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#1
Old 12-26-2011, 03:57 PM
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Plastic Bag Death, How?

I went into the mall a few days ago. I usually always go into the jewelry store to talk to one of the workers there who I have known for about a year. He wasn't there when I asked for him. The manager pulled me aside and told me that he had died. I decided to ask, how? The manager told me that his family went to his home and found him dead in his bed with a plastic bag over his head. The plastic bag was just a normal plastic bag that the grocery store gives out.

My first question is this: Do you think he suffered much? I hope he didn't.

My second question: How can a plastic bag do the job? I found out from another worker that he wasn't taking any drugs and there was no alcohol present in his home at the time of his death. My only guess is that he inhaled so much Carbon Monoxide.

Thoughts?
#2
Old 12-26-2011, 04:00 PM
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Auto-erotic asphyxiation. If he wasn't murdered by someone then this seems the most plausible explanation.
#3
Old 12-26-2011, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odesio View Post
Auto-erotic asphyxiation. If he wasn't murdered by someone then this seems the most plausible explanation.
So you think he was trying to do something erotic or was trying to commit suicide?
#4
Old 12-26-2011, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TXJoe33 View Post
So you think he was trying to do something erotic or was trying to commit suicide?
Honestly, a suicide really didn't occur to me for some reason but I suppose it's possible. I don't really have enough information to come to a solid conclusion. Someone might have used the plastic bag to strangle him to death for all I know.
#5
Old 12-26-2011, 04:17 PM
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A big fear is one of the cats is going to lay in a plastic bag to nap and end up rolling /sealing itself in there (they love playing at the crinkly sound). I also fear for the safety of the Dudeling, but we only let him play with plastic bags that aren't marked with a warning.
#6
Old 12-26-2011, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odesio View Post
Honestly, a suicide really didn't occur to me for some reason but I suppose it's possible. I don't really have enough information to come to a solid conclusion. Someone might have used the plastic bag to strangle him to death for all I know.
It's definitely possible. The stepfather of a good friend of mine committed suicide that way about a year and a half ago. Left a note and everything.
#7
Old 12-26-2011, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odesio View Post
Auto-erotic asphyxiation. If he wasn't murdered by someone then this seems the most plausible explanation.
You know, there are worse ways to go, but I can't think of a more undignified way than autoerotic asphyxiation.
#8
Old 12-26-2011, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Eva Luna View Post
It's definitely possible. The stepfather of a good friend of mine committed suicide that way about a year and a half ago. Left a note and everything.
Just with a plastic bag and no other materials (drugs, alcohol)? Maybe that's how my friend at the jewelry store died.
#9
Old 12-26-2011, 04:38 PM
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Plastic bag over head is used as a suicide method though it's more commonly used as a secondary measure by people killing themselves with drug overdoses or by another method. The cause of death would be suffocation.

I'm not sure how difficult it would be to die accidentally, but I'm guessing what could happen is that the bag became sucked in to your windpipe forming an airtight seal that you couldn't remove.
#10
Old 12-26-2011, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythmdvl View Post
...
I also fear for the safety of the Dudeling, but we only let him play with plastic bags that aren't marked with a warning.
I hope you're kidding, but I'm willing to risk being whooshed on this one.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 12-26-2011 at 04:52 PM.
#11
Old 12-26-2011, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
You know, there are worse ways to go, but I can't think of a more undignified way than autoerotic asphyxiation.
Mulder: Why are you telling me this?

Sees-How-You-Die Guy: No reason...
#12
Old 12-26-2011, 05:05 PM
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I've heard of people committing suicide with the use of a plastic bag, however they also used some time of gas. I wasn't aware that someone could commit suicide with the just the use of a plastic bag. My guess that the only reason it works is because is if you do it when you go to sleep at night. If you get into a deep enough sleep you probably won't wake up if you need air.
#13
Old 12-26-2011, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chorpler View Post
Mulder: Why are you telling me this?
Beaten!
#14
Old 12-26-2011, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odesio View Post
Auto-erotic asphyxiation. If he wasn't murdered by someone then this seems the most plausible explanation.
That was unfortunately my first thought as well. However, I have never heard of someone using a bag to do it. They usually strangle themselves with something like a belt while masturbating. The idea is to orgasm while almost but not quite strangled to death and then release the belt or whatever is used for the purpose. Sometimes they can't get it released in time and pass out and die. We had a guy in college who didn't return home over the Christmas break one year and that was reason for it.

