Tests theory that he cannot die

Having recently got religion, and consequently filled with the fire of faith, young Albert Strate decided that "God would not let him die." So he took strychnine to test the theory. The coroner pronounced it suicide. Give Albert a Darwin Award.

Source: Lincoln Evening Journal - Apr 19, 1926

Strychnine Takes Life Of A Youth
Albert Strate, Winside, Neb., Said to Have Believed That God Would Not Let Him Die.

WINSIDE, Neb., April 19. —(U.P.)— Faith so great that he believed he could take strychnine and God wouldn't let him die, is given as the reason why Albert Strate, twenty-one, who lived on a farm near Hoskins, Neb., took about fifty grains of strychnine sulphate Saturday evening, resulting in his death.

Young Strate who has been living with his step-parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis C. De Berniss, had told his relatives that he believed he could take the poison without suffering any ill effects. Strate had made this assertion after he had taken up religion recently it was said.

His relatives had advised him against taking the poison they said.

About 11 o'clock Saturday night Strate retired to his room and went to bed.

Shortly afterward his step-parents retired. They heard the young man stumble from his room and start down the stairs. He was crying for help screaming that he had taken rat poison and wanted something to make him vomit.

Members of the family attempted to force milk down the youth's throat, but on account of violent convulsions he was unable to swallow more than a small quantity.

The Wayne county authorities were notified and after examining the body Coroner Fred Barry pronounced it a case of suicide.
     Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 15, 2015
     Category: Death | 1920s

I agree, this is one for the DW.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 07/15/15 at 09:50 AM
Maybe he just didn't believe enough. I'm sure the next time it will work.
Posted by Zueter on 07/15/15 at 09:53 AM
The mention of strychnine tickled my memory about how the stuff works. As it was described to us in a general university physiology course, it acts like a booster in the nervous system, or rather like running a 120 volt motor on 220 volts. It is no wonder the boy acted as described with the convulsions and stiffening of the limbs. Death is usually by asphyxiation.

Not something I'd stake my faith upon.
Posted by KDP on 07/15/15 at 10:45 AM
When he got to Heaven he asked God, " God, I was faithful and I believed, why did you let me die?"
God replied, " Son, I sent you a teacher who told you strychnine was poisonous, your mom who told you not to take it and your step dad who also did his best to discourage your plan What more did you want?"
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 07/15/15 at 12:27 PM
And playing with deadly poisonous snakes in a religion works out well too.
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 07/15/15 at 12:29 PM
Nice one, and they work worried about the marijuana cigarettes...
Posted by Captain Spitbeard on 07/15/15 at 08:14 PM
Maybe God said: "Come on up to heaven! Glad to have you."

I'm reminded of the old comment that to a Catholic, death is a promotion . . .
Posted by Phideaux on 07/15/15 at 09:44 PM
Perhaps he failed to read the part in the Gospels where the devil tries to use scripture to convince Jesus to commit suicide:
Then [the devil] led [Jesus] to Jerusalem and made him stand on the parapet of the temple and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,' and: 'With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'" Jesus said to him in reply, "It also says, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" (Luke 4, 9-13, the devil quoting Ps 91, 11 and 12 and Jesus quoting Dt 6, 16)
Also in Mt 4, 5-7.
However, that's assumptive, since the article doesn't tell us exactly which religion Strate had recently taken up.
Posted by Eoin on 07/16/15 at 09:13 PM
One solution to religious fundamentalism. Maybe those folks in ISIS would be interested.
Posted by Harvey on 07/17/15 at 05:25 PM
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