The woman drugged and robbed her online date right in the middle of a restaurant
A woman in Japan has allegedly been drugging her online dates with homemade chocolate and robbing them right in the restaurant.
Online dating can be a fraught proposition, but dates are not usually quite as bad as they have been for some men in Japan, where authorities say a young woman has allegedly been drugging her dates with homemade chocolate and robbing them right in the middle of restaurants.
According to Rocket News 24, a 52-year-old man in Japan had an online date that seemed too good to be true when he met up with a 23-year-old medical student named Midori Kohama. The pair connected on a dating site and agreed to meet in person for dinner. Kohama, who is a pharmaceutical student, was even thoughtful enough to bring along a box of homemade chocolates. She urged her date to try them, and it would have been rude to refuse, so he went right ahead and helped himself. Then he passed out.
Kohama had reportedly used her pharmaceutical skills to drug the chocolates so the man fell asleep right in the restaurant. While he was out, she made off with two ATM cards from his wallet and left him in the restaurant to sleep it off.
The police caught up with Kohama and arrested her, later saying that she had been arrested barely a month earlier for pulling the same scam on another man. That one got off even worse: He was using his birthday as his ATM PIN, and Kohama was allegedly able to figure it out and steal nearly a million yen, or about $8,000.
Daughter helped elderly parents take lethal drugs and watched them die
A woman who helped her elderly parents to die told an inquest how she gave them glasses of poison and watched in stunned silence as they died.
Georgina Roberts, 59, ordered the lethal drug over the internet and prepared it for them after her parents had been rejected for assisted suicide in Switzerland and failed at one attempt to kill themselves, an inquest in Newbury, Berkshire heard.
"My actions were motivated entirely by compassion and love for my mother and father," she said. David Arnold, 82, a retired doctor, and his wife Elizabeth, 85, decided to end their lives when he became a bed-ridden amputee and she was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
The inquest heard that the couple had tried to kill themselves in November 2011, two months after Dr Arnold's amputation, but failed because the painkillers they took were out of date. Relatives knew of the attempt but did not tell the authorities fearing their parents would be split up and put into care homes.
Their daughter explained that, on her father's instructions, she had bought 40mg of the drug on the internet from a Chinese website and stashed it away in the couple's bungalow in Newbury.
Roberts said: "I asked if they were sure today was the day. They said it was but they wanted to watch the Proms on TV first. I got out the [drug] and another drug which would speed up the effects of it.
"I mixed it[the drug] up and put it in a cup on dad's bedside table and I put another cup on the table next to mum who was sitting in her armchair. I said it would be bitter so they should have a chocolate afterwards. Mum drank it very fast. Dad took his and drank it and I gave them a chocolate each.
"Dad then had a whisky and mum had a port, I think. They quickly slipped into a deep sleep. I stood there for 20 minutes in stunned silence watching them. It was surreal."
Assisting in the act of suicide is a criminal offence, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided it was not in the public interest to charge Roberts.
Swiss charity Dignitas had rejected the couple for assisted suicide because of Mrs Arnold's dementia, the inquest heard. Psychiatrist Elizabeth Rice, of Berkshire Healthcare Trust, had assessed Mrs Arnold in November 2011 and February 2012 and told the inquest her patient "did not have capacity and was susceptible to coercion".
Mrs Roberts said her mother had "good and bad days" and was "clear as a bell" on the day she decided to end her life.
Coroner Peter Bedford recorded a narrative verdict and said he had no comment to make on Mrs Arnold's capacity to decide if she wanted to die.
He said: "Mrs Arnold and Dr Arnold had discussed openly and over a period of years their intention to end their lives if they felt their quality of life was deteriorating to a point when it was no longer worth living."
Woman tried to poison mother in plot inspired by Breaking Bad, court told
A woman tried to kill her mother by lacing her Diet Coke with poison in a murder plot inspired partly by Breaking Bad, a court has heard.
Kuntal Patel, 37, allegedly slipped abrin to her “controlling and selfish” mother, Meena, 60, after she forbade her from marrying her boyfriend. Patel bought the deadly poison from a site based in the US using the virtual currency bitcoin.
