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  #1  
Old 02-27-2011, 03:41 PM
jtgain jtgain is offline
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How does a prisoner hang himself in a county jail?

I must say for full disclosure that I have been arrested a few times when I was younger and foolish. Each time, they stripped search me and didn't allow shoelaces or belts.

Then, when you get into the cell, there are no bars, just a solid concrete door. And even if you were able to fashion a rope out of a blanket or whatnot, cells are so overcrowded that someone would surely stop you if you did get past all of the above.

AND, if that wasn't enough, wouldn't the slow strangulation cause your survivor instinct to kick in and untie the rope?

All this being said, how is it possible that a prisoner can hang himself in a county jail?
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2011, 03:49 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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Once all your weight is hanging from the rope, you won't be able to untie it. Plus you're rapidly losing strength as you use up your oxygen.
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  #3  
Old 02-27-2011, 03:52 PM
deanc2000 deanc2000 is offline
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You can just lean your neck against something to block your carotid arteries. All you need is 12 pounds across your neck to do it. It's very easy really, if one wanted to.
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  #4  
Old 02-27-2011, 04:00 PM
jtgain jtgain is offline
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Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
Once all your weight is hanging from the rope, you won't be able to untie it. Plus you're rapidly losing strength as you use up your oxygen.
You wouldn't even be able to pull enough weight off of yourself and put some slack on your neck? I'm just trying to picture this scenario..
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:06 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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You wouldn't even be able to pull enough weight off of yourself and put some slack on your neck? I'm just trying to picture this scenario..
You'd be doing a one armed pullup. Next time you're at the gym, give it a try.
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2011, 04:24 PM
jtgain jtgain is offline
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Fair enough. You guys seemed to have debunked the "survival instinct kicks in" part. What about all of the other stuff? What do you tie the blanket to?
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2011, 04:41 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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Originally Posted by jtgain View Post
Fair enough. You guys seemed to have debunked the "survival instinct kicks in" part. What about all of the other stuff? What do you tie the blanket to?
If you have bunk beds you can tie the blanket to the top bunk and hang yourself on your knees.
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  #8  
Old 02-27-2011, 04:47 PM
jtgain jtgain is offline
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
If you have bunk beds you can tie the blanket to the top bunk and hang yourself on your knees.
But when you started suffocating, wouldn't you instinctively put your feet down?

Last edited by jtgain; 02-27-2011 at 04:47 PM..
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2011, 05:00 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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When I was a sophomore in high school, one of my classes, for some reason, took a tour of the county jail. The deputy giving the tour semed to take some kind of perverse pleasure in relating grisly jailhouse stories and suicide stories in particular (it like was a scene from Reno 911). He showed us a padded cell - some kind of room used to cool off psychos and detoxers, I guess - where he said a guy had once hung himself from the light fixture by his own underwear. The ceiling was low enough that he could have stood on the floor, so he had to will himself to lean and hang. I guess enoyugh willpower can do the trick. The deputy also showed us another cell where he said a guy had killed himself by diving head first off the top bunk and into a concrete floor, cracking his skull open. It's incredible how determined people can be.
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  #10  
Old 02-27-2011, 05:35 PM
Oldeb Oldeb is offline
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Originally Posted by jtgain View Post
But when you started suffocating, wouldn't you instinctively put your feet down?
You'd only have to fight it until you blacked out. I'd think you wouldn't even have to be particularily determined to get that far.
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  #11  
Old 02-27-2011, 07:51 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
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Worst case I saw was a guy who hyperflexed his knees by pressing them back against his bunk, looped his bedsheets around his ankles and his neck, tied it off very tightly, then rolled away from his bunk. The knees could no longer hyperflex without the pressure of the bunk, so his legs pulled the sheet tight around his neck.

He waited until his cellie was out for his turn at recreation.

Very not nice to see. But ingenious.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:26 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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Originally Posted by jtgain View Post
But when you started suffocating, wouldn't you instinctively put your feet down?
Yeah, but some actually would keep going until they passed out. Also, a tourniquet could be made if you had something about a foot long and fairly hard to tie off some bedsheet. I don't know if a toothbrush would work or not but that could kill someone w/o hanging. So someone doesn't even need to find something to hang from to strangulate.
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  #13  
Old 02-27-2011, 08:37 PM
Superhal Superhal is offline
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Also, you're ignoring the fact that they might have been killed and then hung to make it look like suicide.
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  #14  
Old 02-27-2011, 08:40 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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I once knew someone who didn't mention that she had diabetes, and tried to induce death by not taking her insulin. I don't know how she survived, though.
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  #15  
Old 02-27-2011, 09:47 PM
toofs toofs is offline
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Worst case I saw was a guy who hyperflexed his knees by pressing them back against his bunk, looped his bedsheets around his ankles and his neck, tied it off very tightly, then rolled away from his bunk. The knees could no longer hyperflex without the pressure of the bunk, so his legs pulled the sheet tight around his neck.

