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Old 09-20-2009, 06:17 PM
constanze constanze is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 5,209
How easy would it be for kidnappers to buy Chloroform?

It's one of the staples of countless movies and books that the bad guys carry a dark brown glass bottle with chloroform, wet down a piece of cloth and use it stupefy their kidnapping victim*. Now, secret intelligence agents, spys and so on could be supplied by their organisation, but the standard bad guy, can he simply walk into the next pharmacy/ drug store and buy a bottle, or would the pharmacist consider any non-chemist a potiental kidnapper and take down his name and adress?

Or would he have to pretend to be a chemist and order it from a chemist supply company? Would they demand any proof of identity?

Because wikipedia says that although chloroform is no longer used in medicine as aesthetic as it was origrinally introduced, because of the liver damage and other problems, it's still widely used as solvent and for help in manufacturing certain compounds. But that's chemical labs with a certain reputation.

Similar, some materials are both poison and useful for many chemical reactions, so chemists who sell it record it in a special book and demand proof of identity (Arsenic was used for developing photos, which is a large point in several UK crime novels before WWII).

* Apparently, neither the speed nor the length of knock-out which are shown are true to life, but artistic license, similar to being injected with a knock-out medicine works instantly on TV , but takes up to 20 minutes in real life.

Last edited by constanze; 09-20-2009 at 06:19 PM.


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