“It grew on me like a drug habit, except it was not me who was taking the drugs.”At an early age, Graham Young had been fascinated with chemistry, particularly types of poison and their effects on people. His other great interest was idolizing murderers such as Dr. Hawley Crippen, William Palmer, Adolf Hitler and others. Young started experimenting with poisons when he was 14. He usually lied about his age, and explained that a given poison was for a school experiment so he could buy the chemicals he needed. His family and friends were his victims. His father, upon becoming ill, originally thought he just had a virus of some sort. Then the apparent illness struck his wife and daughter. All suffered from continuous vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pains. In 1962, the mother of Young’s stepmother died from poisoning.
At 14, Young already had the expertise of a postgraduate chemistry student, all self-learned through library books. He sometimes became a victim of his own poisoning when he forgot on which foods he had placed his toxic chemicals. Young was caught when his teacher inspected his desk one evening after school, suspicious about the odd experiments Young was suggesting to the class. The teacher found poisons, essays about famous prisoners, and sketches of dying men. These revelations led him to call the police. Young was sent to a maximum security hospital, but this did not stop him from poisoning hospital staff and fellow inmates (one of whom died). His knowledge was so broad that he could extract cyanide from laurel bush leaves. Young was released when he was 23 and went to live with his sister. His poisoning spree continued—his victims most often were coworkers. Young was sent back to prison and eventually died there. (x)
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