06 February 2022

Mailorder Murder

Few things are sadder than suicide, the hopeless decision to end one’s life. Amazon is making it easy with an old product marketed in new ways. The same sort of web sites that promote foolish vaccination theories also promote ways to commit suicide. Sadly, that information is a bit more accurate.

Anyone familiar with wines knows of sulfites, nitrates, and nitrites. One or more is thought to cause red wine headache (RWH) although the evidence is contradictory and white wines often contain more of the compounds than reds.

Sodium nitrate and nitrite figure heavily in chocolate, coffee, and processed meats. Sodium nitrite and nitrate are used as a food preservative and give hotdogs and corned beef that unique pinkish hue. Sodium nitrite can kill Clostridium botulinum (botulism) and Listeria, helping to prevent food poisoning.

But it’s not all good news.

Sodium nitrate occurs naturally in some vegetables, fruits, grains and converts to sodium nitrite, an antioxidant, upon the tongue. Medically, sodium nitrite can treat cyanide poisoning, one of the great ironies. It can be used to bring about suicide and prevent suicide.

The New York Times reveals a scandal

As the New York Times reports, those intent upon suicide are turning to on-line ordering sodium nitrite. Consumers can buy a $10 bottle or a 25kg bag of sodium nitrite.

Amazon is taking the brunt of on-line orders, although other social media platforms disseminate instructions along with suicide ideology. But once Amazon’s buying pattern algorithms kicked in, it began to suggest items to aid in suicide.

As history has shown, what can be used for suicide can be used for homicide. We live in a fictional world, but we have to be mindful of the real planet where miscreants wander among us.

The New Yorker reveals a mystery

As for suicide, the claim of a painless passage isn’t true. An intriguing deadly mystery in New York in 1944 described eleven men who’d succumbed to the poison.

Victims capable of reporting their status mention headaches, sometimes splitting headaches.

sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate chemical structures

Symptoms include:

  • Bluish skin from a lack of oxygen,
  • Difficulty breathing,
  • Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting,
  • Dark brown blood,
  • Dehydration from loss of bodily fluids,
  • Fast pulse, dizziness, weakness,
  • Abdominal pain,
  • Convulsions,
  • Coma.

Importantly, here are a few ways from the CDC to treat sodium nitrite poisoning.

  • Intubation and oxygen treatment,
  • Gastric lavage,
  • Methylene blue, antidote for nitrite poisoning.

Please, live long and prosper.


  1. Good information.
    Heron's Cry, Anne Cleeves new novel centers around a "suicide site" but no drug is specifically mentioned.

    1. Janice, I haven't read that, but I stumbled upon scary suicide-assist sites. I want to shake the participants, wake them to a better world, but they seemed determined. I keep thinking about the boy not long ago that his 'girlfriend' relentlessly 'encouraged' him on the path of suicide. What an ugly situation.

    2. Conrad Roy...such a waste of a beautiful body and soul. Still, I'm kinda envious of him.

  2. It's amazing what some people are willing to ingest. Unfortunately, if you get halfway and change your mind for any reason, it's usually too late.

    1. RT, while I was researching, I came across suicide support sites… sites that exist to advise others about topping themselves. Some were forums that would start off, "Don't judge me or talk me out of this, but I need adice if this way is better or that one…"

  3. There's almost no "painless" way to suicide. And the idea of profiting off of suicide... These algorithms are gonna kill us all, aren't they?

    1. Eve, for quite some time, I've been seeing cross-platform ads not of interest to me, but might be to friends. When friends are working in my house, I think Google, Amazon, and I think Microsoft are noting what someone else appears interested in, associating it with my IP address (like an internet phone number), and when they see me on-line, start sending me adverts.

      Thus, I get ads for pink tops, sling-back shoes (whatever those are), morning after pill, and… Whoa, wait…

  4. Replies
    1. Yes, it is, Elizabeth. It's heart-rending that desolation can bring someone to the point of suicide. Too sad, luv.


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