22 Of The Most Bizarre Deaths That Professionals Who Work With Dead Bodies Have Seen
"Apparently he was a wannabe Houdini who wanted to practice 'escaping.' He wasn't a very good Houdini."
Trigger warning: suicide, extreme violence.
We've come a long way since the time of medieval torture devices, but bizarre deaths still happen.
1. "A woman was found dead in a pasture, trampled by a bull. Well, if you underestimate cattle, that can happen. But she was the farmer's wife, so she knew the animal was aggressive, and everyone else in the village knew that too."
"The neighbors also said he was never kept in that pasture because you couldn't see all of it at once.
"Yep, the farmer murdered his wife with a bull as the weapon. Put him in the pasture without her knowing, then sent her out there for some errand."
2. "My friend is a pathologist and couldn't work out why a 40-year-old male had died. Finally dissected the trachea and found he'd inhaled an entire frankfurter! He was alone in the house at the time of death."
3. "We had a guy who died from multiple stab wounds to the chest, which isn't all that weird, except the wounds were all oddly shaped. It turned out that the guy had recently divorced his wife because she developed a massive meth addiction, and had moved out because she was psychotic. But she found out where he lived, broke in, and stabbed him to death in his sleep. The guy was an avid collector of weird, goofy fantasy knives, one of which was used in his murder. His ex-wife decided to keep the knife afterward and was arrested when the knife and his blood were found in her kitchen sink."
4. "I sometimes have to receive bodies late at night that the police bring in. The weirdest one I have had was a guy who was living in his ex-wife's garage without her knowledge. She never went in there, except for when a scrap metal merchant knocked on her door asking if she had anything for him."
"She suggested they try the garage, where they discovered a rank smell and a decomposing corpse wrapped in blankets. She was initially a suspect, but it turns out that he had been suffering from cancer and had died of cancer while wrapped in the sheets."
5. "Had a sad one where a guy tried to hang himself from the third-floor balcony. The rope broke and he fell and impaled himself on fence spikes. A lady walking her dog hours later thought he was a gruesome Halloween decoration until she noticed leakage from the poor guy. Security camera footage from across the street showed he was alive for a while before he bled out."
6. "This guy was alive when he came in, though he died later. He came into hospital with no legs below the knee and the top of his head missing. Turned out he was on his way home, drunk from the pub, and fell asleep on some train tracks while taking a shortcut."
"The train cut off his legs, then spun him around and cut off the top of his head. He died while in hospital, but he lived for a bit, which is amazing. The paramedics brought his legs into the hospital in a plastic bucket."
7. "We had a family friend who was an alcoholic who blacked out and died of asphyxiation. Official cause of death was that ‘unconsciousness forced victim into a position incompatible with life.’ When clarification was sought, they said she passed out and fell into a position that prevented her from breathing. I did not know that was possible."
8. "Mortician here. A lady fell off the back of a piece of farm equipment that her boyfriend was driving back to the barn. I don't remember what it was called, but it had a rotary wheel with sharp implements on it. It's worth noting they were both drunk. She fell off and was cut into pieces. She was delivered to my funeral home in bags. Her official cause of death was 'death by farming equipment mishap.'"
9. "My gram just died because she was on blood thinners and couldn't stop a bleed in her leg. Stubborn old woman hated bothering people for help; she was surrounded by phones and refused to call for help. She just tried to patch it up with Band-Aids and towels; left a mess so bad, the cops assumed foul play at first."
10. "I'm a first responder. I've been to multiple suicides where the person had to shoot themselves more than once in the head. One guy was still alive for about 15 minutes after we got there, but there was no saving him."
11. "I knew a nurse who told me a story about a guy who tried to hang himself from a tree with a belt. It snapped. They think this was the point at which he compressed his spine while falling to the ground. He still managed to climb back up the tree. Tried again with the same belt. It snapped again. Some time afterward, he was found and transported to hospital. Still alive. Now a few inches shorter than he was before the incident."
"They put him in a halo in hospital because he had fractured his skull. He constantly tried to use this to kill himself, so he was strapped down. Somehow he managed to get free of his restraints and drag himself to a window. He opened the window and jumped.
"From the third floor. He hit a window-mounted AC unit on the way down. The guy fucking survived. I dunno what happened to him after this incident, but this story still gets to me."
13. "I transcribed police reports and remember one call that was pretty terrible. A husband and wife were in a hot tub. It was a smaller one. The man must have gotten out, and then, when he tried to get back in, he fell headfirst on top of her. His weight pushed her down, so the water covered her nose and mouth. He must have been too heavy for her to lift up. A neighbor saw his feet sticking in the air and called the police. They both drowned."
14. "I saw a guy who got so high, he decided to go into the freezer and start eating a bunch of frozen raw chicken. Ended up dying after choking on it."
15. "My great-great-grandmother died after being cut nearly in half by a lumber saw in the 1930s. She was wearing a scarf or something when she took her son (my great-grandfather) some lunch, and her scarf became caught on the saw and pulled her down."
"They turned off the saw quickly enough, and she lived for a while afterward ('a while' here meaning hours or days, I can't recall, but less than a week). My understanding is she walked to the car that drove her to the hospital, but there was obviously nothing they could do for her."
16. "I work in forensics from an engineering and product design aspect. A man was using a large handheld wet saw (imagine an oversize circular saw) to cut a 3-foot-diameter concrete sewer pipe that was suspended using two sawhorses. When he finished the cut, the pipe fell and pinched the saw blade between the two pieces, causing the saw to flip around quickly and sever off his head."
17. "Not in forensics, but in health care. Watched a dissection early in my training for an older individual who had died somewhat unexpectedly. Once they made the initial opening into the body, it was pretty clear what the cause of death was. Spontaneous rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The person essentially bled out into their abdomen, so it was basically a massive pool of semi-coagulated blood. Generally understood to be a pretty quick death."
18. "I have a book by Australian coroner Derrick Hand, which covers many famous and well-known cases. But there were some incidental weird ones in there as well, such as this: 'A man found with his hands and feet bound in the river. Suicide? Execution style murder? Nope, apparently he was a wannabe Houdini who wanted to practice "escaping." He wasn't a very good Houdini.'"
19. "I'm a forensic toxicologist. I usually don't work with dead bodies directly (crime scenes excepting), but I do test blood, urine, etc., for alcohol and other drugs. When we get the blood of someone who is dead, the case file will often list a brief cause of death. I have a few 'favorites,' including one in which a man got very drunk, somehow managed to get his four-wheeler onto his roof, and then proceeded to launch himself off. Darwin took over after that."
20. "I'm an autopsy doctor, and early in my training, one of the cases was a young person, found dead at an airport gate. Yup, drugs stuffed up the butt that must have ruptured. Apparently, it's not uncommon. It's one of the things to look for in unexpected travel deaths."
21. "EMT here. A college girl wasn't wearing her seatbelt when she hit a tree head-on. Her face made a perfect impression on the windshield, exactly like those pin toys you can stick your hands or face in. It was creepy looking how the rest of the windshield was perfectly intact, but the portion where she hit it was sticking out and showed her last moment of life."
22. "Paramedic here. One time, a guy climbed into a recycling clothes bin to retrieve warm jackets in the winter, and it had one of those barrel-type drawers. He got stuck by his head on the way out and was strangled. Weirdest thing was walking up to him across a supermarket car park, and he was just looking up at the sky but with a frost-covered face."
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.