The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-04-2000, 12:00 AM
menjoa menjoa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Well, the SD staff has recommended I throw this question to you all, so here it is...
Does anyone have knowledge of someone actually killing themselves by cracking their neck?
I do this, sometimes just by stretching it, sometimes by using both hands to give my head a good twist. The responses I've gotten range from, "No worries, I do the same thing," to "Omigod! You can DIE from doing that." I'll grant that I've seen commandos on TV break someone else's neck with a similar action, but has anyone ever died
by breaking their own neck that way?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 11-04-2000, 12:14 AM
peace peace is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1,064
...<<<<<<has anyone ever died
by breaking their own neck that way?>>>>>>
NO.
<<<<<<Does anyone have knowledge of someone actually killing themselves by cracking their neck?
I do this>>>>
You do what? Kill yorself?
Try harder. I'm serious. It's impossible.
__________________
If anyone here follows my advice
because they thought it was
professional, I professionally
advise them to have
their heads checked.
Peace
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-04-2000, 12:15 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: New England
Posts: 33,365
I do it all the time, and the only ill effect is that I spend too much time on Web message boards.

My ankles and toes haven't fallen off yet, and they crack all the time.

How come all these stories come from "old wives" ? Don't young husbands have any imagined worries?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-04-2000, 01:14 AM
Slithy Tove Slithy Tove is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
In "Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer" they're killing people by twisting their necks as easy as snapping their fingers - a shortcoming in an otherwise good movie. In the book "Mouthful of Rocks - Adventures in the Modern French Foreign Legion" by Christian Jennings, the proper way to kill somebody by snapping their neck is described (which I won't deliminate here, since this isn't the How To Kill People Message Board). But I learned how to crack a neck from the barbers and sex workers in the Philippines, and from what I read in Jennings' book the difference required to kill someone is a matter of leverage & fulcrum placement. To crack a neck you twist it someplace where it won't go. To kill someone you twist it where it shouldn't go - and to address the OP, I don't think it's physicaly possible to do the latter to oneself
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-04-2000, 04:00 AM
Lance Turbo Lance Turbo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
In the movie Red Sun Rising starring Don "The Dragon" Wilson, a yakuza hitman that was captured by the police used the same method that I use to crack my neck to commit suicide. Clearly, it is possible to kill yourself this way barring the slim possibilty that the movie wasn't 100% accurate.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-04-2000, 04:58 AM
Major Feelgud Major Feelgud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
1) It is possible to die from neck cracking, from strokes. It's very rare, and I believe it's mostly from people who don't really know what they are doing. No, not chiropractors, but people like physical therapists, or massage therapists, or medical doctors who've taken one or two seminars and think they know how to crack a neck.

2) It's impossible to die from manually cracking a neck from physical causes. When people are hung to death, their vertebra is broken and it snaps the spinal cord. That's how death occurs. There is not enough power in human wrists to do this, well, maybe if your victim was a 90 year old osteoporotic woman.

3) Anyway, if you're at risk for strokes, don't crack your own neck or let anyone else do it.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-04-2000, 12:08 PM
The Great Zamboni The Great Zamboni is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
I do it all the time. I have twisted my neck a little to far, and that hurts.
__________________
I am The Great Zamboni, clearing ice for all mankind!

My name is not taken from a Sir Ben Kingsley Character.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-04-2000, 12:19 PM
peace peace is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1,064
You are missing the point, guys. It's very possible to die from neck cracking, but only if the injury is caused externally, by another person or environment. It is impossible to crack one's own neck. (Attention, PC crowd: it would be a very hamane method of judicial execution: it's very fast, a person is dead before the pain is felt. As a matter of fact, widely used hanging accomplishes this. A quick jerk by a skillful executioner could easy replace the noose and the scaffold.)
Compare: it's very easy to put a noose on the neck, attach it to a nail, and jump down. It's impossible to strange self by pulling the noose.
Perhaps, theoretically it's possible to destroy one's pain center in the brain(if it exists as an anatomically defined structure) and then manipulatete own neck. But we are talking about normal (more or less) people here.
__________________
If anyone here follows my advice
because they thought it was
professional, I professionally
advise them to have
their heads checked.
Peace
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-04-2000, 06:54 PM
Major Feelgud Major Feelgud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
peace: You have to read other people's post before you post. No one has strong enough hands to crack a neck to kill someone, unless they're a 90 year old osteoporotic woman.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-05-2000, 12:08 AM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota US
Posts: 12,755
While it's doubtful that you could break your own neck by cracking it manually, I recommend that you only crack your neck by flexing it, don't use your hands. You might not kill yourself but you can overpull your neck muscles, resulting in a really sick headache.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-05-2000, 10:05 AM
Feynn Feynn is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
My chiropractor would advise you not to do this yourself and to never let anyone else do it for you, the potential for injury is good here.

