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Unusual Deaths - 20th and 21st Century

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These unusual deaths have all been verified from at least three different sources. Some of the sources used were:

22 facts:

Alexander Litvinenko
   died from   
Polonium-210-induced Acute Radiation Syndrome
Litvinenko was a former officer of the Russian State security service. He died three weeks after being exposed to polonium-210 in a London sushi restaurant.
Alan Turing
   died from   
Poisoning from a Cyanide-contaminated Apple
Turing is often considered to be the father of modern computer science. An inquest concluded that it was self-administered but his mother always maintained that it was an accident.
Bandō Mitsugorō VIII
   died from   
Poisoning from Fugu (pufferfish) Liver
The liver is extremely poisonous, but Mitsugorō, a revered kabuki actor, claimed to be immune to the poison and consumed four livers. The fugu chef lost his license as a result.
Boris Sagal
   died from   
Decapitation by a Helicopter Blade
A motion picture-director. He died while shooting the TV miniseries 'World War III' when he walked into the tail-rotor blade of a helicopter.
Brittanie Cecil
   died from   
Being Struck in the Head by a Hockey Puck
A 13 year old hockey fan was struck while watching a game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Calgary Flames at Nationwide Arena.
Franz Reichelt
   died from   
Falling off the First Deck of the Eiffel Tower
In 1912 while testing a parachute coat he had invented.
Georgi Markov
   died from   
Poisoning from a Pellet Fired from an Umbrella
Markov was a Bulgarian dissident. An unknown assailant jabbed him in the calf with a specially modified umbrella that fired a metal pellet with a small cavity full of ricin poison.
Grigori Rasputin
   died from   
Drowning After Being Poisoned and Shot
Known as the Mad Monk, Rasputin, was a peasant & mystic healer at the royal court of Russia. Killed by assassins hired by his political enemies. May also have been stabbed, & bludgeoned
Isadora Duncan
   died from   
Strangulation from Her Scarf Getting Caught in a Car Wheel
A dancer, she died of accidental strangulation and a broken neck when one of the long scarves she was known for caught on the wheel of a car in which she was a passenger.
Jim Fixx
   died from   
A Heart Attack While Jogging
Author of the best selling "Complete Book of Running," which started the jogging craze of the 1970s.
Jon-Erik Hexum
   died from   
Shooting Himself in the Head With a Prop Gun
An American TV actor. Blanks use wadding to seal gun powder into the shell, and this is propelled from the gun with enough force to cause severe injury or death if the weapon is fired at close range.
Langley Collyer
   died from   
Crushing After Triggering a Booby Trap
He was a compulsive hoarder. He set the booby trap up himself. A mountain of objects, books, and newspapers fell on him. His blind brother, Homer, who had depended on Langley for care, died of starvation some days later.
Lee Seung Seop
   died from   
Fatigue After Playing Computer Games for 50 Hours
Playing World of Warcraft and StarCraft in an internet café. Exhaustion and dehydration induced heart failure and he went into cardiac arrest.
Peg Entwistle
   died from   
Fractures from Jumping off the H in the HOLLYWOOD Sign
A Welsh-born stage actress and briefly a Hollywood film actress. She committed suicide by jumping off the sign. The official cause of death was multiple pelvic fractures.
Robert Williams
   died from   
Being Struck by a Robot
A worker at a Ford Motor Co. plant, believed to be the first man killed by a robot (1979). Williams was retrieving a part from a storage bin when the robot's arm hit him in the head.
Sherwood Anderson
   died from   
Peritonitis Caused by Swallowing a Toothpick
A writer. Swallowed the toothpick at a party.
Steve Irwin
   died from   
A Stingray Barb Piercing the Heart
Known as the Crocodile Hunter. Died while filming a documentary entitled "Ocean's Deadliest" in Queensland's Great Barrier Reef.
Tennessee Williams
   died from   
Choking on an Eyedrop Bottle Cap
He placed the cap in his mouth while he administered the drops. His lack of gag response may have been due to the effects of drugs & alcohol. Some reports say it was a nasal spray cap.
Thomas Midgley, Jr.
   died from   
Strangulation by the Pulley Cord of a Mechanical Bed
An inventor and industrial chemist. Midgley contracted polio. To assist in getting out of bed, he designed a system of ropes and pulleys but became tangled in the ropes and suffocated to death.
Timothy Treadwell
   died from   
Being Attacked and Partially Consumed by a Bear
The self-proclaimed eco-warrior, photographer and author of "Among Grizzlies: Living With Wild Bears in Alaska". He was killed (with girlfriend Amie Huguenard) on the Alaska Peninsula.
Vic Morrow
   died from   
Decapitation by a Helicopter Blade
During the filming of 'Twilight Zone: The Movie', along with two child actors, Myca Dinh Le (decapitated) and Renee Shin-Yi Chen (crushed).
Vladimir Smirnov
   died from   
A Fencing Foil Piercing the Eyeball
During the 1982 World Championships in Rome, he was fencing Matthias Behr of West Germany. Behr's blade broke and the broken blade went through Smirnov's mask, through his eye, and into his brain.

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