She allegedly watched her mother, who sits on the bench at Thames magistrates court, drink the substance at her home in Stratford, east London, last December. The mother survived and Patel set about obtaining a stronger dose of the poison, the prosecution said.
The alleged plot was said to have been inspired partly by Breaking Bad, the US series that follows the story of a chemistry teacher, Walter White, who turns to cooking crystal meth with a former student after being diagnosed with cancer. White uses ricin in attempts to kill rivals abrin is more poisonous than ricin, the court heard.
Patel, who works as a graphic designer for Barclays Bank in Canary Wharf, was arrested in January following an FBI investigation, jurors at London’s Southwark crown court heard.
Jonathan Polnay, prosecuting, said: “To the outside world, the Patels must have seemed a highly respectable and happy family.” But beneath this veneer lay a tale of discord, bullying and abuse. He said details of the case were “so extreme that if they were the plot of a Hollywood or Bollywood film, you would say they are far-fetched”.
“The evidence will show that in private, Meena Patel, the magistrate who worked in domestic violence and race relations, was not a nice woman at all. She would regularly use foul and abusive language, including highly racist language. She would, on occasions, be violent,” he said.
“She was highly manipulative and controlling. She would seek to control every aspect of her daughters’ lives, and worst of all she forbade Kuntal from marrying the man she loved, Niraj Kakad. Meena Patel was all of those things – manipulative, controlling and selfish. But she did not deserve to die.”
Polnay said Kuntal Patel concocted the murder plot so she could marry Kakad. “Inspired, in part, by the US television series Breaking Bad, she acquired a deadly toxin called abrin, a close relation to ricin, which you may have heard of. She acquired it over the dark web from a vendor in the USA. She paid using bitcoins, a virtual, electronic currency, and used layer upon layer of encryption to try to cover her tracks,” he told the jury.
Appearing in the dock dressed in black, Patel denied trying to murder her mother and acquiring a biological agent or toxin. She has pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to acquire a biological agent or toxin last December.
The court heard that privately-educated Patel first met Kakad through Shaadi.com, an internet dating service for the Asian community. Her mother did not approve of their relationship and allegedly locked her daughter in her home, beat her and demanded she stop seeing him.
In a series of highly abusive messages she branded her daughter a “witch” and “fucked up brain girl who cannot be my blood” for falling for Kakad, who lived in America, the court heard.
In a desperate email to a friend, Kuntal branded her mother “evil” and said: “I told her how much I liked him and she started slapping me.”
She added: “He is the best man I have ever met. He said he was going to propose to me. I’ll never forgive her for what she has done to me. She has stolen my future away from me. I couldn’t care less about my life any more. I would prefer to be dead. My life is so worthless. She just shouts at me like a bulldog. There is no reason or logic with anything she does, apart from being a psycho bitch. I’m stuck with that miserable fucker until she dies.”
Meena was hell-bent on “wrecking” her daughter’s chance of marriage, hacked her phone and emails and seized her credit cards in an attempt to scupper the relationship, the court heard. Despite the abuse, the couple got engaged in November 2012 and Patel hatched a plan to kill her mother, jurors heard.
Polnay said: “She took the view that she was not going to let her mother and family arguments stand in the way of her happiness. Kuntal was firm in her desire to marry Niraj and have children. She had pointed out on a number of occasions that she did not have time on her side.
“Meena’s attitude was ‘over my dead body’. And she was quite obviously a manipulative and controlling person who would not hesitate to do everything she could to wreck the chance of a happy marriage. It was around this point, we say, that Kuntal Patel made the decision that the best way to ensure she got what she wanted, happiness for herself, was by killing her mother.”
Jurors heard that Patel used the fake name Headgear when she bought the poison for £900 over the internet from American Jesse Korff, who used the pseudonym Snowman. Unknown to the pair, the website Black Market Reloaded was under surveillance by the FBI after an advert posted on it in September 2013 offered a ricin poison.
