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Did This Woman Die From Human Combustion?

What happened to Mary Reeser on July 2, 1951?

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On July 2, 1951, Mary Reeser was found dead in her apartment. After an investigation, police concluded that her death was caused by falling asleep while smoking. While that conclusion may seem plausible, there were some bizarre factors about her death that led to other theories:

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The night of her death, Mary's son, Dr. Richard Reeser, visited her. She told him that she had taken two Seconal tablets and was planning on taking two more before bed.

The next morning, Mary's landlord reported smelling smoke in the hallway at 5 A.M. It wasn't until 8 A.M. that she discovered soot in the hallway that led to Mary's apartment. When Reeser's landlord went to touch her door handle, she reported that it was too hot, and asked nearby house painters to help her open it. When they finally got the door open, they discovered the cremated remains of Reeser’s body.

There are a few factors that make this case bizarre:

According to a cremation expert, Reeser's body would've had to burn at 3,000 degrees fahrenheit for up to four hours and there would have been house damage. However, Reeser’s surrounding area were unaffected by the fire.

Another bizarre fact was that Reeser's skull had shrunk. Dr. Krogman, a Professor of Physical Anthropology, stated that when someone dies in a fire normally the skull becomes swollen or explodes.

But here are some alternate theories on how she died:

Another theory was that the fire was started purposefully. Some suggested that it was caused by thermite bombs, kerosene, etc. But according to the coroner those would have left a distinct odor which was not detected.

Before we get into various cases of people dying from human combustion, here are three theories on what can cause it:

Theory 2: Biologist, Brian J. Ford stated in New Scientist Magazine that things like change of diet and diabetes can create cells to be vulnerable causing them to ignite.

Now, let's get into cases where people have reportedly died from human combustion:

But despite various theories of Mary Reeser’s tragic death, it will remain unsolved.

  1. How do you think Mary Reeser died?

Did This Woman Die From Human Combustion?

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