When my chiro has adjusted my neck he is very precise and demonstrates great control as too much force could result in pulled neck muscles.

I am aware of a technique whereby one can break another's neck (bare handed) but it relies on more than just grabbing someone's head and giving it a good hard twist. Other students and practitioners of martial arts might be aware of certain techniques but this is all I will say as this isn't the Straight Dope Murder Board and I would hate to see someone try this at home.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-05-2000, 03:37 PM
peace peace is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1,064
Major, I do read other people posts before I post. Other people make mistakes, as I do:hamane=humane. You were tactful enough not to "notice" it. I preferred not to notice that one (about 90 yo osteoporotic woman; BTW, vertebral fracture does not equal lethal brain injury and 90 yo female osteoporotis bones are equal to male ones. Women are a weak gender, but not their bones. Their bones might be smaller, not feminine). A strong or an average man (and not only Mike Tyson) can SKILLFULLY twist an average neck to cause death. As many posters noted, a skillful or amateurish manipulation can cause injury.
Finally, when you READ other people posts, read ALL words, they might be crucial to understand the meaning. In this case, SKILLFUL was the key. One does not need sheer strength in this delicate profession :-).
__________________
If anyone here follows my advice
because they thought it was
professional, I professionally
advise them to have
their heads checked.
Peace
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-05-2000, 04:16 PM
Major Feelgud Major Feelgud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
peace:

Women are not a weaker gender (just ask my wife), but their bones do become more osteoporotic with age, i.e. their bones are weaker. I'm a retired medical professional, if you don't believe me ask your GP.

A skillful or average man cannot skillfully twist to kill an average man to cause death. Please do not mistake your fanciful notions as fact. It just cannot be done. Go ask your local friendly chiropractor.

Fact 1) You may very luckily fracture a spinal vertebra, but that is very unlikely since your neck is protected by muscles and ligaments, much stronger than your wrist muscles.

Fact 2) Just fracturing your neck will not kill you. There are people walking around with symptomless fractured neck bones, and congential anomalies that are structurally the same as a fracture.

Fact 3) In order to kill the man, you will need to severe the spinal cord after fracturing the vertebra.

Fact 4) There is no instance in medical journals and records of that ever happening.

Fact 5) Let me repeat this again, do not post your fanciful notions as fact, you will confuse a lot of people.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-05-2000, 09:22 PM
peace peace is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1,064
Major, we do not have to display our shingles here (Good Lord!) and I do not want to be identified by my hyperactive children, but I know a bit about neck injury. In fact, I taught more than GPs on the subject of the neck injury. This BB is mostly for my RR, I do not want to lecture you, I put my remarks for the curious folks who deal with more pleasant things daily and would like to know about killing themselfes by twisting their necks and other fun stuff. Some day they, perhaps, will teach me about computers and other more serious stuff. So, I won't get into arguing the points we both know too well.
Probably, I misinterpreted you phrase as meaning that it takes less force to break the neck of 90 yo osteoporotic woman than that of 90 yo osteoporopic man. Sorry.
By [b]skillful[/] I meant a professional who knows how to hyperextend the neck, i.e., fracture/break the dens. After that very little force is needed to cause the fast lethal injury (kind of coup de grace) to the upper cervical neck/lower medulla.
Let's leave to Menjoa "cracking" the neck.
I do not want to quote professional references here, so people won't get unnecessary knowlege and will stick to old, time tested metods of suicide, homicide, etc. I'm sure, you know where to find them.
__________________
If anyone here follows my advice
because they thought it was
professional, I professionally
advise them to have
their heads checked.
Peace
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-05-2000, 09:37 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 49,621
Quote:
..<<<<<<has anyone ever died by breaking their own neck that way?>>>>>>

NO.
Actually, you can kill yourself by "cracking your neck"; although the expert opinion here seems to be that you can't break your own neck.

