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Times 1886 Article about a Girl Buried Alive!!
Woodstock, Ontario, a girl named Collins died, as was supposed, very suddenly. One or two days later, the body was exhumed for transfer to another burial site, when was discovered that the girl had been buried alive. Her shroud was torn to pieces, the knees were retracted to the chin, one arm was twisted over her head and her features were evidence of terrible agony.
Interesting fact: In the 19th century, Dr. Timothy Clark Smith of Vermont was so worried about the possibility of being buried alive who arranged to be buried in a special crypt which includes a breathing tube and a glass window.
British newspaper in 1877
“A woman was buried with all the usual formalities, it was believed that she was dead, but she was just unconscious. A few days later, the tomb in which her body had been placed was opened for receiving another body, it was found that the clothes that covered the unfortunate woman were torn to pieces, and she had broken some parts of her coffin in an attempt to leave the tomb. The Court, after hearing the case, ordered the doctor who signed the death certificate and the mayor who had authorized the burial, every one to three months in prison for manslaughter. ”
Interesting fact: Today, when a definition of death is required, doctors usually turn to “brain death” to define a person as being clinically dead. People are considered dead when the electrical activity in the brain ceases.
Madame Bobin 1901
“In 1901, a pregnant, Madame Bobin came on board a ship in West Africa and appeared to be suffering from yellow fever. She was then transferred to a hospital for persons with infectious diseases. There, her condition became worse and she apparently died and was buried. A nurse said later that she realized that the body was not cold and there were tremors in the muscles of the abdomen and expressed the view that it might have been prematurely buried. When this was reported to the father of Madame Bobin, he asked for the body be exhumed. They were horrified to find that a baby had been born and died with Madame Bobin in the coffin. An autopsy showed that Madame Bobin had not contracted yellow fever but had died of asphyxiation in the coffin. The action against the health authorities resulted in a penalty of $ 13,000. ”
Interesting fact: Historical records indicate that during the 17th century, plague victims often were in collapse considered dead. 149 people who confirmed dead were actually buried alive.