 2016
  16. Pete, If the circumstances were high stress, as in the man being held captive and perhaps being man-handled, then it would be reasonable to expect the rapid absorption of any poison that may have been administered by someone experienced in medical procedures, a nurse for example.

    You could imagine a circumstance whereby the act was progressive, scratch one, kept quiet, scratch 2, still not talking, scratch 3 and the poison is building up but sill no response until someone says ‘we can stop this now and reverse it if you’ll tell us what we want to know’. He tells them and they, in turn, tell him they’ll leave him on the beach to recover. Sadly,having dropped him at the beach, they give him one last scratch.

    This is more your area of skill than mine!

    July 3, 2016
    • It would be easier to force open his mouth and pour the poison down his throat. Maybe that’s where he lost his teeth, and hat.

      July 3, 2016
  17. B Deveson #

    Pete, Queensland (Proserpine) in the 1920s, Newcastle NSW 1930s-40s, the Sydney 1940s-60s.
    John Moir Harkness born 1886 England. Died 11th December 1967 St Leonards, NSW.

    Proserpine, Queensland: Pharmacist, expert witness and court chemical analyst.
    Townsville Daily Bulletin 14th July 1927 page 9.
    “… Mr J. M. Harkness, of Proserpine, so that he might make an analysis.”

    Electoral Roll NSW 1949 Warringah, Mossman. John Moir-Harkness 6 Bay street, Pharmacologist. (note: He had adopted the surname Moir-Harkness).

    From memory he was a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Newcastle NSW sometime in the late 1930s.

    July 3, 2016
    • Thanks BD, another connection is PT’s distressing hemoptysis, a condition (according to Dr Google) that can be treated with glycoside.

      July 3, 2016
  18. ellen #

    Then there is always the blow dart….. 😉

    July 4, 2016
  19. ellen #

    Perhaps, SM had a precondition such as diabetes and was taking insulin and digitalis. The insulin balances the digitalis but he has a flare up and doesn’t take enough and the digitalis becomes toxic. It is an accidental death but the intelligence agents want to make use of him. They prop him up on the beach with attendant clues after finding him supine. His stomach showed a lot of erosion. He was a sick man but his clothing indicates someone who took care of himself.

    July 9, 2016

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