Obsessed until the End

by T-Knox

In 1888, the first commercial deodorant, called Mum was developed and patented in the U.S.. Today, the deodorant market sits at about $2 billion a year in the United States.

Everyone has their niche, what they enjoy and even like. However, unless it is a dangerous hobby you would never think twice about it possibly meaning life or death. The following are stories of how peoples’ obsessions killed them.

Over a decade ago a young man in Britain only wanted to smell good. Everyday, twice a day he sprayed his entire body with an aerosol deodorant. An autopsy concluded that the 16 year-old had 10 times the lethal limit of propane and butane in his blood. He died shortly after having a heart attack. The incident was recorded as a verdict of accidental death. The young man was normal and healthy the coroner reported. “He was simply overcome by excessive use of antiperspirants.” In his blood there was 0.37 mg of butane per liter as well as propane. A level of 0.1 mg per liter can be fatal, to put the levels in perspective.

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure is true of the Collyer brothers. For Homer and Langley their whole apartment was full of their treasures. The Collyer brothers were both hoarders and had kept outdated phonebooks, several pianos, car parts, and even pickled human organs in their home. The twosome were thought to have been rich because they refused to ever move out of their New York apartment. The reality was that Homer was blind and paralyzed and never left his bed. Langley took care of his brother around the clock and didn’t work himself. The rumor of the brothers’ supposed wealth sparked several attempted robberies. In response to this Langley built booby-traps to catch burglars in the act. Amongst the rubble in the apartment Langley moved around through tunnels just to reach his brother’s bedside. He was bringing his brother food when he was ultimately crushed because one of his tunnels collapsed on him. Homer died of starvation, but Langley’s body was not found for another week. In order to find the bodies workers had to remove over 100 tons of stuff from the apartment.

Timothy Treadwell had cheated death once before, after surviving a heroine overdose. With a new outlook on life he decided he needed to live his life to its fullest potential, this meant living in the wilderness amongst the bears. Treadwell along with his girlfriend Amie Huguenard began tenting in Alaska. Ignoring ranger’s warnings Treadwell and Huguenard never put away their garbage or looked into an electric fence to surround their camp. Their scraps were inviting to bears and the couple was mauled to death one evening. For 13 summers Treadwell had lived alongside the grizzlies. He put aside his past of drug and alcohol abuse to pursue the obsession.

It was game over for Jeff Dailey who earned a high score in Berzerk, an arcade game. After he got the high score he died from a heart attack. If that isn’t berserk, a year after this incident another young man also had a heart attack once he had two high scores within fifteen minutes. Berzerk may have won these rounds, but the guys, prior to the fatal game, were reportedly in good health.

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