Jurors were told that she was inspired by a plot in season 5 episode 16 of Breaking Bad, in which someone is killed using ricin. In messages she called Korff “Heisenberg”, the nickname of White, the main character in the show. And she wrote that “I’ve been watching too much Breaking Bad”.
Polnay said: “On 29 September [she downloads] season 5 episode 16 of Breaking Bad. In this episode ricin was used in the murder of one of the characters.”
It is alleged that Korff sent abrin to Patel. Abrin is highly toxic, and causes breathing difficulties, fever, coughing and sickness. Fluid builds in the lungs, eventually killing the person. There is no antidote. An advert for the drug on the website promised: “They will die a very horrible death.”
Polnay said Patel meticulously planned her murder and, anxious to keep her distance from the abrin, duped her friend Julie Wong into accepting the parcel containing it. But in a “stroke of very bad luck for him”, Julie’s next-door neighbour James Sutcliffe signed for the package.
In emails, Patel nicknamed her illicit purchase Candle in the Wind – which the prosecutor insisted was not a reference the Elton John song but to the candle that hid the poison.
When her mother survived the poisoning, an exasperated Patel confessed her plot to the American poison seller, the court heard. She wrote: “Something had definitely gone wrong somewhere as it is now early Saturday morning and still everything is normal. Yes target drank all of it. I made sure I watched her drink it all.
“I had to borrow money from friends to get this stuff from you because it’s my last option. I can’t be with the man I love because my mother doesn’t like him. She is a bitter, miserable old woman and has been physically mean to me and my sister.”
She went on: “I can only be with him if she is out of the way.” She asked for another drug that was “tasteless and untraceable in autopsy” and would “not cause suspicion by cops or doctors”.
Patel was arrested in January and told police she bought the abrin in order to kill herself because her mother had forbidden her from marrying her boyfriend. She claimed that when the parcel carrying the candle arrived, she became scared and threw it away.
Police combed through her computer and iPhone and discovered she had googled “how to murder using poison”, “how to create botulism” and “how to murder someone without getting caught”.
After she was remanded in custody, she allegedly confessed to her mother that she had tried to kill her, during a conversation in prison conducted in Gujarati to avoid prison staff understanding what she said.
She allegedly told her mother: “I was going to kill you and Amba Ma [a Hindu Goddess] saw it, that’s why she has punished me.”
In another conversation it is alleged her mother said: “You are in prison at present because of him.” But Patel allegedly replied: “Because of me – I did put that in your Coke.”
Woman Arrested for Drugging Online Date with Poison Chocolate - Recipes
Ree Drummond's daughter was arrested back in April, recently revealed court documents show.
Multiple outlets report that Paige Drummond, 19, whose mother is the star of the Food Network's "Pioneer Woman," was arrested for possession of alcohol by a person under 21 years of age and public intoxication. Documents show that she was charged and jailed in mid-April in Oklahoma, where her family lives.
Paige "did appear in a drunken condition" when police arrested her and she was carrying an open container of beer at the time.
The district attorney reportedly granted the Drummonds' request to dismiss the charges from Paige's record in May, and she's paid around $400 in court fees.
Ree Drummond has three other children: Daughter, Alex, 21, and sons, Bryce, 16, and Todd, 15. She has been married to her husband, Ladd, since 1996.
Drummond's cooking show, "Pioneer Woman," and her various spinoff endeavors, have made her one of the most successful celebrity chefs of all time. In November 2017, details emerged about her family's income, which was estimated to be around $23 million over the past decade. Her personal net worth is estimated to be around $8 million.
Recipes from 'No Reservations'
In the opening scenes of the movie, master chef Kate (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones) is talking with her therapist about the magnificent pairing of quail and truffle sauce, one of her signature dishes.
2 ounces white truffle butter
Dash Worcestershire sauce
24 ounces mixed mushrooms
4 tablespoons minced garlic
4 tablespoons minced shallots
4 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, chives, basil)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 shaved slices fresh truffles
6 medium sized shallots, peeled
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Make the sauce: Heat the wine and chicken stock together. Bring to a boil, then reduce until about 1/4 cup. Add heavy cream, reduce by half, then add in truffle butter with a whisk until well incorporated. Finish with a dash of lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to use.
