Monday, April 4, 2016

26+ Ways to Kill: C is for Cannabalism and Crushing

Welcome! Since I write culinary mysteries, “Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time” deals with food topics and with mysteries. This month I am sharing ways to kill people—in your mysteries, of course—and some tips on getting away with it! To avoid the pronoun problem, I’ll use heesh (he or she), shis (his or hers), and shim (him and her) throughout the entries. Tune in murder and mayhem.

I chose cannibalism and crushing for my c words today. I could have used chemicals (but I do that later), carbon monoxide (also later), or a curse (psychological way to drive someone crazy and to suicide). But I finally lit on these two.

We’ve all seen the comic strips with missionaries in a pot of boiling water surrounded by hungry natives waiting for the people-flavored soup. In this case, cannabalism happens after death, not as the specific means of killing, only the reason for murder. One could boil victims, alive or dead, or chain saw them apart and eat the limbs, and so on. Cannabalism can be an efficient way of disposing of bodies, but not a means of death. Still, I had to use it here! One could eat a comatose body alive (so the victim doesn’t knock out your teeth while you are chewing), but if you don’t like sushi (or fava beans!), that might not appeal. If one were hungry enough, however, I guess you could eat the uncooked meat of person. Starvation or cannibalism. Not so hard a choice.

I have a story outlined with a chef who is trying to make ends meet, and finds meat prices out of his range. So, enter a new meat source. Vagrants are clearing off the streets and restaurant reviewers rave about his uniquely flavored roasts and burgers. Win-win, right?

Thinking of cooking a body? Either you need to have a lid or door so the person cannot escape, or you have to incapacitate someone until the heat of the boiling liquid or the oven heat kills. Of course, you can always grill, too. Human steaks would be prepared like any meat steak, I’d guess. Experiment with the spices and herbs in your pantry. Slow cooking in liquid will definitely result in tastier human stew. And you remember Silence of the Lambs, right?

Just as with other meats, the younger the human the more tender the meat. Also, one would want a bit of fat on the victim since that’s where a lot of any meat flavor originates. Fat people are more tender and juicy than triathalon athletes, so consider that when choosing the victim. This site is a specific and helpful set of guidelines for preparation plus recipes

Any method of killing violates the social contract, right, but crushing is one of the oldest death methods. Crushing deaths can be very different as illustrated by two recent books. In F.M. Meredith’s A Crushing Death Meredith’s character dies as one stone after another is heaped on his living body. Pretty awful way to go.

And Carlene O’Neil’s wine country series book, One Foot in the Grape uses a grape crusher to do in a character. Another yucky way to be crushed to death.

A crushing death, technically known as thlipsis, results from the compression of bones and organs in the body. Either the body is unconscious so it won’t resist or restrained while being crushed.

The most common crushing killing is from piling stones on the aware body one at a time until the body succumbs. This type death was often a penalty for an offense. There was one crushing death, Giles Corey, during the Salem witch trial era. This was an illegal death method, but then the whole episode was out of hand, wasn’t it? Oh, and let’s not forget the wood chipper in the "Fargo" killing while on the letter c.

Crushing has an added advantage of making it more difficult to pull off incriminating forensic evidence. Not impossible, but more difficult so you could have a great plot point going with that one.

How would you crush someone to death? Share your unique ideas below for all of us to, uh, enjoy!

If you take time to share this post on social media, I would be most grateful.

Twitter share:
#Mystery writer need ideas to kill? C is for Cannabalism or Crushing. Lots of killer tips this month #atozchallenge

Facebook share:
Blogging from A to Z Challenge offers a wide range of topics. If you want to kill someone (in books of course), check out killing with Cannabalism or Crushing on “Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time” at
Please come back tomorrow to see how to kill with D words!

Check out Sharon Arthur Moore’s culinary mystery, Mission Impastable


  1. The younger the human, the more tender the meat! Ha! And....ugh. 😉

    1. I know, right? Maybe with a little cheese? Glad I can entertain you! lol

  2. I was about to make some lunch, but for some reason I've lost my appetite :-)

    I think I'd rather be crushed to death than eaten. Hopefully, I never have to make that decision though.

    Cheers - Ellen |

    1. Ha ha, Ellen! Typically the victim doesn't get a choice, but that could be an interesting plot line. Hmmm.

  3. If we are ever stranded in Donner Pass or the Andes in winter with no food and no help in sight, you have my permission to resort to cannibalism.

    1. Yep, desperate times, desperate measures. I can't even imagine eating a friend. Strangers, eh, maybe.