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Mr A is married with Mrs B. He hates her, and he has come with a clever plot to ruin her life.

During a vacation, when they are locked in their hotel room and she is having a shower, he committs suicide by cutting his jugular using some paper sheets. When Mrs B gets out of the shower and find Mr A dead and laying on blood stained paper sheets, she calls for help.

Being Mrs B the only person present with Mr A in a closed room when the event happens, she will be the only suspected for murder.

Aside from the further development of the plot, and aside from how painful can the process be, is it realistic way to committ suicide?

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    $\begingroup$ If you'd loosen your requirements from cutting to also allow stabbing/piercing then it'd be a matter of origami $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    May 16 '17 at 14:47
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    $\begingroup$ How does the suicide weapon being a sheet of paper contribute in any way to the wife being suspected of murder? $\endgroup$ May 16 '17 at 14:48
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    $\begingroup$ ...this question is unnecessarily morbid. Sure its on-topic, but it could be written so much better and not drive people away due to unnecessary content. If you framed it as a weapon design question regarding easily disposable, or easily mistakable common objects it would be a better question, wouldn't have the same morbidity and would be more useful for future visitors. I am not VTC'ing or anything because strictly speaking its fine...but...yeah. $\endgroup$
    – James
    May 16 '17 at 16:11
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    $\begingroup$ Wouldn't she be called Mrs. A? $\endgroup$
    – ozone
    May 16 '17 at 16:23
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    $\begingroup$ @ozone I guess the fact that she wanted to keep her maiden name is reinforcing Mr. A in his decision. $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    May 16 '17 at 17:00
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It's not (ordinary) paper.

It’s a blade made by soaking paper with some kind of synthetic polymer, so it’s like fiberglass but using lignum not glass. That is, it’s a composite material that is stiff and strong and sharpened to a razor edge.

Then, still looking like ordinary card stock like a magazine insert add that makes it difficult to turn pages, it is smuggled on vacation by tucking it into the magazine and packing it incognito.

Finally, the polymer is water soluable. Once wet, it washes away leaving only plain paper. If anyone does check the paper, the residue does not seem significant as it has already denatured. This last step may require layered coating of enzyme-based “remover” that stays dorment as long as it is dry. Once wet, the remover attacks the stiff plastic rendering it inconspicuous.

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No and Yes

While you can not use a single paper sheet as a blade you can use multiple paper sheets and judicious use of glue to make a paper shiv. Sure it wont stand up to more than one stab, but it should still be hard enough and sharp enough to penetrate the softer tissues in the neck if you are really determined.

Though if the goal is to make the weapon disappear then the old icicle knife would be a standby, just run a hot shower pull out your pre-frozen ice knife, do the deed and watch as your life and your blade run down the drain.

Man that was morbid.

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Paper will not help contribute to her being the suspect. A blade is more efficient. However, there are some YouTube vids out there which depict fashioning a blade out of paper--notice though that other materials are used (such as tape, and in one case a screw) or have a metal base.

It would be laughably easy for a forensic pathologist to tell that the wounds are self-inflicted.

This method is not realistic because

a) It's more likely to result in a failed attempt.

b) He would not be done before she gets out of the shower. Look at the depth of a paper cut. Then look at how deep you'd have to go and through what you'd have to cut. Even the external carotid is protected by more than just skin.

c) The "sheets of bloody paper" you're picturing all around the body would not be able to be fashioned into a weapon good enough to get the job done.

d) Because the method takes so long and there are a lot of cuts to be made, any forensic pathologist would have ample evidence that the cuts are self inflicted. For her to have done it, he would have had to have been unconscious. Deeply unconscious. Otherwise he'd have defensive wounds and he would not have stood still for it. If he stands or lays or sits or shifts, the blood drops will tell their story and exonerate her, even if it is possible. Even if he takes a drug to mimic that he was unconscious, they can test for how much of it actually got into his system--how much of it is actually incorporated into the blood spilled, and still in his body AND internal organs. Also his hands will end up bloody. If he cleans them evidence will be in the room. If he wears gloves, the gloves will be in the room, and will have his DNA inside.

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It's very unlikely, but theoretically, if your character had a blood-clotting disorder like haemophilia, he might be able to cut an exposed blood vessel and bleed out over several hours. Not a nice way to go. The icicle knife suggested by EasierSaidThanDone is a much more efficient option.

In addition, if your character is known to be haemophiliac, it's much more likely that his death would be ruled accidental than homicide.

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  • $\begingroup$ Same would be accomplished for example in combination with rat poison $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    May 16 '17 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ As much as this is a nice answer I am afraid that it is useless to the OP. When you have haemophilia, it is probably known issue, so the suspicion increase is unlikely. $\endgroup$
    – TGar
    May 16 '17 at 20:04
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No it's not possible to kill yourself by papercut.

Despite running near the surface there is still a lot of flesh to cut through before reaching the jugular. A sheet of paper will be unable to cut that deeply.

You can do some investigative research about this by attempting to slice a steak with a ream of paper. Good luck.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is naive in light of the various creative answers that have been posted. Just because you couldn’t think of a way to do it… $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    May 16 '17 at 20:06
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    $\begingroup$ @JDługosz Your answer (creatively) depends on dissolving super-paper, other answers depend on rare medical conditions, or making the paper into a shiv. As I say in the start of my answer, "You can't kill yourself with a papercut" which is a reasonable assumption. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    May 16 '17 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ Creative solutions are what we need here. Posting what is explicitly a non-answer is not at all helpful — I think the OP realized this before he asked. I think this should be a comment on the OP, not an Answer. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    May 16 '17 at 21:48
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    $\begingroup$ @JDługosz I believe the question was "Is it a realistic way to commit suicide?" I'm saying it isn't. How is this not answering the question? $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    May 16 '17 at 22:17
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    $\begingroup$ I miss Mythbusters. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    May 16 '17 at 22:31
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No. Paper, while capable of cutting due to its small surface area, is flimsy. Even if paper was altered in a way so as to have a pointed shape, it would bend similarly to cardboard. Admittedly, it will leave a mark and probably a superficial wound, but this wouldn't be efficient to commit suicide.

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    $\begingroup$ This is more of a comment rather than an answer to the question. As such it has made it's way to the low quality review and risk deletion unless you edit it to flesh it out. $\endgroup$
    – Mrkvička
    May 16 '17 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ I expanded my post so it aligns with the rules. $\endgroup$ May 16 '17 at 17:42
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    $\begingroup$ You are correct, though there are potential ways to get around that problem... youtube.com/watch?v=rYfkhdKcEiE $\endgroup$
    – AndyD273
    May 16 '17 at 19:03

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