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This is perhaps the most interesting Wikipedia entry I have ever seen: List of Unusual Deaths
Most Notable:

  • 892: Sigurd I of Orkney. Sigurd the Mighty conquered much of northern Scotland, which brought him into conflict with Maelbrigte of Moray. Sigurd defeated Maelbrigte in 892, killed him, cut off his head and strapped it to his saddle as a sign of triumph. As he rode, however, Maelbrigte’s tooth rubbed against Sigurd’s leg causing a wound which turned septic and Sigurd died of the poison.
  • 1063: King Béla I of Hungary died when his tall wooden throne collapsed due to sabotage.
  • 1327: King Edward II of England (to be later reincarnated as the Big Hominid), after being deposed and imprisoned by his Queen consort Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer, was rumored to have been murdered by having a red-hot iron inserted into his anus.
  • 1514: György Dózsa, leader of a peasants’ revolt in the Kingdom of Hungary, was roasted alive on a white hot iron chair. His captured companions were forced to eat his flesh.
  • 1834: David Douglas, Scottish botanist, who fell in a pit trap, was crushed by a bull that fell in the same pit.
  • 1927: J.G. Parry-Thomas, a British racing driver, was decapitated by his car’s drive chain which, under duress, snapped and whipped into the cockpit. He was attempting to break his own Land speed record which he had set the previous year. Despite being killed in the attempt, he succeeded in setting a new record of 171 mph.
  • 1940: Leon Trotsky, the Soviet revolutionary leader in exile, was assassinated with an ice axe in his Mexico home. His killer, spanish born soviet agent Ramon Mercader, acquired the ice axe in Trotsky’s own office after being invited in. After receiving a brutal blow to the head, Trotsky fought and literally took a bite out of his murderer.

There seems to be a disproportionately large number of unusual deaths in ancient Hungary – sounds like it sucked to be a prominent figure then & there.

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