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Lethal practice

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 19 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:159
  1. Wendy Moore, freelance writer and author, London
  1. wendymoore{at}

    A new book chronicles insulin's 50 year history as a murder weapon—including stories of doctors engaged in foul play. Wendy Moore reports

    If one fact emerges with abundant clarity from Insulin Murders it is that coauthor Vincent Marks would make the ideal dinner party guest. As a world authority on criminal use of insulin, Marks could spin startling stories of bigamous murderers, serial killers, and bungled miscarriages of justice sufficient to last until well after the last wafer thin mint has been eaten and the port bottle emptied.

    Documenting 50 years of legal cases that have implicated insulin as a murder weapon, Marks and his coauthor, medical journalist Caroline Richmond, have produced a compelling account that is at least as thrilling as any best selling crime novel, with many twists and loose ends to keep the reader guessing.

    Beginning in England in 1957 with the first murder proved to have involved insulin, though technically death was caused by drowning, the book details 14 of …

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