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The Cause of Death

A NZ Pathologist

Cynric Temple-Camp

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A woman had been stripped and beaten to death in a paddock close to the control tower of the PN airport. Police found her stripped to her underpants and hung up on the barbed wire fence. The body covered in bruises, abrasions and blood - the picture of a brutal murder. They found her clothes strewn right across to the other side of the field. The post mortem showed what looked like a frenzied beating - multiple fractures on both sides of the chest, and the strenum was fractured right through, an injury usually only seen in high speed car accidents where driver not wearing a seatbelt, and the steering wheel crushes the chest.

But it turned out to be a bull. The woman's farmer husband said his wife reckoned that if a bull started to chase you, you just had to take off something and throw it on the ground in front of him. And while he's distracted you can get away.

Academic had heard that Vit C was a good antioxidant, so took industrial quantities of it. But in large doses it's toxic, as it causes oxalic crystals to precipitate out, and they set in the kidneys like concrete.

A body in a car. Guy was a drinker and had left a bar with bottle of spirits. Found next morning in a smoky car. Upper body burnt to a cinder, but hands and legs untouched. Concluded that the guy had gone to sleep after lighting a cigarette, and had spilled enough spirits on clothes to start a fire. The burning clothing melts subcutenous fat which then acts like a tallow candle, burning every fatty part of the body.

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