The Peaceful Pill eHandbook Cyanide, Azide & Nitrite - RPA Test
For a substance or drug to be useful as a Peaceful Pill two main criteria must be met. It must be ‘Reliable’, ‘Peaceful’ and it must be ‘Available’.
Reliability of Sodium Cyanide, Sodium Azide and Sodium Nitrite are high. Few people will ever survive the ingestion of 2 gm of sodium cyanide or azide. For nitrite, a larger quantity is needed, vomiting risk greater, and reliability is a little less, R=6.
There is also a correlation between the size of the dose and the speed of death and this minimises the chance of any adverse symptoms developing.
In terms of Peacefulness, mixed accounts make this a difficult characteristic to assess. Clearly, the size of the dose, and the speed of onset of symptoms to loss of consciousness, is relevant. A severe headache is an invariable symptom of azide ingestion.
Availability - Cyanide salts are heavily regulated and hard to obtain. Azide salts are easier to source on the internet. Nitrite salts are the easiest to obtain, with little effective surveilance.
Preparation - Each of these salts is water soluble and can be consumed as a drink. Some care must be taken when handling and dissolving azide to avoid the production of hydrazoic acid.
Undetectability - At autopsy all three salts will be detected. A note should be displayed if cyanide or azide have been used. A cyanide death may be detectable from the pink color of the skin and a possible smell of bitter almonds. With nitrite, clinical darkening of blood color (associated with nitrite methaglobin) can be noticed in the skin showing a brown color.