Make the mushrooms: Place a sauté pan over high heat and add enough canola oil to just cover the bottom of the pan. Allow the pan to preheat until you just begin to see light wisps of smoke coming from the pan. Add the mushrooms and begin to sauté until the mushrooms are cooked halfway. Add the garlic and shallots to the pan and continue to sauté, keeping the mushrooms moving at all times. When the mushrooms are just cooked through add the fresh herbs to the pan and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Taste the mushrooms and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400. Place 1 truffle shaving and 1 shallot into the cavity of each quail. Season the quail with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large heavy bottomed ovenproof skillet. Place the quail in the skillet breast side down and cook until the skin is golden brown in color. Turn the quail and cook for 3 more minutes. Place the skillet directly in the oven and roast for approximately 10 minutes. Let the quail rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with wild mushrooms and truffle sauce.
Controlled substances in Roman law and pharmacy?
Let me begin with a passage from the Digest of Roman Law within the section on the Lex Cornelia on murderers and poisoners (D.18.104.22.168):
It is laid down by another decree of the senate that dealers in cosmetics are liable to the penalty of this law (the Lex Cornelia on murderers and poisoners) if they recklessly hand over to anyone hemlock (cicuta), salamander, aconite, pine-worms (pituocampae), or buprestis, mandragora, or, except for the purpose of purification, cantharis beetles.
This particular decree of the senate was preserved by the jurist Marcian (active c. 200 and 222 CE), but the actual decree could date from any time between 81BCE, when it was passed, and Marcian’s own day. The main test of the law was not whether or not a murder had been committed, as it is with most modern legal systems, but the intent to murder. Penalties ranged from relegation (temporary exile) to death by wild animals.
Negligence should not have exposed someone to its penalties, but there is evidence in both the legal and literary record of medical professionals who unwittingly aided in a murder being prosecuted under the Lex Cornelia. Galen, for instance, mentions one unfortunate doctor who was executed when a wicked stepmother (of course) claimed a drug was for her own use, only to have her slaves slip it into her stepson’s food.
Other examples preserved in the Digest involve gynecologists, aphrodisiacs, and abortifacients gender bias very likely accounts for the departure from the intent-test. Add to that the demographics of medical professionals in the Roman Empire–many of them were slaves and freedmen–and the pattern becomes even more clear. Elite moral panic likely drove the legislative policy in this decree of the senate, with chilling effects. Under it, suppliers are held liable for selling commonly used pharmaceutical ingredients.
So would these highly toxic items that an ancient pharmacist would carry? Absolutely! Dioskourides, author of a first century CE pharmacy manual (and standard reference for Roman pharmacists), listed several uses for them.
“Spanish Fly” continues to enjoy an unfortunate reputation as a “natural” aphrodisiac, even in this age of safer alternatives. Image credit: Nuvalife.
We begin at the end with Blister Beetles (Cantharis, buprestis, pituocampae): Here, I am grouping three similar insects, just as Dioskourides did (2.61). These insects are more popularly known as “Spanish Fly.” The oil produced by these beetles causes the skin to blister, and this made it a useful item for removing growths.
But Dioskourides does not mention its most famous application, and most dangerous–blister beetle poisoning irritates the urogenital tract, causing an erection. It was, in essence, ancient Viagra. It seems to have been responsible for quite a few accidental and embarrassing deaths, and likely accounts for the general anxiety surrounding the use of aphrodisiacs in Roman law and armchair scientists like Pliny the Elder. It also shows up in some cringe-worthy gynecological recipes, and must have caused many a woman severe discomfort.
Cosmetics sellers would stock it for people with warts, women would keep it handy, and Roman legislators were concerned. It is hardly surprising that this class of insect dominates the senate’s decree.