Several years ago there was a news story about a man who habitually cracked his neck my twisting his chin with his hand. One day as he was going into a church he craked his neck... and died not too long after. I don't remember exactly what he did (something about spinal fluid leaking out, nerve damage, or something like that, sounds familiar). He didn't break his neck, but cracking his neck was the cause of his death.
__________________
'Never say "no" to adventure. Always say "yes". Otherwise you'll lead a very dull life.' -- Commander Caractacus Pott, R.N. (Retired)

'Do not act incautiously when confronting a little bald wrinkly smiling man.' -- Lu-Tze
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-05-2000, 09:55 PM
peace peace is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1,064
He didn't break his neck, but cracking his neck was the cause of his death.
Johnny, is the above your opinion, or "self-cracking the neck" was written on Cause of Death .............
line in his death certificate? What was the manner of death? Suicide or Accident?
You said "news story". If you do not have personal knowlege, let's leave at that, you do not have to answer. I read much better stories in my life.
__________________
If anyone here follows my advice
because they thought it was
professional, I professionally
advise them to have
their heads checked.
Peace
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-05-2000, 11:20 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 49,621
Quote:
Johnny, is the above your opinion, or "self-cracking the neck" was written on Cause of Death ............. line in his death certificate? What was the manner of death? Suicide or Accident? You said "news story". If you do not have personal knowlege, let's leave at that, you do not have to answer. I read much better stories in my life.
In spite of your rudeness, I'll answer you. This was a story that I heard on the radio. I also heard the story on the local television news. The report said that the man cracked his neck on the way to church, damaged something in his neck, and died. The "personal knowledge" I have is that I heard the report myself. I have not heard of it happenning again since then, as I'm sure it's extremely rare. I did not fly back to Mississippi (or wherever it was) to view the death certificate myself. Maybe you write down every detail of every news report you hear or view, but I don't. Sorry I didn't know a few years ago that someone will be asking for specifics about a minor story.

I was not making a personal attack. I only posted the story as I remembered it. You may ask why I remembered the story. Well, here it is. I crack my neck occasionally. While I was on a solo cross-country flight in about 1984, I cracked my neck in the airplane. (Since you want specifics, it was a 1970 Cessna 172, registration N84573.) Being of a morbid humour, I wondered what would happen if I paralyzed myself by my action. I thought about being motionless and unable to control the aircraft. I visualized the descent as I made my way to the firey end of the flight. Hey, sometimes I think strange things.

Flash forward a decade or so. I heard this story on the news. It reminded me of the flight. And as a pilot, I think about flying. The flight reminds me of the news story. Such reinforcement makes me think of the story every time I crack my neck or see someone do it. It also makes me think about what a freakish way to die that was.

Are you going to say I never heard something that I actually did hear? Do you have proof? Written documentation that the story was never broadcast? I thought not. My "personal knowledge" of this particular incident is better than yours of this particular incident. Could the autopsy have come to the wrong conclusion? Yes. But that's the way the news broadcast it.

Sometimes people just die in very strange ways.
__________________
'Never say "no" to adventure. Always say "yes". Otherwise you'll lead a very dull life.' -- Commander Caractacus Pott, R.N. (Retired)

'Do not act incautiously when confronting a little bald wrinkly smiling man.' -- Lu-Tze
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-06-2000, 03:18 AM
Major Feelgud Major Feelgud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
peace: I didn't "put out my shingle" on my first post, if you noticed.