This case may be a suicide or even an accident. Males do just plain stupid things when they are bored sometimes.
#15
Old 12-26-2011, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXJoe33 View Post
I've heard of people committing suicide with the use of a plastic bag, however they also used some time of gas. I wasn't aware that someone could commit suicide with the just the use of a plastic bag. My guess that the only reason it works is because is if you do it when you go to sleep at night. If you get into a deep enough sleep you probably won't wake up if you need air.
If the person seals the bag around their head with, say, a rubber band, then as long as they're determined enough to keep it in place until the oxygen runs low, unconsciousness, then death will follow pretty certainly.

But the minute or two between putting on the bag and falling unconscious will probably be an unpleasant time - simple lack of oxygen causes people to fall unconscious without even realising it's happening, but if you're rebreathing the same air over and over, the level of Carbon Dioxide will build up and the body reacts to this with pain and panic (most people would probably rip off the bag at that point)
#16
Old 12-26-2011, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXJoe33 View Post
Just with a plastic bag and no other materials (drugs, alcohol)? Maybe that's how my friend at the jewelry store died.
I honestly don't know the details and didn't want to pry. All I was told at the time was that his Internet search history revealed that he had been looking into suicide methods for quite some time - he had been in poor health and also very depressed.
#17
Old 12-26-2011, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
I hope you're kidding, but I'm willing to risk being whooshed on this one.
Mrs. Devil often says that if I don't watch what I say in public we're going to get a nasty call from CPS.

For the record, no, we rarely let him play with plastic bags, he only has to sleep in the Basement of Woe when he really, really misbehaves, and his primary diet is a little broader than rat feet, spider eggs, and mould soup (well, on Thursdays it is). I'm sure there are a few other things out there that I've slightly exaggerated, but can't recall them all.
#18
Old 12-27-2011, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXJoe33 View Post
I went into the mall a few days ago. I usually always go into the jewelry store to talk to one of the workers there who I have known for about a year. He wasn't there when I asked for him. The manager pulled me aside and told me that he had died. I decided to ask, how? The manager told me that his family went to his home and found him dead in his bed with a plastic bag over his head. The plastic bag was just a normal plastic bag that the grocery store gives out.

My first question is this: Do you think he suffered much? I hope he didn't.

My second question: How can a plastic bag do the job? I found out from another worker that he wasn't taking any drugs and there was no alcohol present in his home at the time of his death. My only guess is that he inhaled so much Carbon Monoxide.

Thoughts?
Unless he did it in the garage with the car running, I think you meant Carbon Dioxide, the gas humans exhale.

Going by just your description it certainly sounds like suicide (auto-erotic usually involves self-strangulation, not asphyxiation). The plastic bag over the head is usually preceded by an overdose of some type of tranquilizer (i.e. sleeping pills).
#19
Old 12-27-2011, 07:07 AM
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Plastic bag over the head (usually in conjunction with drugs of some kind) was one suicide option suggested in Final Exit by Derek Humphry, so that is the first thing I thought of when I read your description.
#20
Old 12-27-2011, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXJoe33 View Post
I've heard of people committing suicide with the use of a plastic bag, however they also used some time of gas.
Yep. There are plenty of asphyxiant gases that don't leave you gasping for fresh air. Most homes have natural gas or propane coming into them for heat, hot water, clothes dryer, or stove/oven. If you don't mind the smell of the oderant, this stuff will asphyxiate you just fine; thus the old meme of putting your head in an unlit gas oven to commit suicide. Helium works just as well, as does nitrogen. For my TIG welder, I have a couple of bottles of argon, which would also work: fill bag, exhale, slip bag over head, tape snugly to neck, lie down and start breathing.

Quote:
I wasn't aware that someone could commit suicide with the just the use of a plastic bag. My guess that the only reason it works is because is if you do it when you go to sleep at night. If you get into a deep enough sleep you probably won't wake up if you need air.
Not likely. Ever try to fall asleep with heavy blankets drawn completely over your head? Doesn't take long before you're gasping for fresh air. As Mangetout notes, it's possible to kill yourself this way, but you've got to be reaaaally stubborn. This manner of suicide was depicted in the following movie:

#21
Old 12-27-2011, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
This manner of suicide was depicted in the following movie:

Also (and I don't think this is a spoiler in and of itself) death from having a plastic bag taped over one's head was depicted in the movie
SPOILER:
The Life of David Gale
.