He waited until his cellie was out for his turn at recreation.

Very not nice to see. But ingenious.
Wow. So, if I am imagining this correctly, he had his knees behind his back with his feet as far up as he could get them? Or were his knees to the front, as close to his chest as he could get them?

He turned his body into a spring and used it as the tensioning device. Amazing, actually.
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  #16  
Old 02-27-2011, 09:50 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
Yeah, but some actually would keep going until they passed out.
Yeah, I knew a woman who used to play "the choking game" when she was younger, so when she decided to kill herself, all it took was a belt hooked up in the closet and dropping down to her knees. No self-preservation instinct to override.
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  #17  
Old 02-28-2011, 12:01 AM
Patch Patch is offline
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One I know of is similar in concept to Qadgop the Mercotan's account. The guy tied the end of his pant legs together to make a loop that was looped around the leg of his bunk. He stuck his head in there as well and just rolled over and over, twisting it tighter and tighter until he blacked out and died.
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  #18  
Old 02-28-2011, 12:17 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Auto-erotic asphyxiation fanciers come close or actually commit suicide all the time, on purpose sometimes, to go with a bang, so to speak; IANA clinical psychologist, but it seems likely to me. I mention this for it's bearing on the will for life that supposedly kicks in, and the ways of slow asphyxiation.

More important, in completed suicides, there is no will to live, and the sufferer will suck up his gut and get on with business. Trust me, I know about this one.
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  #19  
Old 02-28-2011, 10:05 AM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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Originally Posted by toofs View Post
Wow. So, if I am imagining this correctly, he had his knees behind his back with his feet as far up as he could get them? Or were his knees to the front, as close to his chest as he could get them?

He turned his body into a spring and used it as the tensioning device. Amazing, actually.
I can't speak for QtM, but my impression is the guy put his knees and ankles as far behind his back as possible, pressed himself against his bunk to hold his knees in that position and tied a bedsheet around his neck and his ankles. Once he moved away from his bunk his legs tried to straighten out, which pulled the bedsheet closed around his neck.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...D4yasAOk3OioBA

If that person had a rope tied around their neck and their ankles, then let go of their ankles, the same thing would happen.
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  #20  
Old 02-28-2011, 10:14 AM
stpauler stpauler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patch View Post
One I know of is similar in concept to Qadgop the Mercotan's account. The guy tied the end of his pant legs together to make a loop that was looped around the leg of his bunk. He stuck his head in there as well and just rolled over and over, twisting it tighter and tighter until he blacked out and died.
I work for an insurance company and we used to cover medical malpractice for hospitals. I remember one claim that came through where a family was suing because the patient, their son, had committed suicide by tieing a blanket around the pipe under the sink and doing the similar thing.
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  #21  
Old 02-28-2011, 10:31 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
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re: the survival instinct, if you are doing this "right," it doesn't come into play. By "right," I mean you are blocking the carotid arteries, which bring oxygenated blood to the brain. You will be rendered unconscious in a matter of seconds, and the "survival instinct" normally associated with a buildup of CO2 in the lungs will never have a chance to kick in.

If you are doing it "wrong," then you are blocking your windpipe without particularly constricting the carotid arteries, and yes, then you will slowly suffocate, and yes, after a minute or so the survival instinct (the panicky urge to draw a breath of fresh air) will kick in.
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  #22  
Old 02-28-2011, 10:57 AM
beartato beartato is offline
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
He waited until his cellie was out for his turn at recreation.
I know there's no one answer to this question, but in general, would it make a difference if the cellmate was around or not? That is to say, would it be likely that a cellmate would hinder the suicide effort?
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  #23  
Old 02-28-2011, 12:16 PM
Thylacine Thylacine is offline
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According to those interviewed for a report I recently wrote if you say you are suicidal someone will throw you a blade and/or distract the officers for you while encouraging you to get it done, nothing like a little entertainment to break up the day. Also most prisoners know and experience the utter bleakness and horror, a successful escape is not generally considered a tragedy. I imagine much would come down to individual friendship/religious beliefs. Sadly it can be a really bad idea to say you are in distress if you want help to not die.

ETA: the cellmate may be worried about being seen as killing you if he/she is present, that could make a difference.

Last edited by Thylacine; 02-28-2011 at 12:18 PM..
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  #24  
Old 02-28-2011, 12:43 PM
casdave casdave is offline
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I've seen images of individuals who simply kneel down and hang themselves from ordinary household radiators, you do not need height to hang yourself, gravity is all you need, I have also seen one individual hanging whilst sat on the floor.

I don't intend to turn this into a 'how to hang yourself' thread so I will not explain how this can be done.
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