The Jester (the_jester1) wrote in little_details,
The Jester

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Effects of heroin cut with arsenic

My novel (set in New York during World War Two) features, among other colourful characters, a small-time thug is hired to kill the son of a crime kingpin, which he does. He himself is wounded in the bloody shoot-out, shot in both kneecaps and one arm, and while in hospital/protective custody he is himself dispatched by a hired professional, the method of disposal: heroin cut with a lethal dose of arsenic.

Would this mixture be possible to administer via the usual means? (From what I can gather, melting the powder in a metal spoon, sucking it up a syringe and shooting it up). Also, would death be instantaneous, or slow and painful? And would the victim go into convulsions? Or would it be more plausible for him to be jacked up with a lethal overdose of straight H?

To up the ante a little in the irony stakes, this small-time thug is a heroin addict.

How would a prisoner (arrested, charged with murder in the first but not yet convicted) who was a heroin addict have been treated in hospital in '40s New York, at least in as far as his addiction went? Would he have received morphine (especially as he'd also been shot through the kneecaps and arm and thus in considerable pain, at least initially)? Also, how long would such wounds take to heal? Would a prisoner still be in hospital after a month? Indeed, would he have been in a normal hospital under police guard?

Thanking you all in advance.
Tags: ~medicine: historical, ~medicine: injuries (misc)

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