Saturday, 2 June 2012

Real Horror

I note this here for no other reason than to register my shock at this story, which I stumbled upon on Thursday via John Venlet.

I watched the whole video right the way through and it appears that Poppo regained consciousness several times during the attack before being struck again, which raises the question of whether he was aware of what was happening to him. The significance of that question really hits home when you see the photographs of him at the scene.

Eugene had presumably taken a massive overdose of something very nasty; he was naked, which suggests excessive body temperature indicative of a very powerful stimulant; the non-instrumental nature of his violence means he must have been temporarily insane and the apparent fact that he continued what he was doing even after officer Rivera had shot him suggests that, whatever the drug was, it must have been exerting an absolutely immense anaesthetic effect too.

The officer apparently shot him a further five times.

Some of the papers have speculation that Eugene had imbibed "bath salts" containing the synthetic drug "methylenedioxypyrovalerone" (MDPV) or "phencyclidine" (PCP). I'm not an expert on chemistry so I wonder how easy or difficult it is to test for these substances...


Two points: first, forensic labs are now offering to conduct tests for the methylenedioxypyrovalerone compound, with an analysis of how much of the compound is contained within any given set of "bath salts".

Second, whilst I agree with other libertarians and people on the Left that the legal prohibition of drugs is counter-productive, I'm not prone to going overboard on the subject with presumptions. While catching up on the reaction to the Miami story, I came across this piece by Kristen Gwynne at, which she concludes thus: 
"Drug scare stories, however, keep us afraid. It's likely that Rudy Eugene was suffering from mental illness, even if he might also have been on drugs. Horrible situations we don’t understand are easiest to blame on drugs we don’t know much about."
Yet attributing blame for the attack on "mental illness" is just as much a presumption as attributing blame for the attack on drug abuse - if not more so, since to the best of my admittedly limited knowledge, mental illnesses do not induce anesthesia; yet this man Eugene apparently took a bullet from what may well have been a high calibre (e.g. .45) handgun. If that is true - and I see no reason to suspect officer Rivera was lying - then that's one hell of a fucking anesthetic at work there.

Although the comparison of "bath salts" to LSD may be well wide of the mark, the immediate speculation that Eugene was under the influence of some very powerful drug(s) is not unwarranted. The simplest explanation for the attack may well be that Eugene had heavily overdosed on something like methylenedioxypyrovalerone, if not other substances in addition to that.


  1. The apparent anesthesia is itself a strong warrant for the presumption, never mind the obvious insanity of eating someone's face.

    If the toxicology report does indicate methylenedioxypyrovalerone or phrencyclidine or something similar, it will be interesting to get the toxicologist's estimate of quantity he had consumed relative to some non-overdose baseline.

    Of course, there'll be calls to outlaw this stuff but that isn't going to stop incidents like this happening again.


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