Last edited by Sailboat; 12-27-2011 at 01:58 PM.
#22
Old 12-27-2011, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
Also (and I don't think this is a spoiler in and of itself) death from having a plastic bag taped over one's head was depicted in the movie
SPOILER:
The Life of David Gale
.

The difference being that in that case,

SPOILER:
the suicide victim handcuffed her own hands behind her back so that she would not be able to remove the bag from her head even when CO2 built up to such a point that the urge to do so might have compelled her.
#23
Old 12-27-2011, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Rhythmdvl View Post
For the record, no, we rarely let him play with plastic bags, he only has to sleep in the Basement of Woe when he really, really misbehaves
So it sounds like the regular beatings have been reasonably effective?
#24
Old 12-27-2011, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
If you don't mind the smell of the oderant, this stuff will asphyxiate you just fine; thus the old meme of putting your head in an unlit gas oven to commit suicide.
Just to be nitpicky, sticking your head in an unlit oven used to be more effective in the days of coal gas when doing so poisoned you with CO, not just killing you by suffocation.
#25
Old 12-27-2011, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Shagnasty View Post
That was unfortunately my first thought as well. However, I have never heard of someone using a bag to do it.
There was, and he won a Darwin Award for his efforts.
#26
Old 12-28-2011, 12:10 AM
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Putting a plastic bag over one's head, without the aid of any other substance or drug, seems like an unlikely method for successfully committing suicide. Even the most depressed, determined-to-die person is going to experience panic or something like it when they begin to run out of air and cannot breath. When panic strikes, you react on an almost instinctive level.

When you pull a trigger, or jump off a ledge; that's it. There is no time for your body and your instincts to fignt against your mind.
#27
Old 12-28-2011, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
Putting a plastic bag over one's head, without the aid of any other substance or drug, seems like an unlikely method for successfully committing suicide. Even the most depressed, determined-to-die person is going to experience panic or something like it when they begin to run out of air and cannot breath. When panic strikes, you react on an almost instinctive level.

When you pull a trigger, or jump off a ledge; that's it. There is no time for your body and your instincts to fignt against your mind.
Indeed. Or otherwise why not just hold your breath until you die?
TXJoe33 - your friend likely used sleeping pills or alcohol (if this indeed was a suicide).
#28
Old 12-28-2011, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by HumanMonkeyGod View Post
Indeed. Or otherwise why not just hold your breath until you die?
Because as soon as you pass out, you will resume normal breathing. The use of a bag assures that you will not receive fresh air, regardless of whether you breathe or not (provided you have the cast-iron will to avoid ripping the bag off of your head when the CO2 level builds up).
#29
Old 12-28-2011, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
Because as soon as you pass out, you will resume normal breathing. The use of a bag assures that you will not receive fresh air, regardless of whether you breathe or not (provided you have the cast-iron will to avoid ripping the bag off of your head when the CO2 level builds up).
I have no cite but I think it's been proven that you cannot hold your breath even to the point of passing out. That, just like pulling your hand from a burning stove, your reptilian brain stem will initiate a reflexive breath before you pass out, independent of any higher will not to...
#30
Old 12-29-2011, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Hail Ants View Post
I have no cite but I think it's been proven that you cannot hold your breath even to the point of passing out. That, just like pulling your hand from a burning stove, your reptilian brain stem will initiate a reflexive breath before you pass out, independent of any higher will not to...
Likewise, I don't know right-off where the cite was, but I've seen descriptions suggesting that even after you pass out from lack of oxygen, you might still reflexively pull the plastic bag off your head.

There's a site describing ways to off yourself (apparently written largely by one habitual suicider who's done it many times) which mentions this. I gather that his multiple suicides, by many methods, were not all entirely successful.

I think he concluded, from experience, that suicide by helium (or maybe nitrogen) is the pleasantest way to go. Apparently he knows whereof he speaks.

Okay, here's the cite. http://francesfarmersrevenge.com...icideguide.htm
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