5 Deaths That Make You Say, ‘Well, He Was Asking For It’

Here’s the story of a trophy hunter who got crushed to death by a dead elephant
5 Deaths That Make You Say, ‘Well, He Was Asking For It’

When someone brings about their own downfall, people sometimes say they were hoisted by their own petard. We avoid using that expression ourselves because what exactly is a “petard” anyway? That sounds like a fancy name for a butt.

If you’re curious, a petard was a type of bomb dating to 16th-century France. So, if someone’s hoisted by their own petard, that means they blew themselves sky-high with their own bomb. Also, the word petard is derived from the French word for farting, so we weren’t so wrong in thinking the phrase was all about butts. Some people, in dying, really do hoist themselves by their own petards. Basically, they fart themselves to death. 

The YouTube Demonstration of How Bullets Can’t Go Through Books

Monalisa Perez had a YouTube channel, where she did what the channel called “pranks.” Like so many prank channels, these weren’t pranks; they were scripted gags, and the butt of the gag was generally channel co-host Pedro Ruiz, her boyfriend. In time, Ruiz’s ambitions grew, and in 2017, he asked Perez to help him launch his own channel. The first video would consist of her shooting him with a Desert Eagle from an arm’s length away. It’d be fine, he figured, because he’d hold a hardcover book up to shield himself.

You won’t be shocked to learn the full video of what followed is no longer available, but we do have footage of the first part of the stunt:

The full video showed Perez expressing reluctance to go through with it all. This, along with Ruiz’s own recorded instructions, convinced authorities not to charge her with murder for shooting this man to death on camera. She did plea to second-degree manslaughter for the accidental killing. As for Ruiz, he will sadly never get to fulfill the promise he made with some of his last words: “Every week, I’m gonna be bringing you guys new videos!” 

The Thieves Who Stole Cobalt-60

We don’t know exactly what thieves had in mind when they struck the Radon Special Combine chemical factory in September 1999. Some chemicals have very obvious black-market uses, while others do not. Given what these six guys ended up getting their hands on, the theory is they broke into this Chechen factory to get radioactive material they could hand off to make a dirty bomb. 

A petard, from a seventeenth-century manuscript of military designs

Library of Congress

Perhaps a dirty petard, like the one pictured here.

One of the thieves dropped dead within 30 minutes. This was the member of the gang who actually held the material. Sources differ on exactly what happened to the rest, with some saying that two others died next. At least one thief did survive, which meant he went to the hospital and then got arrested. Apparently, Chechen hospitals have policies about reporting radiation sickness, so plan accordingly.

Ripping Down a Crash Mat, and Crashing

Three businessmen in Italy in 2008 had a great plan for livening up their ski trip. Instead of simply skiing, how about they go sledding? They didn’t have a sled with them, but the slope itself seemed to provide the solution. The barrier at the edge of the slope had plastic matting as a safety feature, and if they ripped that down, they’d have a flat bit of equipment they could use as a toboggan. In case it wasn’t obvious, all the men had been drinking.

Sauze d'Oulx

Franco56/Wiki Commons

They could have asked the resort for a sled, but where’s the fun in that?

The plastic was fairly good as a mat but not very safe as a sled, as it gained speed quickly and offered no way of braking. One of the men, when he went down the slope, crashed right into the barrier. His head hit a corner post, the very post whose matting he’d earlier pulled off. He died of head and chest injuries. As for the other two men, they also suffered, as the accident completely ruined their evening. 

The Trophy Hunter, Crushed by His Trophy

Every so often, you’ll hear about some rich American going to Africa to kill a big-game animal and pose with the kill. Theunis Botha was not one of these casual trophy hunters. Botha was an expert trophy hunter, who led hunts in Zimbabwe and South Africa for decades. Among his many contributions to the practice was his introduction to Africa of what’s called “Monteria hunts.” Through these, he’d release a pack of hounds, who’d chase animals so they’d flee into easy reach of his clients. 

Theunis Botha

Theunis Botha Safaris

Botha is on the right. We don’t have the names of the other two pictured here.

In 2017, he led a hunt close to Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. This time, his group stumbled on a herd of breeding elephants, and this time, the animals fought back. He fired at the charging animals, then another of them approached from the side and picked him up with her trunk.

One of the other hunters shot this cow. The shot brought the elephant down. It collapsed forward — landing on Botha, crushing him to death. And that was the end of Theunis Botha, famed hunter and world-class houndsman. 

Joseph Stalin, for Being Stalin

When Joseph Stalin died, the world agreed he had it coming. We don’t really need to say any more, do we?

Hold on, yes, we do. This article isn’t about people deserving death; it’s about more than that. So, let’s tell you something about how Stalin died. First, he insisted staff not disturb him in his private quarters following a night of drinking. It therefore took until late the following night for a housekeeper to finally enter his room and respond to the strange sounds emanating from there. She found him unconscious, having shit himself. 

His staff did not summon his personal physician. They couldn’t, as the man was currently being tortured in the basement of border security headquarters. “Leg irons!” Stalin had said. “Put him in irons!” He’d had police arrest 36 other doctors as well, accusing them all of a conspiracy to poison Soviet leadership. Now, seeing the Great Leader on the floor and smelling of feces, staff delayed hunting down any alternate doctor. 

Stalin dead

Library of Congress

They could have left and fetched someone, but they refused to quit stallin’.

Finally, they summoned some medicine men the next morning. These guys applied leeches to Stalin’s ears, gave him an enema and removed his dentures, but somehow, none of this healed him. Staff also went to one of the imprisoned doctors to ask him to recommend some physicians, but it turned out Stalin had imprisoned all of those recommended men as well. 

So, the guy died. Afterward, the new Soviet leadership revealed that the tortured doctors had never genuinely been suspected of anything, but the charges against them had just been manufactured as an excuse to round up and arrest Jews. 

Follow Ryan Menezes on Twitter for more stuff no one should see.

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