I am looking for a number of slow accumulative poisons say over a 6 month period that is detectable in autopsy and would slowly but surely kill the patient. The poison would be hopefully something a doctor or nurse could obtain as the poisoner will be a medic. Thanks!

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    $\begingroup$ Not enough for an answer but look at Thallium $\endgroup$ – Sefa Feb 20 '17 at 10:29
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    $\begingroup$ I remember seeing some Discovery channel show about arsenic poisoning, can't find the show, but here's the wiki: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsenic_poisoning $\endgroup$ – Swier Feb 20 '17 at 10:32
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    $\begingroup$ As has been said below: any heavy metal will do it. Mercury, lead, arsenic. Do note though that these are 1) readily apparent (the victim's health will deteriorate) and 2) treatable with chelation therapy so you need to keep your victim away from the doctor's office. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Feb 20 '17 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ To add to MichaelK's answer. Gold is a heavy metal and will slowly kill, but is not a heavy metal that is regularly tested by tox screens. $\endgroup$ – EvSunWoodard Feb 20 '17 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ Is this question really on-topic here? It looks to me like a question about a (murder mystery) plot element, which is one of the things explicitly listed as off-topic. I suppose it could fall under "how to achieve a specified effect in a defined world", although I'm not sure if the phrase "defined world" there is supposed to include the real world or not. $\endgroup$ – Ilmari Karonen Feb 20 '17 at 18:34

Low levels of cyanide. It's not lethal in small enough doses, but will build up if the dose is large enough.

Can easily be obtained from natural sources such as cassava root (the root that tapioca is made out of). So basically improperly processed cassava root will be your friend (you may need to sweeten it because cyanide tastes bitter).

Is naturally purged from the body with one of the vitamin B12 compounds vitamin B12 compounds. Chronic lack of vitamin B12 leads to anemia, neural damage and ultimately death.


Arsenic and lead fits your specs: they cumulate in the body and slowly kill it. See Arsenic poisoning or Lead poisoning for more info.

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    $\begingroup$ Any heavy metal in general would do: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_toxicity; rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/heavy-metal-poisoning $\endgroup$ – nzaman Feb 20 '17 at 13:27
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    $\begingroup$ Extending nzaman's comment, depending on the metal and delivery method most (all?) heavy metal poisoning scenarios have side-effects that would keep the "patient" in a condition where regular visits from their medical practitioner would be necessary. Anything from fatigue to extreme mental instability is possible, depending on what you're going for. $\endgroup$ – GrinningX Feb 20 '17 at 15:54

If your patient could spend a lot of time around artwork, consider some classic oil paints. Your antagonist, if suspected at all, could use the excuse, "I didn't know those were deadly!"

I remember seeing an old movie where someone was killed over time by, I think it was called, Paris red paint in his home. But having viewed the link above, I wonder if it was Paris green.


Chronic lack of B12? I suspect you are thinking about niacin, lack of which is pellagra, takes forever, and is easily reversible by eating meat.

In this hypothetical I would go with polonium or ethylene glycol because you're looking for something that CAN be detected. Warfarin and nicotine also come to mind. Have you tried watching TV?

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. I am very new to this 'world' and your comments are useful. I have little time to watch TV and my spare time is filled with getting lost in reading and writing. Thanks again. $\endgroup$ – Judy Feb 25 '17 at 11:10

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