And by the way, you're still wrong:

"I meant a professional who knows how to hyperextend the neck, i.e., fracture/break the dens"

You should know better if you are a teacher. You CANNOT fracture the dens by hyperextending the neck, please don't tell your students that :-) They will fail their exams! The dens can only be broken by a shearing force. When you hyperextend the neck, C2-C3 and below are doing the extending. C1/2 cannot and will not extend. The back of your head will touch your back before any force is put on C1/2.

I'm sorry to correct you, but I think we would be doing SD a disservice if inaccurate facts were posted.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-06-2000, 02:15 PM
peace peace is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1,064
Dear Sirs and Madams:
Any rudeness perceived in my posts is inintentional. Here and in other threads.
Johnny, I never questioned your truthfulness. Media truthfulness and objectivity is another matter. The reason I asked about the death certificate is because I took the story as factual, while as it was only a media story. This poor man did not die of self-inflicted neck injury. He probably was habitualy cracking his neck when a heart attack happend. Sometimes cardiac pain irradiates in unusual location (neck/chin?) and he felt uncomfortable there. Or, perhaps, he had a carotid sinus tumor...etc. I do not want to speculate. I'd like to comfort you all, neck crackers: one has a better chance causing injury to oneself by picking one's nose.
Major, I do not think that we should continue our discussion here; this BB has different purposes and the SDoppers will be bored by technical details and unavoidable Latin/Greek terms. Suffice it to say that disruptive and compressive hyperextension occur. The anterior arch of the axis is typically fractured in the former. The injury itself may be a part of a whiplash injury, although the two are not the same.
Finally, as a historic trivial piece, it was speculated (by the medical profession!), that Joseph Gary Merrick, the "Elephant Man", died by dislocating his neck in his sleep. The "ponderous skull had fallen backwards". Please do not ask me questions about the details of his death: like Johnny, I only relate to you a srory which was published (in the scietific literature, though, not by the media).
Almost all af us are pros, in this or that field. We can help each other to learn something here and there. I don't think, Major, that we have to conduct professional discussions here. Of corse, I might be wrong; the mods will corrct me.
__________________
If anyone here follows my advice
because they thought it was
professional, I professionally
advise them to have
their heads checked.
Peace
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-06-2000, 02:29 PM
Major Feelgud Major Feelgud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by peace
Major, I do not think that we should continue our discussion here; this BB has different purposes and the SDoppers will be bored by technical details and unavoidable Latin/Greek terms. Suffice it to say that disruptive and compressive hyperextension occur. The anterior arch of the axis is typically fractured in the former. The injury itself may be a part of a whiplash injury, although the two are not the same.
Of course we should discuss it here. We can't let erroneous facts stand. Why don't you just admit you're wrong.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-06-2000, 03:20 PM
Jingo Jingo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
PEACE said:
Quote:
and the SDoppers will be bored by technical details and unavoidable Latin/Greek terms.
Did you really mean to post that?

I’ve got my Gray’s Anatomy, and a Surgical Atlas of the Head and Neck ready to go. I know that I speak for lots of SDopers when I say “bring on the technical details.”

Thank you, and Goodnight.
__________________
"Youth, we have plenty of. What we need is a Fountain of Smart."
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11-06-2000, 03:39 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 11,671
In In the Line of Fire, Malkovich as the rogue-CIA bad guy murdered two women by rapidly twisting their necks.

[/i]Kr-r-r-kkk! Kr-r-r-kkk![/i]

"Some people die because they're from Minneapolis."
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11-06-2000, 04:06 PM
The Great Zamboni The Great Zamboni is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
That was a movie. I'm convinced there is more to it than twisting.
__________________
I am The Great Zamboni, clearing ice for all mankind!

