Medical Professionals Break Down The Strangest Cause Of Death They've Ever Seen
Image by Lorraine Cormier from Pixabay

People who work in forensics and conduct autopsies for a living inhabit a facet of life most of us would prefer to keep out of mind most days.

But someone has to do it.

Not surprisingly, those who've agreed to determine countless causes of death and piece together the details of so many people's final moments have some stories.

And a recent Reddit thread asked them to share those tales.

Redditor MimBim asked:

"Forensics and people involved with managing the deceased, what's the weirdest cause of death you have come across?"

Many shared the intriguing--and upsetting--freak accidents they've discovered. Life is a game of inches, people.

Stars Misaligned

"A girl that went to my primary school went to warm her car up in the winter and after starting it slipped on some ice and knocked herself out."

"She landed adjacent to the tailpipe and expired due to carbon monoxide poisoning."

-- NoMoOmentumMan


"Had a sad one where a guy tried to hang himself from the 3rd floor balcony. The rope broke and he fell and impaled himself on fence spikes."

"A lady walking her dog hours later thought he was a gruesome Halloween decoration until she noticed leakage from the poor guy."

"Security camera footage from across the street showed he was alive for a while before he bled out"

-- NemoKhongMotAi

Tougher Times Back Then

"My great great grandmother died after being cut nearly in half by a lumber saw in the 1930s. She was wearing a scarf or something when she took her son (my great grandfather) some lunch and her scarf became caught on the saw and pulled her down."

"They turned off the saw quickly enough and she lived for a while afterwards ("a while" here meaning hours or days, I can't recall, but less than a week). My understanding is she walked to the car that drove her to the hospital, but there was obviously nothing they could do for her."

-- -aged-like-wine-aged-like-wine-

In a Flash

"I work in forensics from an engineering and product design aspect. A man was using a large handheld wet saw (imagine an oversized circular saw) to cut a 3' diameter concrete sewer pipe that was suspended using two sawhorses."

"When he finished the cut, the pipe fell and pinched the saw blade between the two pieces, causing the saw to flip around quickly and sever off his own head."

-- galtsgulch232

Pinned Down

"I transcribed police reports and remember one call that was pretty terrible. A husband and wife were in a hot tub. It was a smaller one. The man must have gotten out and then when he tried to get back in he fell head first on top of her."

"His weight pushed her down so the water covered her nose and mouth. He must have been too heavy for her to lift up. A neighbor saw his feet sticking in the air and called police. They both drowned."

-- Elocinyls

Two Very Different Stories

"Paramedic here. Had a few. Homeless guy climbs into a recycling clothes bin to retrieve warm jackets in the winter and it had one of those barrel type drawers. He got stuck by his head on the way out and was strangled. Weirdest thing was walking up to him across a supermarket carpark and he was just looking up at the sky but with a frost covered face."

"Also had somebody die in front of a warm electric fire and wasn't found for 2 days. The guy was cooked like a roast chicken."

-- mrbounce74

Quite the Sequence

"Not a person who deals directly with the dead, but as a genealogist, I look at a LOT of death certificates, so I sometimes come across unusual and surprising causes of death. A rather well-known one is George Spencer Millet, who died in 1909. His headstone literally says:"

" 'Lost life by stab in falling on ink eraser, evading six young women trying to give him birthday kisses in office Metropolitan Life Building' "

"I've personally uncovered many more, but it's hard to top that one."

-- angelmnemosyne

Things Where They Don't Belong

"The man who got very drunk, somehow managed to get his 4-wheeler onto his roof, and then proceeded to launch himself off. Darwin took over after that."

"The person who died while asleep after a small airplane crashed into their bedroom"

-- ToxicologyFiles

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Workplace Hazards

"Not in forensics or anything to do with the deceased but, if you're looking for a weird death, I have an interesting one from my genealogy research. A third great uncle of mine was a "driver" for the New York & Harlem Railroad in the 1870s - a time when horses were used to pull cars on rails in Manhattan, much like trollies."

"His death certificate states that he was kicked in the abdomen by a horse attached to a freight car. He succumbed to peritonitis 3 weeks later because the kick ruptured an old inguinal hernia. A long, slow way to die."

-- JimTheJerseyGuy

Others chose to recount the strange deaths caused by intoxication.

Hit Twice

"This guy was alive when he came in, though died later. He came into hospital with no legs below the knee and the top of his head missing."

"Turned out he was on his way home, drunk from the pub, and fell asleep on some train tracks whilst taking a short-cut. The train cut off his legs, then spun him around and cut off the top of his head."

"He died whilst in hospital but he lived for a bit, which is amazing. The paramedics brought his legs into hospital in a plastic bucket."

-- Fire_The_Torpedo2011

The Exact Wrong Position

"We had a family friend who was an alcoholic who blacked out and died of asphyxiation. Official cause of death was 'unconsciousness forced victim into a position incompatible with life'."

"When clarification was sought they said she passed out and fell into a position that prevented her from breathing. I did not know that was possible."


They Tried Their Best

"Not a forensic person, but a friend of mine went drinking at a bar. His got piss drunk and the bartender rightfully took his motorcycle keys away. He lived just a few blocks away."

"When the bar closed, he stumbled toward home, fell in a ditch and drown in the inch of water that was in that ditch from the rain that came down."

-- MizzGee

Lethal Munchies

"Not in forensics, but in healthcare. Saw a guy that got so high he decided to go into the freezer and start eating a bunch of frozen raw chicken."

"Ended up dying choking on it."

-- kristaz12

Finally, a couple people shared stories of truly bizarre murder mysteries.

An Unruly Weapon

"A teaching case: Death by bull"

"A woman was found dead in a pasture, trampled by a bull. Well, if you underestimate cattle, that can happen. But she was the farmer's wife, so she knew the animal was aggressive, and everyone else in the village knew that too."

"The neighbors also said he was never kept in that pasture because you couldn't see all of it at once. Yep, the farmer murdered his wife with a bull as the weapon. Put him in the pasture without her knowing, then sent her out there for some errand."

-- SillyOldBat

A Morbid Trophy

"We had a guy that died from multiple stab wounds to the chest, which isn't all that weird, except the wounds were all oddly shaped. It turned out that the guy recently divorced his wife because she developed a massive meth addiction and had moved out because she was psychotic."

"But she found out where he lived, broke in and stabbed him to death in his sleep. The guy was an avid collector of weird, goofy fantasy knives, one of which was used in his murder. His ex-wife decided to keep the knife afterward and was arrested when the knife and his blood were found in her kitchen sink."

-- allenidaho

Here's hoping you all die old, of old age, sitting comfortably on the couch.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

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