Tuesday, May 10, 2016

James Kenevan Drinks the Carbolic Death Serum

The Detroit Free Press, May 4, 1909
If handguns are the choice of many modern suicides then carbolic acid was the old-fashioned way to go in the late 1800s through to the first quarter of the 1900s. At least that's what I've found through my research for Eloise despite its painful, lingering biological effects before death finally arrives.

James Kenevan was no exception. Having spent the winter of 1908 at Eloise he returned to Detroit to find work. A persistent illness apparently kept him from that task.  Or was it something else? We'll never know.

With his wife and children dead he likely felt that he had nothing to lose. The fact that he was only 55 and had already lost his entire family probably fueled that belief. Thus, he drank the carbolic death serum.

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