DENVER (KDVR) — There were two poisons alleged in an affidavit to have been used by James Toliver Craig to murder his wife — arsenic and potassium cyanide.
James Craig, 45, is an Aurora dentist who was arrested on a first-degree murder charge Sunday for the death of his wife, Angela Craig.
The arrest affidavit claimed he shipped potassium cyanide to his dental office and had arsenic metal shipped to his home.
James Craig was also accused of searching for “how many grams of pure arsenic will kill a human?” and “Is arsenic detectable in autopsy?” on Google, among other things.
What is arsenic?
Arsenic is an element that naturally occurs in the environment.
It has been called the “king of poisons” due to its use in the past to kill royalty.
There are many uses for arsenic, and it has been used in a variety of ways in the past, such as in agriculture.
A compound with arsenic and oxygen — arsenic trioxide — is approved for medical use.
Symptoms of ingesting arsenic include vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and shock.
After this, different manifestations can occur in someone exposed to toxic amounts of arsenic, including altered mental status and multisystem organ failure.
Because arsenic naturally occurs in the environment, people can end up exposed to it entirely by accident.
It can be found in contaminated drinking water, eating foods contaminated with it such as rice and some fruit juices, or coming into contact with contaminated soil, dust or wood preserved using arsenic compounds.
People can also buy arsenic metal from a number of sources online.
What is potassium cyanide?
Potassium cyanide is a chemical compound that can prove fatal if ingested.
It releases hydrogen cyanide gas, which interferes with the body’s ability to use oxygen.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure to it can be rapidly fatal and has effects on the whole body.
It is used commercially for fumigation and extracting gold or silver from ores.
Early symptoms of potassium cyanide poisoning can include lightheadedness, rapid breathing, nausea, confusion and anxiety according to the CDC.
Severe symptoms can include stupor, coma, seizures and death.
It is not as easy to obtain potassium cyanide as it is to obtain arsenic.
According to the affidavit, James Craig had to justify his purchase of the compound when he shipped it to his dental practice. He said he was going to use it in surgery.