My name is not taken from a Sir Ben Kingsley Character.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 11-06-2000, 05:09 PM
peace peace is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1,064
For a gore and highly technical non-sexual thread it's remarkale: 22/378 posts/views in two days. Go figure...
I'm new here, if the rules/the mods allow, I'll continue. I'm sure that I'm right in my main points: neck "cracking" (twisting, etc., neck self-manipulation) cannot be lethal and, J. Malkovich character nonwithstanding, it's possible to kill a person by causing neck injury (aside from asphyxiation).
Many people here do not believe my knowlege/experience, or whatever I say. Tell me what do you, guys, want to have me to present (short of actual demonstration?). According to the laws of formal logic, it's impossible to prove any negative statement, e.g., "It's impossible...".
How can I prove the other statement?
__________________
If anyone here follows my advice
because they thought it was
professional, I professionally
advise them to have
their heads checked.
Peace
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11-06-2000, 07:07 PM
menjoa menjoa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
A recap

Wow. Pretty controversial topic for a first-time poster (I'm patting myself on the back now.)
So, if I've got this right, those with medical backgrounds say nay, one can neither kill themselves nor be killed in this way. I gather that it may possible, however, to injure oneself in this way, and such injury may or may not lead to death. Nevertheless, I am reassured. It sounds like I am more likely to die by having a South American fish swim up my urethra!
But, as long as we're having so much fun, are there any present or ex-commando types who've seen the neck twist in action? Is it for real? Is it intended to kill, or merely incapacitate the victim? (Should this be moved to the murder/death board?)
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 11-06-2000, 09:10 PM
Major Feelgud Major Feelgud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by peace
For a gore and highly technical non-sexual thread it's remarkale: 22/378 posts/views in two days. Go figure...
I'm new here, if the rules/the mods allow, I'll continue. I'm sure that I'm right in my main points: neck "cracking" (twisting, etc., neck self-manipulation) cannot be lethal and, J. Malkovich character nonwithstanding, it's possible to kill a person by causing neck injury (aside from asphyxiation).
Many people here do not believe my knowlege/experience, or whatever I say. Tell me what do you, guys, want to have me to present (short of actual demonstration?). According to the laws of formal logic, it's impossible to prove any negative statement, e.g., "It's impossible...".
How can I prove the other statement?
Actually, its pretty simple. It seems like a bunch of us have experience in this field. Well, let me refute your hyperextension hypothesis first:

C2-C7 facets all facilitate extension. C1-C2 is rotation (I believe 50% of rotation is from C1/2?, sorry, it's been years since I cracked open Gray's, but you pick up a few things here and there.) So as you extend and go into hyperextension, C2-7 will pick up all the extension motion. C1-2 won't even be stressed.

Now, even if you were to localize extension to just C1/2, provided that you've got enough force to break free all the ligaments, all that's going to happen is that C1 is going to slip off and p and over the dens. You're not going to fx it that way. The only way you can break the dens is if shear it off.

I actually remember this from class, many many years ago. If you can find old hanging photos from the Net, (from WWII partisans or old Western hanging photos) the knots are all on the side. Take a look at the positions of the heads, they are all bent to the side and up. The dens is sheared off laterally. You will not find any hanging photos of the neck in extension. I think this proves my point.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 11-06-2000, 10:33 PM
peace peace is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1,064
Well, the mods are silent. I'll take it as their tacit approval that we may continue.
First, Menjoa, welcome. Your handle looks familiar, but maybe I saw it elsewhere, or I saw Menjos or Manjo :-).
A few points to answer:
So, if I've got this right, those with medical backgrounds say nay, one can neither kill themselvescorrect nor be killed in this way. Nobody here ever said it.
I gather that it may possible, however, to injure oneself in this way,slightly injury, perhaps.
and such injury may never or may not lead to death. Nevertheless, I am reassured. It sounds like I am more likely to die by having a South American fish swim up my urethra! This was not discussed yet. Essentially, it's between you and the fish.
But, as long as we're having so much fun, are there any present or ex-commando types who've seen the neck twist in action? They are all busy. I hope, as soon as they see this threat, they'll reply. Then, we'll have first-hand testimonies, so to speak.
Is it for real? Is it intended to kill, or merely incapacitate the victim? Please, substitute the noun for "it" and repost. "Carotid chokes" are well known means of police restrain, the technics are described in the appropriate literature. They were intended to subdue the victim, not to kill, of course. But a few mishaps happened and are described as well. Most victims were cocaine intoxicated at the time.
(Should this be moved to the murder/death board?) Sure. Do you have the URL?
Major, you know your anatomy, but I know neck injury.