The shape of the flower resembles the hood of a monk, hence the English common name. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Aconite, also known as monkshood, wolfsbane, and the “queen of poisons,” is best known today as Professor Snape’s go-to icebreaker question for Potions class. It is deadly–strong enough to cause numbness when it comes in contact with the skin–and that is precisely what put it on the senate’s list. Dioskourides 4.77 declares it useful for killing wolves, and nothing else, but urban sales were almost certainly aimed at eliminating human nuisances like abusive slaveowners and inconvenient husbands, at least in the minds of lawmakers.
The English name reflects the long history of identifying the somewhat anthropomorphic form of this root. Dioskourides differentiates between a “Male” and “Female” form – this one is the female variety. Image credit: http://fa13ethnobotany.providence.wikispaces.net/Mandrake.
Another alumna of Harry Potter, the mandrake is best known for its use in magic. However, it also has a strong effect as a sedative and anesthetic it was used as such into the early 1900s. But too much could cause death, as Dioskourides warns in his lengthy list of applications (4.75). It’s hallucinogenic properties, too, combined with its sedative effects, would have made it a prime candidate for abuse and accidental death. No wonder it makes the senate’s list!
Even today, Hemlock remains infamous for its role in the death of Socrates. So why on earth would a pharmacy sell it? Dioscorides 4.78 recommends it for topical applications only, first as a cure for shingles and erysipelas, both common and painful skin conditions. He goes on to prescribe it to stop lactation, to keep youthful breasts small, and, alarmingly, to cause a boy’s testicles to shrivel. The most shocking suggestion, though, is that it be applied to the testicles to prevent nocturnal emissions – surely a recipe for disaster if the man in question failed to wash his hands carefully.
Small jars excavated in the prison in the Athenian Agora, possibly used for the executioner’s Hemlock. Author’s image, 2006.
So we have in this list a number of items common in recipes and associated with women and medical professionals, both of whom might respond to their systemic oppression with the covert violence of poisoning. If you were to open a pharmacy in the bustling streets of the Roman empire–especially if you were a woman, freedman, or both– it would be best to think twice about why your patient is so keen to buy his cantharis in bulk.
 The ingredients in cosmetics and pharmacy were often similar, and likewise cosmetics were made to also have medical benefits.
 J. B. Rives rightly suggests (n. 22) that the word “bubrostis” is a misspelling of “buprestis.”
 See Lily Beck’s excellent translation and commentary for the most likely identification of the species involved. Taxonomy and nomenclature in antiquity is imprecise by modern standards it can be difficult to link ancient names to known species.
 For example, Natural History 25.25: “I do not include abortifacients in my account, and not even love potions, remembering that Lucullus the most famous general perished from such a potion.”
She posted the recipe on an airfryer Facebook page and it was a huge hit.
'This was one of my favourite childhood slices,' one woman said.
'Oh, yum, I would be keen to try that,' said another.
Others shared tips on how they change up the recipe, including adding sultanas.
She posted the recipe on an airfryer Facebook page and it was a huge hit
'I have never tried one that doesn't need cooking before, I am intrigued,' another said.
'It is very nice, I always had it when I was a little one,' another woman said.
Ms Hakim said she used to tell her mum she would like to cook this slice with her, giving it an extra special place in her heart.
HOW CAN YOU MAKE WEETBIX SLICE?
3 Weetbix (or 55 grams of another similar wheat-based cereal)
1 tablespoon butter (15 grams)
1-2 tablespoon boiling water
Pre-heat oven to moderate (I use 170 degrees celsius, fan-forced).
Grease a slice tin (approx 26 x 16 cm) and line with baking paper, leaving excess on the sides to lift out slice once cooked.
Crush Weetbix into a bowl.
Add remaining dry ingredients to bowl and stir to combine.
Melt butter and add to dry ingredients. Mix well.
Press mixture into slice tin with hands and even the top surface using the back of a spoon.
Start preparing the icing a few minutes before the slice is ready to be removed from the oven. This slice is iced while hot from the oven.
Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon of the boiling water to the butter and allow butter to melt.
Add melted butter mixture to icing sugar and mix well.
Add a little extra boiling water if necessary so the icing is soft enough to spread. Spread the icing over the slice while still hot.
Allow to cool completely before lifting from the tin using the baking paper and slicing into 24 pieces.
