1. AJSmith
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    AJSmith Senior Member

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    A couple ways to die

    Discussion in 'Research' started by AJSmith, Jul 28, 2011.

    1.I am wondering if there is a sword wound that could be inflicted on the upper body that would cause death, but by bleeding out more slowly rather than anything too instant. I'm thinking of something that would take at least several minutes... more is fine as well.

    2. Also, if someone is suffocated by another person by hand, what are some important mechanics of that to note? How long would it take? What would the necessary body position be? Right now, I have the character, crushing the anatomy in the wind pipe area - is that possible?

    3. I've seen on here and in my research that there really isn't reliable knockouts that last more than maybe a few seconds. To achieve even the short knockout, is there a location that is common to hit? Also, would the person be groggy? disoriented? woozy? upon waking?

    4. If someone is given a knife wound to the stomach, is this a wound that will bleed a lot, but not kill right away?

    5. Last one, I promise. I have a scene with an attempted drowning. I am just looking for insight about this to make it as real as possible.

    Thank you all... I apologize if any of these have been asked recently, and I welcome the link to the thread. Also, any good resources are appreciated.
     
  2. Marranda
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    Marranda Senior Member

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    1.I am wondering if there is a sword wound that could be inflicted on the upper body that would cause death, but by bleeding out more slowly rather than anything too instant. I'm thinking of something that would take at least several minutes... more is fine as well.
    ~~~From one single wound, bleeding out for several minutes before dying... I would think anything that cuts through one or more major organ, excepting the heart, would do the trick... A sword through the lung and liver would certainly cause a painful and not too slow, death.

    2. Also, if someone is suffocated by another person by hand, what are some important mechanics of that to note? How long would it take? What would the necessary body position be? Right now, I have the character, crushing the anatomy in the wind pipe area - is that possible?
    ~~~according to my amazing google dictionary ( ;) ), it takes 3-5 minutes to strangle someone to death because the brain can't survive without oxygen for longer than 3 minutes. I would guess that any position where the attacker had a good enough grip on the person's throat, and able to apply the most pressure would do it. I think that one you can use your imagination on...

    3. I've seen on here and in my research that there really isn't reliable knockouts that last more than maybe a few seconds. To achieve even the short knockout, is there a location that is common to hit? Also, would the person be groggy? disoriented? woozy? upon waking?
    ~~~Back of the head? But that's risky as it could easily kill rather than subdue... I imagine the person who'd been knocked out would be in a lot of pain. Disoriented, and possibly nauseas to actually vomitting.

    4. If someone is given a knife wound to the stomach, is this a wound that will bleed a lot, but not kill right away?
    ~~~That's leaving open a lot of possibilities... The stab could cut the intestines and cause internal bledding but not much external bleeding. Or could cause both external and internal bleeding... The stab could've hit an organ other than intestine and cause some other horrible delayed death...

    5. Last one, I promise. I have a scene with an attempted drowning. I am just looking for insight about this to make it as real as possible.
    ~~~Where do you want it to take place? At a pool? In a bathtub? At a lake? On the beach? Kitchen sink? Water puddle on back porch?

    Thank you all... I apologize if any of these have been asked recently, and I welcome the link to the thread. Also, any good resources are appreciated

    Google, google, and more google ;) And maybe wikipedia.
     
  3. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    Any sword wound that causes enough damage to bleed for several minutes is enough to slowly bleed to death.

    The trick, of course, is coming up with a plausible reason why the wounded party didn't tend to the wound during those minutes. Was he tied up? Unconscious? Still sword fighting for his life as he bleed out? Drugged? Too weak from illness....etc.

    The important mechanics are physically restricting or blocking the air flow. It can be done with a pillow, a plastic bag, a firm and tight grip on the throat, a nylon cord around the neck, etc.

    How long? It depends on the victim, how much air they had to start with, how long they can hold their breath, how much physical exertion they engage in trying to stop you from strangling them, etc.

    A character crushing the wind pipe with a baseball bat, lead pipe or less likely, a karate chop...can certainly result in death by suffocation.

    The common location is the head. You won't knock someone out by punching them in the kneecap. You have to "rattle" the brain, causing loss of sensory coordination (knocking out) and/or a concussion. You can be "knocked out" by a number of things, direct trauma (A "thump" on the head) that jars the brain, oxygen deprivation (passing out), blood toxin (I once passed out from food poisoning), etc.

    The big problem with knocking someone out is that the difference in brute force required to kill is only slightly more, and during an engaged fight it is very easy to apply too much force and kill your opponent.

    It depends. A slash from a butcher knife (wide area of damage) to the stomach will bleed a lot more than a tiny stiletto puncture wound (tiny hole, but deep) to the stomach. Medical attention can save a person with such a wound, so you must also come up with a plausible reason for the wounded person not to get treated.

    Accidental drownings happen all too frequently.