Actually, its pretty simple. Actually, it's not. For starters, look up "Pathology of Neck Injury. Peter Vanezis. Butterworth, 1989. ISBN 0-407-01380-6,£50
It is not "my hyperextension hypothesis". They are well known pattern injuries, well described.
I ain't need to stare at any WWII photographs, as good professional photographs (not media type) are available in any forensic pathology textbook.
As I said, the laws of formal logic prevent me from proving a negative. For instance, I cannot prove that the Earth will not start to spin in the opposite direction tomorrow at noon. But I can show you that, based on our common knowlege, it will not happen. One can squize the own neck and interrupt the blood supply to the brain (see "carotid choke" above). The brain will still get the blood via vertebral arteries. But not enough to sustain its function for long. As soon as catotid flow is stopped, the brain function slows, the muscles relax and the "choke" can no longer be maintained. It will happen even before the loss of consciesness will occur, in a few seconds. If anyone here wants to refute the above, I'd like to see a reference. I will even make it easier: any case of self-inflickted bare-hands injury in a "helthy" person is accepted.
I can't provide a reference to an executioner/murderer textbook. But any forensic pathology book will describe accidental/homicidal/suicidal neck injuries, including the ones associated with fracture/hyperextension.
Suicidal injuries will include only the injuries caused with the help of tools.
Sorry for the long one, but I was prompted.
__________________
If anyone here follows my advice
because they thought it was
professional, I professionally
advise them to have
their heads checked.
Peace
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 11-07-2000, 12:07 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 55,751
Why shouldn't you two be allowed to carry on a technical discussion that most of the members here wouldn't understand? Looking around, threads like that are the backbone of this forum, and I know that much of my best material has been in such threads. Just be prepared for some of us clueless layfolks to ask you to slow down and explain terms now and again.
__________________
Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
--As You Like It, III:ii:328
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 11-07-2000, 05:45 AM
Major Feelgud Major Feelgud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
peace: I know my neck injuries too.

1) Your post seems to have sidestepped the fact that your hyperextension hypothesis regarding breaking the dens is wrong. It is wrong, and you've not said anything to disprove it.

2) No one ever denied that you can kill a person by stroking him out or cutting off blood supply to the brain by twisting the neck, but:

a) A stroke would be an incidental happening since we are talking about causing death by mechanical and physical means.

b) Cutting off circulation will take time. I believe that we were talking about a one time single twist to the neck.

By the way, I am interested in hearing from some CIA or Commando type guys to see if they were trained/can be trained to kill this way.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 11-08-2000, 12:49 AM
peace peace is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1,064
Major, I never hypothtized anything in this thread. I saw fractured denses. Read the recommended book, and you won't call it "my hypothesis".
I never used the word "stroking". "Stroke" was never mentioned by anyone here. In general, I even do not understand what you are talking about here.

Q.[b]Cutting off circulation will take time. [/] Of course. If you are talking about manual carotid compression, about 0.1 second. You may do a test on yourself. Use your radial artery at the elbow and feel the pulse on your wrist. Radial artery wall has the same structure as the carotid one.
I believe that we were talking about a one time single twist to the neck Menjoa did not specify the technic. He just asked if one can kill oneself be "cracking" the neck. Later I mentioned possible execution. To be "humane", it must be done briskly. I used carotid compression to explain that the death by manual ("bare-hand") injury is impossible. I thought the the concept would be easier understood with carotid example. If you did not understand it, do a "safe" experiment: close your lips shut and squeeze your nose with your predominant thumb and index finger. Tell us how long it took (to cut the air supply) and how long you hold. For your convenience, clocking can be done by assisstant.
__________________
If anyone here follows my advice
because they thought it was
professional, I professionally
advise them to have
their heads checked.
Peace
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 11-08-2000, 02:09 AM
Major Feelgud Major Feelgud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
peace: I see your problem. When you are caught out with a wrong answer you deny it and talk about something else.

1) You said you can fracture a dens by hyperextension. You are WRONG, you cannot.

2) YOU were the one who brought up killing by cutting off circulation, not me.