Using the 3.2L Kmart Air Fryer (or equivalent), use a circle of baking paper to line the basket so the paper reaches about one third to half way up the side of the basket.
Make the slice base according to the instructions above and pour mixture into air fryer basket.
Press down with your hands to make the base even and firm.
Smooth out the base further using the back of a spoon.
Cook in the air fryer at 155 degrees celsius for 20 minutes.
Make up icing according to instructions above a few minutes before the base finishes cooking.
Once base is cooked, remove basket and pour icing over base while still hot.
Place basket on bench so that it can cool evenly.
Allow to cool completely before lifting slice from basket, lifting gently around the sides until it comes out of the basket in one piece.
Hiland Dairy recalls batch of chocolate milk dozens of minors drank contaminated milk in hospital
NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Hiland Dairy recalled a batch of half-pint 1% low fat chocolate milk.
It has the sell by date of January 27, 2021 with the batch code 4025.Hiland Dairy shared this photo Sunday after it announced a recall for ‘Hiland Dairy Half-Pint 1% Low Fat Chocolate Milk’ cartons produced at the Norman plant only. January 17, 2021. (KFOR)
“Look for those lot numbers, be very cautious about checking your product and making sure it’s not on the recall list,” Scott Schaeffer, director of the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information, said.
St. Anthony hospital released the following statement:
“At SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital, the safety of our patients is a top priority. Over the past weekend when we learned of the unexpected illness of a number of patients on three patient care units, we immediately began an investigation into the cause. We isolated the potential cause of the illness to chocolate milk consumed by these patients. As a result, immediate actions were taken to remove all milk throughout the facility. The supplier of the milk, Hiland Diary, was notified, and we also engaged the Oklahoma State Department of Health who conducted a thorough investigation. As a result, Hiland Diary issued a product recall yesterday.
Fifty patients on three patient care units, all minors, consumed contaminated milk. After a medical evaluation of each patient and based on the severity of their symptoms, twenty-eight were transferred to Oklahoma Children’s Hospital to be evaluated and monitored by a pediatric gastroenterology specialist.
Our thoughts are with the children and their parents impacted by this unfortunate event, and we are communicating all updates to the patients’ parents as we have more information. We encourage school administrators and other businesses who may have received the impacted Hiland Dairy product to follow the recommendations issued in the recall by Hiland Dairy, and for those who believe they may have consumed the contaminated product to seek immediate medical attention.”
OU Health released this statement:
“Oklahoma Children’s Hospital has treated patients who have ingested a recalled milk. Several patients have been discharged and we are awaiting test results for others to determine discharge or the appropriate treatment plan.”
“OU Health works closely with our vendors and partners on product safety. We immediately pull products subject to safety recalls and no longer have any of the recalled milk.”
Hiland says the sanitizer involved is Synergex, used cleaning surfaces and dairy processing equipment.
Experts say several possible symptoms can happen if you drink sanitizer, but it’s possible to not feel anything if it was a trace amount.
“We’re going to be looking at potentially some upset stomachs, irritation of the mouth or throat, and even possibly some burns,” Schaeffer said.
“Usually if you have any kind of caustic ingestion, usually symptoms develop within 24-48 hours,” Adnan Altaf, chief of pediatric gastroenterology at OU Children’s, said.
Schaeffer also says because cleaner is usually diluted, it isn’t as severe as drinking straight cleaner.
The harm depends on how much was ingested, but because the taste is bad, people may also just spit it out before ingesting it.
“Usually if you swallow anything caustic, we do not recommend you induce vomiting,” Altaf said.
Deer Creek parent Jonathan Gold says he drank the milk but didn’t feel anything. He says he’s glad he drank it instead of his kids.
“I might’ve just been lucky and had one of those iron stomachs,” he said.
If you think you or your child ingested the contaminated milk and have symptoms, you can call Poison Control at 800-222-1222. They can help determine the level of care needed.
Oklahoma City Public Schools released the following statement:
“Yesterday, Hiland Dairy announced a recall of the one-half pint 1% low fat chocolate milk that was produced at its Norman, Oklahoma facility. Some of the products may contain food-grade sanitizers, which could cause illness if consumed.
