12 years ago
Ensiho

Does Cyanide kill quickly?

I was just reading about the Jonestown murder/suicide where nine-hundred and nine people drank Cyanide under Jim Jone's instructions, and in a recording I was listening to, a woman says 'It's okay, they're not crying because of the pain, they're crying because of the bitter taste", and I was wondering: Does Cyanide kill quickly? Obviously there must be some sort of pain involved, but what happens when a person actually drinks Cyanide? How does the death take place?
Top 7 Answers
12 years ago
Dr W
Favorite Answer
not really a fast or nice death... and it depends on the concentration of the cyanide and the form of introduction into your body. Cyanide ions CN-, preferentially bond to the hemoglobin in your blood. which prevents oxidiation of your cells and essentially you die from asphyxiation. Similar to death by strangulation. You struggle, gasp for breath, fall down, continue to gasp, black out, your body continues to attempt to breathe, you have convulsions, you vomit, lose control of your bowels and bladder, then eventually your brain stem dies and your heart stops beating. 5 minutes maybe.. but probably more like.. 10 minutes.. 20 minutes...depends on the concentration of cyanide. The 1 hour LD50 of HCN (g) for humans is about 300 ppm. Ie if you were in a room with several other people and the HCN concentration was 300 ppm, after 1 hour, 50% of you would be dead. If you were in there for only a few minutes, you would probably all survive but you may have some nasty headaches. the oral LD50 for humans is about 10 mg / kg body weight. for a 110 lb person, that's 500 mg.. so for a large group, 500 mg would kill 50% of the group (LD50 is Lethal Dosage resulting in 50% death) higher concentrations would kill more. but not instantly. minutes. In my past life I made a product containing cyanide and did quite a bit of research on this subject. Other interesting facts, HCN smells like burnt almonds but not everyone can smell the "burnt almonds". The Yuca root is like a potato and has a very effective self defense mechanism against insects. Cyanide. The leaves of the yuca are toxic to humans. Loads of cyanide. The roots are available in your grocery store. They have a bitter taste due to a "low" concentration of cyanide. Some varieties of the yuca plants have very toxic roots and eating large quantites of the wrong one can make you very ill or even very dead. As to the Jonestown idiots....their "grape koolaid" was a concoction of valium, chloral hydrate and cyanide. Valium and chloral hydrate are sedatives and hypnotics. The valium and chloral hydrate might have given the victims some relief. Still, I have a very hard time believing people were crying because of the bitter taste of their koolaid.. We drink hazlenut coffee right? Mocha almond frappuccino's.. Double espressos. Turbo cappuccinos. and we like them..."People were crying because of the bitter taste" is a lie that we tell ourselves to keep from going insane over the horror of what happened. People were crying because of what was happening. They left their lives for "paradise" at Jonestown and brought their children with them. Paradise turned into hades and these people watched their friends and their children die a horrible death. They knowingly killed their own children. That's why they were sobbing.
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5 years ago
GeraldM
Depending on the dose, kind or type and method used to introduce it in to the body, from what I have read, it does kill quickly. How quick, you will probably be dead in 5 minutes although you may lose consciousness within a few seconds. I have read it can be very painful with body contortions, vomiting, bowel release but having seen the picture of Himmler after he took it, it doesn't seem like he contorted or vomited and and had a rather benign look on his face. But I'm sure he had the very best cyanide possible. Still, it's scary thinking about what it would be like and I have to say this, it does take a certain amount of courage to do it. I would think it would take a lot of courage. Maybe I'm just a coward.
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5 years ago
Anonymous
This Site Might Help You. RE: Does Cyanide kill quickly? I was just reading about the Jonestown murder/suicide where nine-hundred and nine people drank Cyanide under Jim Jone's instructions, and in a recording I was listening to, a woman says 'It's okay, they're not crying because of the pain, they're crying because of the bitter taste", and I was...
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4 years ago
Anonymous
Death By Cyanide
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5 years ago
?
For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/avbSy The binding of cyanide to haemoglobin is not its most important action. More dangerous is the effect inside the mitochondria (the tiny organelles within the cell), where it inactivates cytochrome c oxidase. This in turn means that the cell can no longer use oxygen to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is a high-energy source for further metabolic actions. This failure of aerobic respiration occurs not only in the red cells but in every cell of the body. Organs which are particularly dependent on aerobic respiration, such as the nervous system and the heart, are the first to fail.
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4 years ago
?
Cyanide Death
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6 years ago
johhn
well yes, if you drunk a glass of water with one tea spoon of cyanide in you would die in less than around 3 minutes. but it would be horrifically painful as your insides were effectively burnt out and you would cough up blood and froth from the reaction of your stomach lining melting. before you died due to cardiac arrest and lack of oxygen in your blood.
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5 years ago
William
I ate apple seeds. am I gonna die ?
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12 years ago
lil_Qti
It is suppose to be instant and painless. Cyanide pills are given to spies secret agents and undercover people etc in case they get captured and need to kill themselves before they talk or get tortured.
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