…so asked See Arr Oh last week, regarding Carol Anne Bond’s case before the Supreme Court. Bond tried to poison her husband’s mistress. For her efforts, she wound up convicted of violating the Chemical Weapons Convention(*). NPR seems to have caught See Arr Oh’s attention with this:
Bond stole toxic chemicals from the chemical manufacturing company where she worked and ordered other chemicals over the Internet. She combined the chemicals into a compound that is potentially lethal in small amounts — and is also bright orange. Bond spread the toxic material on her rival’s mail, mailbox, front doorknob, car door and other surfaces.
But because of the orange color, the mistress, Myrlinda Haynes, easily spotted the chemicals and avoided any injury except a thumb burn.
See Arr Oh then went hunting through the SCOTUS brief to see what Bond actually used:
She purchased some potassium dichromate (a chemical commonly used in printing photographs) from Amazon.com, and stole a bottle of 10, 10-chloro-10-H-phenoxarsine (an arsenic-based chemical) from her employer. Petitioner knew the chemicals were irritants and believed that, if Haynes touched them, she would develop an uncomfortable rash.
But our intrepid blogger still has a question:
What I haven’t been able to figure out from the stories or briefings is whether she intended the combination of two potentially poisonous, irritant substances to function apart, or to perform some sort of solid-phase oxidation to, for example, phenoxarsine oxide (a known antimicrobial compound).
(*) Whether the case is an appropriate use of the Chemical Weapons Convention is why the case is before the Supreme Court.