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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/23/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Archaeologists investigate find as possible murder weapon

Lucretia Borgia, the dreaded matriarch of the notorious Borgia family who poisoned rivals to the throne would have certainly approved. A ring found in Bulgaria is suspected to have been a medieval murder weapon. The ring, found with an inconspicuous cavity could have been used to hide poison for political murders in medieval Bulgaria.

The ring would have been worn on the pinkie finger of a man's right hand.

The ring would have been worn on the pinkie finger of a man's right hand.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

8/23/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Bulgaria, poison, poison ring, aristocracy, murder

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - More than 600 years old, the bronze ring was found during excavations at the ruins of Cape Kailakra, where aristocrats of the Dobrudja region lived during the 14th century.

More than 30 other pieces of jewelry have been found at the site, such as gold ornaments, gold rings and pearl earrings. None have been quite like the said ring recently uncovered. 

Excavation leader Bonnie Petrunova, deputy director of Bulgaria's National Archaeology Museum, described the ring as exquisitely crafted and deliberately hollowed out. The ring may have been imported from Italy or Spain, 

Petrunova believes the ring would have been worn on the pinkie finger of a man's right hand. 

The hole would have allowed its wearer to discretely pour poison into a glass with the flick of a finger, the archaeologist said in a statement from Bulgaria's Kavarna municipality.

The ring could be linked to Dobrotitsa, a noble who ruled the region in second half of the 14th century. "This explains many of the unexplained deaths among nobles and aristocrats close to Dobrotitsa," local officials in Kavarna said.

While poison is supposedly the preferred method of murder for females, historian Deborah Blum says this simply isn't the case. "There's a popular idea in our culture - certainly an idea promoted by popular culture - that poison belongs to the female killer. In the 1945 Sherlock Holmes movie, 'Pursuit to Algiers,' Holmes (Basil Rathbone) considers it obvious: 'Poison is a woman's weapon.' And you hear that same thought echoing down the decades, surfacing, for instance, in George Martin's Game of Thrones in which poison is described, as the preferred weapon of women, craven and eunuchs," Blum wrote in a column in Wired.

"We could decry the latter as just a description with a somewhat misogynistic tang. Let's decry it as simply wrong. Because if you actually bother to scroll back through famous poisoners of history or to check the crime statistics you will realize first that 1) poison is a gender-neutral weapon and, perhaps more central to my point, 2) a greater proportion of poisoners are men. Let's put this in the context of some relatively recent context. The U. S. Department of Justice's report on Homicide Trends in the United States (1980 to 2008) offers up this statistical insight: of all poison killers in that time period 60.5 percent male and 39.5 percent female."


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