    Suicide by drowning is very difficult, but your body instinctive has a reflex to surface for air if it can. It is usually attempted by swimming out to sea where the person becomes too fatigued to swim back, and gets carried out on the tide.

    Attempting to physically drown someone else means having to deal with them fighting back. I've seen people who almost drowned in swimming pools do some extreme things. One kid almost drowned his own mother, trying to climb on top of her to get his head above water. To intentionally drown someone, your character will have to overcome his victim fighting like hell.

    Your victim may be more realistically drowned if they are drugged, tied up or unconscious...or if your murderer character is a good deal larger and stronger.
     
  4. WastelandSurvivor
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    WastelandSurvivor Member

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    Since I hit people for fun (and get hit back) I will throw in my information for the knockout question.

    "Knockouts" are caused by nervous system shock and/or a concussion. It takes 400lbs of force to the temple to cause a concussion that will knock someone unconscious, but much less if you catch the end of their chin at an angle or the joint of the mandible. The reason for those is that catching someone on the chin can either cause their head to snap around, jarring the brain inside the skull and causing a concussion, or it can drive the jawbone into a set of nerves that is behind it (put a finger behind your jawbone beneath your ear and push inward and toward your forehead if you don't believe that it's there) and you can, potentially, cause that nerve to overload and temporarily short out someone's control of their body. The "flash knockout" caused by the nervous system shock has a much less lasting effect and you can come out of it with little more than a sore jaw and wobbly legs. The concussion knockout is going to leave you nauseous and with a heck of a headache--look up concussion symptoms.
     
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  5. flipflop
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    flipflop Senior Member

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    This is a brilliant accurate answer +rep
     
  6. AJSmith
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    AJSmith Senior Member

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    Thank you, thank you!

    Those answers were all so helpful. I had done some research to write the scenes initially, but it it nothing like talking to people with experience for the important details.

    Marranda, the attempted drowning was at a lake shore by a much larger individual. It would be hilarious in a puddle though. Okay... maybe drowning someone is not hilarious, but the image just made me laugh.

    Thank you for the knockout questions. I have a couple instances of it. In one case, the concussion knockout seems best, in the other, I think the sensory nerve knockout.

    Would that one give the offender enough time to tie up their opponent?

    Also, I have my MC actually killing her attacker at the end with a smallish knife (6") - she stabs him in the stomach, pulls the knife up to his sternum while in his stomach. She then head-butts him and kicks him (he's very scary)

    is she going to have to do more to keep him, being a major tough guy, from fighting through that pain to attack her back?

    Is this stabbing possible?

    Will that kill him?
     
  7. flipflop
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    flipflop Senior Member

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    Yes if they are quick
    This attack will drop him instantly be careful its starting to sound abit hollywood
    Not really it would require a sawing action
    yes
     
  8. Marranda
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    Marranda Senior Member

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    Glad I can give a chuckle ;)
    I do have one thing to offer though, regarding the guy your MC's going to kill off. It sometimes doesn't matter how tough the person is, when it comes to killing them. I haven't done research on this so this may not be too accurate. But, I have heard stories where a big guy was brought to his knees by the smallest injury, and it requiring multiple injuries to takeout a smaller person.
    So since it's your characters, I think you have a bit of freedom to make this bad guy of yours as tough as you need them to be to bring out the murderer in your MC ;)
     
  9. WastelandSurvivor
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    WastelandSurvivor Member

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    As I mentioned, the effects of a knockout caused by shock to the nervous system is much less severe--the effect can range from the person simply stumbling/falling down to one knee to their body going completely stiff and they fall down like a tree that was just cut down, but it is only going to have them out of it for a few seconds. To tie someone up you're going to need to give them a concussion and you'll still have to tie them up pretty quickly because most concussion knockouts still only last up to about 30 seconds unless they are pretty severe or the person has a condition like epilepsy, in which case you have a few minutes.
     
  10. AJSmith
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    AJSmith Senior Member

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    Thanks again!

    This is pulled from my first draft, and I thought the same thing when I read it. It will need some tweaking when I get to the rewrite of that part, but I do feel like she's pretty freaked out and stabbing him may not be enough for her to feel sure he's dead...will have to think on that one. :)

    It seems like a sawing action might be too hard. I suppose she could stab multiple times, but he could probably still fight back? She could try to go for his throat too, but that's risky because she could miss. hmmmm....

    Thanks... this will be good to remember when revising my stuff.

    Marranda,
    That will be good to keep in mind. I had such a hard time making my MC a murderer, but alas... :)
     
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  11. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you shoot/stab someone in the stomach, they'll bleed internally, and not be able to bind the wound. Since the stomach is not a vital organ, it'll take several hours for them to die (assuming the wound isn't so big the blood gushes out).
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    google penetrating wound.
     
  13. AJSmith
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    AJSmith Senior Member

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    Thank you both.
    Cognito, thanks for the key word suggestion, it was helpful.
     

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