The Telltale Heart: Murder by Sound?

A friend of mine and I were discussing “perfect crimes” this weekend. He claims that you can kill someone in their sleep by playing a sound with the rhythm of a heartbeat next to them while they sleep. Their heartbeat will synchronize to the speed of the sound, and then you then either slow down the sound until it stops or speed it up to a dangerous level. Remove the speakers, and voila! Murder without even touching anyone!

Would this be remotely possible? I’d think it for starters it would take much too long - you’d have to make the speed adjustments very gradually, and the person would inevitably move around in their sleep and throw things off. Also, I think the body would correct the rhythm if it got too far from normal. What sayest my fellow sick bastards?

Sleeping with earplugs,

I highly doubt it. However, Killing with hyper-sonics is theoretically possible, although I haven’t heard of any actual cases.

I think I’ll go talk to my old friend Google…

I seriously doubt that the method described in the OP would produce anything other than a particularly restful sleep (or maybe Poe-themed nightmares). However, you could probably manage something in the way of murder by coherent sound. (Using a multipoint transducer array around the target to produce a heavily amplified sonic at a particular point inside the victim’s body–I think they’re working on self-aiming kidney/gall stone busters using the principle). It would probably wake the victim up before doing lethal damage, though, and it would certainly leave traces that could show up in the autopsy (although the chances of a coroner correctly identifying the cause seem pretty slim). Also, it would require a lot of carefully pre-calibrated equipment, and a lot of power to have any effect at all.

See Dorothy L. Sayers; THE NINE TAILORS.

Dang, Ike, you beat me to it.

Singing: Clang, clang, clang, went the trolley

Bumping this from the bottom of page 2 to let the Tuesday morning group take a shot at it, 'cause I think it’s an interesting question, although I don’t see anything offhand on Google. “synchronize heartbeat” brings up a bunch of computer programming references. :confused:

< bump >

Thanks, Duckie…and it’ll give me the opportunity to make an entertaining Sayers-based pun about “bong hits.”