Mara (missmara) wrote in little_details,

Aresnic Poisoning, Crime Evidence

Location: Southern California
Time: Now
Searched: Arsenic; "Arsenic Poisoning"; "Rat Poison" "Effects On Humans"; looked at Wikipedia's Arsenic Poisoning page... it helped but not with some info I need...

Question: How hard or easy might it be for someone to get ahold of arsenic? My MC is being (or at least THINKS he's being) poisoned and he and his friends suspect arsenic.

Are there any professions that would make it easier to get ahold of arsenic? Is it a controlled substance that would be almost impossible to get by the average person? Is there a relatively easy way to get it? To be specific, I need to know if a form that could be mixed into someone's food or drink without them noticing could be bought by the average person without it costing a small fortune.

Alternatively, could rat poison (I know some are made using Arsenic, so I suppose there's that route for how to get it...) be used? Does it have such a strong taste someone would notice? I don't want my MC to die, but I want him to slowly get sicker and sicker (so I would assume small doses over a bit of time would do that? Let enough time pass for one dose to be almost gone then give another one?). Are there any other easy to get substances that could be used against my MC?

Does any of this sound remotely possible? It doesn't have to be REASONABLE (The police will think the theory is bull and pretty much dismiss it without much thought), just POSSIBLE. I want it to be arsenic because many of the symptoms are ones that I think doctors/the police would assume were related to the fact that my MC was 16 month coma following an 'accidental' fall on a jetty or to the stress he's been under since waking up (stomach pains, convulsions, headaches, retching, etc...)

On a vaguely related note, I also want, in the climatic scene when my MC finally finds out what's really going on, for him to be severely ill, like doubled over in pain but still able to run at least a short distance in an attempt to escape. Any idea of what he could be given to cause that? Again, don't want him to die, just be in pain/sick.

Location: Southern California
Time: Now
Searched: Not sure how to search this one...

How likely is it that a couple teenagers could get a look at the evidence in a case concerning one of them? The case is concerning the above poisoned teenager. He's not a suspect in anything, but his family is prominent and because of his initial injury 16 months earlier was somewhat suspiscious there is a case open for it and evidence was collected.

My MC and his friends want to get a look at the evidence, see if they can spot any clues that the cops would miss because they don't know the 'suspects' as well. They don't want to take anything out of it's sealed bag, or neccesarily handle anything, just LOOK at it, maybe take a couple digital photos of it.

Would my MC be able to go to the lead detective, who doesn't believe the murder theory, and say "Hey, I wanna see the evidence you have about what happened." and actually be allowed to see it? Could he and his friend handle items that were in sealed bags (not opening the bag, just hold the still sealed item in their hands)? Would they be allowed to copy down the information put on the evidence tags that say where it was recovered from and such? Is there any evidence they wouldn't be allowed to see under any circumstances?

My MC is either 17 or 18, so if he needs to legally be an adult before he can see the evidence without his parents or a lawyer present, then I can do that.

Alternatively, if the lead detective, or a detective who takes over the case for some reason, is more open to listening to the theory my MC and his friends have, could he choose to show them the evidence? Or would he get in trouble for doing so? If he'd get in trouble, how much would it be? Would the trouble be less if it was revealed that because he gave them access, they were able to figure it out and keep my MC from being killed?

Hopefully you guys can help me out... I can always fake it (It's fanfic, so I don't think readers are expecting perfect realism), but I always prefer to have my facts straight... If anyone can suggest search strings that would help for any of this, please let me know... I usually prefer doing my own research, but these two stumped me.
Tags: usa: government: law enforcement (misc), ~medicine: poisoning

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