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Details, Details!
Originally posted by: Joanne

I'm writing a mystery where the victim dies because of a 'fall.' Actually the victim was pushed, but I can't seem to find much information on the net (or in my Writer's Digest books on writing mysteries) on how to tell if the victim 'fell' or was pushed. I would like to be as accurate as possible. Can anyone give my any advice or lead me to some links that might help? Thanks in advance.

Previous MessagesEarliest MessagesOutlineRecent Messages (44 previous messages)
Aleja "The Panther" - 03:00pm Aug 23, 2002 PST(#45 of 55)
What is more powerful the The Force or The Borg? The craving for chocolate, of course!

this site is really good for poisons, especially deaths by poison. Just don't e-mail him any questions about the poison cause he will charge you to answer them LOL

there are plenty of different poisons on the site, but you have to go through each page cause there doesn't appear to be an index.

Now for my own question. What sort of evidence could I use to point out that someone was attacked in the woods (a forrest, whatever) before the body was moved to wherever it is found?

Juanita Rose Violini - 07:55am Aug 26, 2002 PST(#46 of 55)

It might depend on which type of forest. You could have pine needles stuck on a piece of clothing or a certain type of mud or mushroom caught in the tread of the shoe. There might be a skin rash from where a person brushed against stinging nettles. Stuff like that.

KayakOhio - 03:56pm Sep 4, 2002 PST(#47 of 55)


I am on a k9 Search team. If our team was sent to search an area for a missing person and the dogs had been trained to "hit" or "alert" on cadaver/bone, it might give you a way to point out the true murder scene--particularly if the body was left in the woods for a while and the decomposition process began to "burn" the soil underneath.

You could also just have your local dog team conducting training in the area and "stumble" over the murder site. There has to be something for the dogs to "hit" and I don't mean clothing.

You could also have the team training and there is nothing that the dog notices but the humans on the team see clues that don't make sense (shoes/purse/etc.). They could then call the police.

Scout troop, local hiker, etc. also fit the last scenario

Angel Granata - 07:41am Nov 15, 2002 PST(#48 of 55)

For all of you looking for information on poisons, there is a great book called Deadly Doses: A Writer's Guide to Poisons by Serita Deborah Stevens. There is an index in the back that organizes poisons by how they can be delivered(eg. skin contact, inhalation, etc.), what kind of symptoms each poison causes(trouble breathing, dizziness...), etc. And for the man looking for "whodunit" or "how they did it" books, the book I was just talking about is part of the Howdunit series for writers. The series is published by Writer's Digest Books, I think.

Dramaticat - 12:25pm Nov 16, 2002 PST(#49 of 55)
"These little grey cells - it is up to them" - H. Poirot

I have several of the Howdunit books and can thoroughly recommend them.

Melissa McGinnis - 09:02am Mar 4, 2003 PST(#50 of 55)

For the one searching for slow painful poisons, a good one is Ricin, derived from the seeds of the Castor Bean plant.

I found some good information on it a few weeks ago. It was on

Dramaticat - 09:32am Mar 4, 2003 PST(#51 of 55)
"These little grey cells - it is up to them" - H. Poirot

Ricin has definitely been in the news lateley!!!!

Molly Adair - 07:39pm Aug 3, 2003 PST(#52 of 55)

Try Star of Bethlehem, aka. Dove's Dung. It affects the respiratory system.

You may also want to try the Howdunit book on poisons, that's where I learned about that.

I was wondering - can anyone point me in the direction of a good website for info on gunshot wounds? I need to know some stuff on how the victim reacts (shock time, etc.) for a gunshot wound to the chest.

Terri Buzzelli - 10:54am Jun 12, 2004 PST(#53 of 55)

To the person seeking a map of Disney. Contact them and they will send you more information than you will need.

Terri Buzzelli - 11:25am Sep 11, 2004 PST(#54 of 55)

I too have the whodunit books. But I was looking to find on what foot is the toe tag placed. in the book it only said big toe.

Terri Buzzelli - 11:28am Sep 11, 2004 PST(#55 of 55)

I would assume that if someone jumped off a cliff their footprints would show this. If they were pushed the footprints would be of a scraping kind.

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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  / The Research  / Details, Details!

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