In 1771, the King of Sweden died of digestive problems. They were most likely (and by “most likely” I mean absolutely 100 percent) caused by his final meal of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, smoked herring, champagne, and 14 servings of sweet rolls in hot milk.
He is remembered by Swedish schoolchildren as “the king who ate himself to death,” though I can’t imagine why.
Clement Vallandigham was a lawyer hired to defend a man named Thomas McGehan, who was accused of killing a man in a barroom brawl. Vallandigham argued that the victim had actually accidentally shot himself in the abdomen.
In order to prove his theory, Vallandigham put a gun (which he assumed was unloaded) into his pocket, then pulled it out. It snagged on his clothing, shooting the lawyer in the abdomen. Vallandigham died, but on the bright side, Thomas McGehan was acquitted.
Allan Pinkerton, the founder of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, fell on the pavement and bit his tongue.
His tongue soon became infected with gangrene, which was the eventual cause of his death.
George Herbert was the Earl who financed Howard Carter’s search for Tutankhamun’s tomb. He died of infection after accidentally cutting into a mosquito bite on his face while shaving. Some believe his death was caused by a curse.
In 1927, the famous dancer Isadora Duncan got into a car owned while wearing a long silk scarf. As the car drove off, her scarf became tangled in the spokes of the car’s wheel, breaking her neck and killing her instantly.
This next story once again proves that toothpicks are more dangerous than we thought…