Some years ago a friend of mine worked in veterinary medicine in connection
with a local college or university in Canada near a major metropolitan
centre which will not be named. He worked it Vet medicine there and this
is how he came to know of an unusual case involving an animal.
A psychiatrist and his wife lived on a small estate on the outskirts of
the city where they had a private zoo, whether it was for medical research
or not I don't know. In any case one of the inhabitants of the private
zoo was a largish ape whose name was Angel. The psychiatrist and his wife
had a troubled relationship. She formed an attachment to the ape that
became, shall we say, romantic in nature. Subsequently the husband was
observed pacing back and forth on his lawn waving a pistol and shouting,
How do you compete with that!
Things went from bad to worse and a poison called Thallium was involved.
Angel was poisoned with Thallium. He began to show some of the symptoms,
such as loss of hair. One of the other parties showed symptoms as well
and, eventually there was a murder/suicide going on there. Thallium was
once an effective murder weapon before its effects became better known.
After the demise of the participants there was medical testing going on
and Angel's remains were sent to the university veterinary lab where my
friend worked. Angel's body was tested there to determine the cause of
death, and to see if Thallium was involved. It was. Preserving his remains
as evidence was required in the short term but eventually, as apes are
rather large, his remains were cremated and put in a jar on the shelf.
Some wag in the veterinary lab made a label for this jar and the label
read 'Angel Dust'.
Sonia Brock 2006