I sit here in Chicago on a blustery, but sunny, day all deck out in my British attire. I’ve got on my fisherman’s knit sweater and my Wellies drinking my Yorkshire Gold Tea (with cream, of course). Getting ready for the third season of Monarch of the Glen this afternoon. Salty Chocolate Shortbread in the oven. I’m a Brit in the making! Today we finish up part four of chocolate crimes. Thought I would take a different angle today for a bit of excitement. I bet I got you all excited about more British chocolate crime while I was setting the mood. Sorry. Today we’ll be everywhere!
Murder. Got your attention. Yes, there were some serious crimes involving murder and chocolate in America. Interestingly enough, since high quality chocolate is very bitter, you cannot taste poisons that may be added to it. You have to remember that during this time, all chocolate was of a high quality, chocolate candy had not yet gone mainstream. The earliest report of death by chocolate did happen in Britain. King Charles II died in 1685 after eating a dish of chocolate that was served to him by a footman of the Duchess of Portsmouth. Turns out the death of Charles was not from poisoned chocolate, but from kidney disease. Death by chocolate sounds so much more exciting though!
Boston, 1735 – Murder is attempted on a wealthy family of four. Arsenic was added to the family’s skillet of chocolate which they enjoyed daily at breakfast. No telling who added the arsenic to the chocolate. The physician attended to the family in time and saved their lives.
1750, the New York Post reviews a story from the year before about the Turkish Pasha of Rhodes to massacre the Knights of Malta by poisoning the knight’s water supply used to make their coffee and chocolate. The plot was uncovered before any lives were taken. Should this plan have succeeded, the Pasha would have received life in prison.