Napoleon was poisoned: toxicological study

I am consistently amazed by the things that technology allows us to do.

“STRASBOURG (AFP) – Napoleon Bonaparte was murdered by arsenic poisoning and did not die naturally of a stomach cancer, according to a new toxicological study which attempts to end long running historical controversy.

“The latest analysis suggests a criminal intent,” said Dr Pascal Kintz, a toxicologist who regularly gives expert evidence in court cases, and who conducted a new study on Napoleon’s hair.

For International Napoleonic Society (INS) spokesman Jean-Claude Damamme the new study by Dr Kintz has produced “the definitive proof of the criminal poisoning of Napoleon”.

Napoleon died aged 51 in 1821, on the island of St Helena in the south Atlantic, where he had been banished after his military defeat by British and Prussian forces at Waterloo.

A previous analysis of Napoleon’s hair, conducted by Dr Kintz in 2001, had found abnormally high levels of arsenic.

However supporters of the natural death theory said the arsenic could be explained by environmental factors such as the winemakers’ custom at that time of drying their casks and basins with arsenic.”

The article goes on to explain why they believe their theory to be correct. But even with this technological advance we are still limited to making some educated guesses in some areas.

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1 Comment

  1. Stacey June 5, 2005 at 5:21 pm

    Wow, pretty cool.

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