3) Stroking out is when a blood clot gets dislodged and carried up to the brain where it cuts off circulation to a particular area. If you don't even know what it is, then you shouldn't be giving out your "advice" here.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 11-08-2000, 05:00 AM
matt matt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: A Brit in 'Stralia
Posts: 1,964
Peace - I'm occasionally finding some of your replies confusing. I lose track of whether you're answering the "self-inflicted neck injury" question or the "break someone else's neck" question.

Major - I believe Peace brought up carotid chokes in response to Menjoa's question "Is it for real? Is it intended to kill, or merely incapacitate the victim?" as a possible means of incapacitation. He later used it as an easy-to-understand example of why serious self-inflicted neck injury by hand is impossible. I don't think he's trying to change the subject.

Peace says he has seen fracture by hyperextension in forensic pathology textbooks, and given a reference. Unless you guys both look in the same book, you can't get any further - you can't refute his examples (even by typing "wrong" in capitals!) and he can't make you accept his examples.

you seem to be arguing that it is physically impossible to force someone's head by hand into a position which results in fracture of the neck. Is this a matter of strength, or because there is no such position? If the back of my skull were touching my spine, or my head were rotated through 360o, would that not result in fracture? Might it not result in death anyway?

When people break their necks in traffic accidents or by falling down the stairs, how is the fracture effected? Is it by a direct impact to the neck, or by a force applied to the head?
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 11-08-2000, 12:10 PM
peace peace is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1,064
Q 1) You said you can fracture a dens by hyperextension. You are WRONG, you cannot
Major, between the tho of us, it's me who speaks with an accent. Yet let me point it to you: there is only one dens in the neck (the odontoid process of the axis). Therefore, it's the dehs, not a "dens". Other dentes* (teeth) are located elsewhere, not in the neck. You can also look up its name under D. epistophei, odontoid bone, odontoid apophysis,and tooth of epistropheus.
I am talking about fracturing the dens (not a tooth) as a part of neck injuries due to hyperextension (and whiplash of the neck. Once again, I invite you to read P. Vaneziz's book, p.95, about both types of the huperextension injury.
Perhaps, you thought that hyperextension can fracture a tooth ("a dens" in your parlance). Of course, it cannot.
-------------------------
*I got rusty on my Latin and had erroneously used "denses" instead of correct "dentes" as pl. of "dens" before. I apologize for any confusuon it might brought to the discussion.


Q2) YOU were the one who brought up killing by cutting off circulation, not me. I do not deny it. I brought it up only to illustrate my point of absolute impossibility of manual self-killing. My remarks could or could not be construed as "advice": it does not work, so, it's invalid.

q3) Stroking out is when a blood clot gets dislodged and carried up to the brain where it cuts off circulation to a particular area..This is one of many causes of the [i]ischemic[/i/ brain stroke. Yet, I still fail to see its relation to the discussed topic.
Matt, thank you for the support. I apologize for any confusion. It was unintentional, of course, because, when I know the subject, I tend to skip some intermediate points, forgetting that they may be clear only to me, not to the audience. I'd be glad to clear any confusion here.
Regarding your last paragraph: It is not easy, but possible. For instance, a sharp strong blow to the chin (yes, in boxing) can case it.** A pro boxer knows how to diminish such injury, so, they are rare in boxing. But they are still possible, rarely may be lethal.
I can draw a picture with the head touching the spine, but I doubt that it ever actually happens. I do not think that turning the head more than 90° is possible. Both hyperextension (withoit actual "touching") and extreme rotation will result in neck fractures, although of different types. The proximal cause of death in neck injuries is the disruption of lower medulla (the lowermost part of the brain) and/or the upper cervical spine. Usually, it leads to instantaneous death (within seconds), as the nerve inpulse flow to the heart and lungs is interrupted.
Thank you for your attention.
----------------------------
**Hyperextension of the neck can also be cause to the blow to the top oh the fead It occures in the falls and car accidents.
__________________
If anyone here follows my advice
because they thought it was
professional, I professionally
advise them to have
their heads checked.
Peace
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.