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Poisoned with Parasites

Discover magazine’s Body Horrors blog relates a disturbing story about a group of housemates in which one was doing research with some nasty parasites. It was a case of “the rare coincidence of a parasitologist with a homicidal grudge.”  

In 1970, four housemates living in Quebec were in a spat over the rent. Specifically, one housemate, a post-graduate in the department of parasitology at MacDonald College, was significantly late on his share of the monthly dues. Tensions ran high, and the quarrels continued. In what sounds like a particularly acrimonious argument, the delinquent housemate made a seemingly outlandish threat: he would poison them with the same organisms that he experimented upon in his laboratory, with the pig parasite Ascaris suum. His threat was quickly dismissed and the roommate was summarily evicted.

It was only a week later when the four housemates ended up in a hospital after an elaborate dinner – yes, you’ve already figured it all out, haven’t you? – prepared by the delinquent room mate that the threat of poisoning by parasite was revisited.

The story may be disturbing to sensitive readers. You’ll find out how the Ascaris suum parasite works and what it can do to its host, what happened to the victims, and the legal outcome of the case.  

(Image credit: Alan R Walker)


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