Select the above link to view case files and stories of how poison affects a victim; how it is often
mistaken for heart attack and other normal cause deaths.
By Katherine Ramsland
The First Forensic Science
For many centuries, poisoning has been a popular method of murder. One reason is that almost any natural
substance in the right dose can be poisonous, and many poisons mimic common medical diseases, leading
physicians to believe a victim died of natural causes.
Toxicology is important not just for an investigation in which foul play is suspected. It is equally essential for
determining accidental deaths and suicides—and even for substance abuse while on the job. A toxicologist may
be called on to test for anything from arsenic to poisoned gas to GHB to prescription drugs.
"The American Chemistry Society has said there are about 21 million registered compounds," says Dr. Robert
Middleberg of National Medical Services, the world's foremost independent toxicological testing laboratory,
which tests for more than 3,000 of those compounds. He suspects the number of poisonings each year are
Note: National Medical Services (NMS Laboratory) is the facility that ran the poison panel in the
autopsy of Raymond Zachry. The unidentified note handwritten on the Toxicology Report cites Dr.
Robert Middleberg as telling the writer the test was a false positive.
While toxicologists need "symptoms, signs, and a good case history" to narrow down the diverse range of
possible substances suspected in a death, sometimes it becomes a matter of systematically eliminating them by
NEWLY ADDED FILES:
Autopsy report of Andrew Breitbart.
Autopsy report of Raymond Zachry
Additional pages Raymond Zachry
The similarities in the autopsy reports of these men is striking.
1- They were close in age
2- Both suddenly collapsed and died while alone on a public street close
3- Both had toxicology reports from NMS Laboratory in Pennsylvania.
4- The coroner in both cases stated natural cause from sudden heart with
no prior heart symptoms or treatment.
1- Zachry was in excellent physical health
2- Weight was normal for his height
3- Zachry was 72" tall
4- Breitbart's weight was slightly overweight for his height
5- Breitbart was three inches taller, or 75"
Marie Robards, a Texas honor student stole barium from her high school science
laboratory, and put it into her father's dinner. She was upset because her mother and father
had separated, she only wanted to make him sick, she told investigators. But, her actions
murdered her father.