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Friday, March 7, 2014

Criminal Justice Quote: The Fear of Being Buried Alive

     Since ancient times, people have worried about being mistaken for dead and then buried alive. Collapse and apparent death became especially common during the plagues that wracked medieval Europe. But at the dawn of the nineteenth century, sensation-mongering tabloids whipped such fears into an unprecedented fervor. Their reports of the "many ugly secrets locked up underground" included descriptions of claw marks seen on the inside of disinterred coffins. As a result, several renowned medical societies offered substantial rewards for scientific methods of ascertaining whether someone was truly dead.

Jessica Snyder Sachs, Corpse, 2001

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