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    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Writing Realistic Crime Scenes: Death By Pepper Spray and...Cocaine?

    Happy Tuesday, D. D. Scott-ville!

    So I'm wayyy, wayyy deep into deadline week for my mid-May release THUG GUARD - Book One of my new, Cozy Cash Mysteries.

    And I needed to kill-off a couple suspects.

    Being as my heroine Zoey Witherspoon is a Stylist to The Stars, plus now a P.I. too, I had to find a fashion-world kinda way to do-in a couple bad guys.

    My research so far had involved all kinds of Miss Universe-style pageant sabotage stories like the one from 2007 when Miss Puerto Rico's gown and makeup were tampered with using a pepper-based itching powder.

    Which made me ponder...

    Can Pepper Spray kill?





    More research...

    And I found this fantabulous blog...

    The Writer's Forensics Blog by author and MD D.P. Lyle.

    Plus, I found the answers I needed.

    Pepper Spray can kill, if a person is on Cocaine at the same time.

    And here's the scoop, straight from Dr. Lyle's post "Cocaine and Pepper Spray: A Lethal Combination?":

    Pepper spray is a very painful product to have sprayed in your face. The reaction to this sudden pain and burning of the eyes and throat is a fight or flight response. Epinephrine is released by the adrenal glands in massive quantities and, in a situation where there is already cocaine in the system, it could easily cause dangerous arrhythmias, heart attacks, or strokes. The combination of cocaine and epinephrine is known to be potentially deadly.

    I would suspect that if this combination does indeed prove to be lethal that this is the mechanism by which it occurs. The danger is not from the cocaine and the pepper spray, at least not directly, but rather from the combination of cocaine and the epinephrine that is released due to the pain of the capsaicin. The devil is in the details.

    But from a practical point of view, dead is dead and the mechanism is more or less irrelevant. Very interesting and I hope there is further research in this arena.



    Sooo...there you have it. Pepper Spray can kill...if cocaine is already wreaking havoc on the body's systems.

    I won't make this anymore of a Spoiler Alert for THUG GUARD...but I can tell you, Zoey and Dr. Lyle are gonna be teamin' up for lots of cool "killing" facts on the pages of my new Cozy Cash Mysteries.

    You'll see how this little bit plays out in THUG GUARD, which releases on or around May 16th!!!

    The Best of Crime Scene Writing Wishes --- D. D. Scott

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    2 Comments:
    Blogger jaw said...

    Well, D.D., that is some interesting news, as I've never heard of that before! However, I'm not interested in "doing anyone in" through my writing (or other wise), so never really thought about it!!! One never knows what he/she might learn on your blog!

    April 19, 2011 at 2:10 PM  
    Blogger Jennifer Starks said...

    I love it! I actually own a purple tube of pepper spray and as sick as it sounds I'm DYING to spray somebody with it. (I blame it on the writer in me...) You blog was interesting and informative. I'm totally going to tell my husband about it when he gets home this weekend.

    April 20, 2011 at 6:43 AM  

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