In an abundance of caution, we are asking families who picked up meals at the end of last week at any of our drive-thru locations to please dispose of any milk product.
OKCPS School Nutrition Service is completing an audit of our Hiland Dairy products at all schools to determine if we received any of the recalled milk. OKCPS will properly discard any recalled products to ensure it’s not served in cafeterias or at our drive-thru locations.
If you have concerns after consuming this product, please contact your medical provider. Additionally, if you have questions, you may contact Hiland Dairy here https://www.hilanddairy.com/contact-us.”
Edmond and Deer Creek school districts have also warned parents the milk may have been sent home with students.
‘Watched too much Breaking Bad’: Woman tried to poison mother inspired by TV series
Kuntal Patel, 37, allegedly tried to kill her mother by putting Abrin into her mother, Meena's, Diet Coke, in a plot reminiscent of Breaking Bad. Kuntal tried to poison Meena because the 60-year-old had forbidden her from marrying her boyfriend, a court has heard.
Kuntal allegedly watched her mother, who sits on the bench at Thames magistrates court, drink the substance at her home in Stratford, East London, last December. However, her mother survived and Kuntal tried to obtain a stronger dose of the poison, the prosecution said.
Kuntal, who works as a graphic designer for Barclays Bank in London’s Canary Wharf, allegedly purchased the deadly toxin online from a site based in the US, using bitcoin to make the payment, British media report.
Jurors heard that Kuntal bought the poison for £900 over the internet from an American named Jesse Korff.
What she didn’t know though was that the website was under FBI surveillance, after an advert posted on it in September 2013 offered a Breaking Bad-style ricin poison.
The poison, concealed in a wax candle, was delivered to her from the US.
The alleged plot was said to have been inspired partly by Breaking Bad, the US series that follows the story of Walter White, a chemistry teacher who turns to cooking crystal meth after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
In messages she wrote: "I've been watching too much Breaking Bad."
In the TV series, White uses Ricin in attempts to kill off rivals. Abrin, the poison Kuntal is said to have purchased, is even more poisonous than Ricin, the court heard.
The prosecutor, Jonathan Polnay, said that “beneath this veneer of a happy and successful Hindu family, lay a tale of discord, bullying and abuse.” He added that the evidence “is so extreme that if they were the plot of a Hollywood or Bollywood film, you would say they are far-fetched.”
Jurors at London's Southwark Crown Court heard that Kuntal first met her lover, Niraj Kakad, through Shaadi.com, an internet dating service for the Asian community.
He told jurors: “When Meena forbade Kuntal from marrying Niraj, rather than bringing shame on the family by trying to marry without her consent - something which Meena would have done her best to sabotage - Kuntal set out in a calculated and pre-meditated fashion to murder her own mother.
Polnay said: "Kuntal secretly poured the Abrin into her mother's Diet Coke and watched her drink it - expecting her to die. But nothing happened."
Meena survived because the poison is 1,000 times less deadly if it is swallowed rather than inhaled or injected.
When her mother survived the poisoning, she confessed her plot to the seller, the court heard. She wrote: "Something had definitely gone wrong somewhere as it is now early Saturday morning and still everything is normal.
"Yes target drank all of it. I made sure I watched her drink it all."
Officers found that Kuntal searched "how to murder using poison" online, and "how to create botulism" and "how to murder someone without getting caught."
Kuntal was arrested in January this year following an FBI investigation.
She denies trying to murder her mother. However, she admitted two counts of attempting to acquire a biological agent or toxin last December.
When Medicine Makes You Sick
by Mary A. Fischer, AARP The Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2010 issue | Comments: 0
En español | Los Angeles civil attorney Lisa Herbert (not her real name), 61, was shopping at Trader Joe’s one evening in June 2009 when she suddenly became disoriented. For an hour she wandered the aisles in a haze, filling her cart with chocolate cupcakes and frozen tamales. At home she talked incessantly, yelled at her roommate, and—convinced she had found an ingenious way to clean the apartment—yanked a fire extinguisher off the wall and sprayed the kitchen and bathroom with a thick white foam.
