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Had Enough Poison To Kill 13 People

Minot, N.D., May 3.—Analysis of the contents of the stomach of John H Smith of Granville, who died April 9, and for whose death his divorced wife, Mrs. Ursula Smith, aged 30, of Granville, is now awaiting trial in district court on a charge of first degree murder, reveals that there were 13.82 grains of strychnine poison present, according to a report made by Dr. G. A. Abbott of the state university.

Cases are on record where as small a quantity as one half grain of strychnine has produce death, the report says, adding:

"If we assume one grain as the fatal dose, then this victim contained more than enough of this poison to kill 13 men. But the poison found did not represent all the poison received; for some of it was absorbed into the system in order to produce its effect. It is not often that the poisoner is so considerate of the chemist and gives him such quantities to work with.

The analysis of the coffee in the coffee pot, which was on the stove in the house where Smith was found dead, contained no strychnine, the report states.

Smith, on numerous occasions, while confined in a hospital at Missoula, Mont., last November, with a case of botulism or sausage poisoning, expressed a desire to die rather than to live in this then-existing physical condition, according to a letter to the defense attorneys from Elsie L. Craig of Missoula , Mont., a nurse in the hospital where Smith was confined.

Bismarck Tribune, 5/3/1923

Firmly Denied

Posted 06/12/2013