By morning Herbert’s mental clarity had returned, along with a deep embarrassment and confusion over what had caused such bizarre behavior. The answer — which her ever-vigilant doctor immediately suspected — was drug toxicity, a gradual buildup of prescription medication in her bloodstream.
Herbert, who has multiple sclerosis, had been taking baclofen for the past six years to control muscle spasms in her legs. She had taken the same dose all that time with no ill effects, but three months before her disorienting episode, she had begun a strict, low-carb diet and had proudly shed 15 pounds. Because she was thinner yet still taking the same dose of baclofen, the drug had built up to toxic levels.
Drug toxicity is a common and significant health problem, yet it often goes undetected by both patients and doctors, who don’t suspect it as the cause of such symptoms as mental disorientation, dizziness, blurred vision, memory loss, fainting, and falls. Although drug toxicity may result when a medication dose is too high, it can also happen because a person’s ability to metabolize a drug changes over time or, in the case of Herbert, because she simply didn’t need as much of the drug at her lower weight.
Older people are at high risk for drug toxicity, but younger people can suffer symptoms as well. Drug toxicity is "a major public-health issue even for people in their 40s and 50s," says Mukaila A. Raji, M.D., chief of geriatric medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. "Most drugs are eliminated from the body through the kidneys and liver, but starting around the fourth decade we start accumulating fat and lose muscle mass, accompanied by a progressive decline in the ability of our kidneys and liver to process and clear medications. All of this makes us more prone to drug toxicity." According to findings from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, age-related loss of kidney function often starts even earlier, in your 30s, and gets worse with each passing decade.
Despite the well-established connection between aging and drug toxicity, physicians sometimes fail to equate patients’ symptoms with an adverse drug reaction, attributing them instead to a new medical condition. "As doctors, we see a lot of patients who come in with a general 'I don’t feel well' complaint, or maybe they’re confused and dehydrated, and we attribute it to a viral illness, when it’s caused at least in part by the medication they’re taking," says medical toxicologist Kennon Heard, M.D., an associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver.
Physicians' prescribing habits may also be partly to blame. "There is a tendency for physicians to prescribe a medication for every symptom, and not every symptom requires a medication," says Raji. The more medications a patient takes, the more likely one of them will build up to toxic levels, experts say.
Finally, patients often see multiple doctors who do not communicate with one another and so end up prescribing similar drugs — which, when combined, can reach toxic levels. Electronic medical records will help close the communications gap, experts say. Computerized Clinical Decision Support Systems — used by many hospitals to generate patient-specific recommendations for care — will also help. A 2005 Journal of the American Medical Association study of the systems’ effectiveness showed improvements in diagnosis, drug dosing, and drug prescribing.
To avoid drug toxicity, patients should be proactive by keeping a careful record of which drugs they’re taking — including over-the-counter medications — and bringing that list to every doctor visit.
They can also insist that their doctors consider drug toxicity when a new symptom arises. "Many doctors don’t specifically test for drug toxicity," explains Raji, "and a simple CBC [or blood chemistry panel] won’t detect it." Certain blood tests can monitor the levels and effects of several drugs, including levothyroxine (Synthroid), warfarin (Coumadin), some antibiotics, and digoxin (Lanoxin). But even so, says Raji, "the blood range of digoxin that's listed as ‘normal’ in medical textbooks is based on tests done on young people." In general, say medical experts, the best way to determine if drug toxicity has occurred is to eliminate or reduce the dose of a suspected medication when safe to do so — as Lisa Herbert’s doctor did.
Patients should also read the safety inserts that come with their medication — before taking it. After recovering from what she calls her "cognitive flip-out," Herbert finally read her baclofen insert, discovering in the fine print the drug’s rare but possible adverse effects: seizures, confusion, even hallucinations. Had she read the insert earlier, she realized, she might have saved herself and her roommate a good deal of anguish — not to mention a day’s work in cleaning up one very messy apartment.