history Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century

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There were some strange deaths that have occurred during the 20th century and these are the most bizarre ways that people died in the 1900s. The following list includes some the most unusual ways of dying imaginable. There are lots of strange ways to die, but these might be the strangest deaths of all- unique and extremely rare circumstances that you can think of.

What are the most bizarre ways famous people have died in the last century? Do you know someone who swallowed a toothpick at a party and then died of peritonitis? Did you know about an actress who died when she fell down a chimney, thinking it was a balcony? If not, read this list of all the unusual deaths of 20th century people who died in strange ways.

Alexander Bogdanov is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Alexander Bogdanov Died at 55 (1873-1928) - A Russian physician, died following one of his experiments, in which the blood of a student suffering from malaria and tuberculosis, L. I. Koldomasov, was given to him in a transfusion.

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Alexander Woollcott is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Alexander Woollcott Died at 56 (1887-1943) - Suffered a fatal heart attack during an on-air discussion about Adolf Hitler.

Boris Sagal is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Boris Sagal Died at 58 (1923-1981) - A film director, died while shooting the TV miniseries World War III when he walked into the tail rotor blade of a helicopter and was decapitated.

Brandon Lee is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Brandon Lee Died at 28 (1965-1993) - Son of Bruce Lee, was shot and killed by Michael Massee using a prop gun while filming the movie The Crow. A cartridge with only a primer and a bullet was fired in the pistol before the fatal scene; this caused a squib load, in which ...

Bruce Lee is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Bruce Lee Died at 33 (1940-1973) - An American martial artist and actor, is thought to have died by a severe allergic reaction to Equagesic. His brain had swollen about 13%. His autopsy was written as "death by misadventure."

R. Budd Dwyer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
R. Budd Dwyer Died at 48 (1939-1987) - The State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, committed suicide during a televised press conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Facing a potential 55-year jail sentence for alleged involvement in a conspiracy, Dwyer shot himself in the mouth ...

C.B. Lansing is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
C.B. Lansing on Aloha Airlines Flight 243, flight attendant, was sucked out of an airliner when the bulkhead tore off in mid flight.

Carl McCunn is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Carl McCunn Died at 35 (1946-1981) - Paid a bush pilot to drop him at a remote lake near the Coleen River in Alaska in March to photograph wildlife, but failed to confirm arrangements for the pilot to pick him up again in August. Rather than starve, McCunn shot himself ...

Christine Chubbuck is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Christine Chubbuck Died at 30 (1944-1974) - An American television news reporter, committed suicide during a live broadcast on 15 July. At 9:38 am, 8 minutes into her talk show, on WXLT-TV in Sarasota, Florida, she drew out a revolver and shot herself in the head.

Christopher Johnson McCandless is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Christopher Johnson McCandless Died at 24 (1968-1992) - Died of starvation near Denali National Park after a few months trying to live off the land in the Alaskan wilderness. His life and death were researched by Jon Krakauer,who then wrote the book Into the Wild which was later turned ...

Dan Andersson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Dan Andersson Died at 32 (1888-1920) - A Swedish author, died of cyanide poisoning while staying at Hotel Hellman in Stockholm, because the hotel staff had failed to clear the room after using hydrogen cyanide against bedbugs.

David Allen Kirwan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
David Allen Kirwan Died after attempting to rescue a friend's dog from Celestine Pool, a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park on July 20, 1981. Kirwan is the only known case of someone dying after deliberately jumping into one of the park's hot ...

David Grundman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
David Grundman Was killed near Lake Pleasant, Arizona while shooting at cacti for fun with his shotgun. After firing several shots at a 26 ft (8m) tall Saguaro Cactus from extremely close range, a 4 ft limb of the Cactus that was weakened by the ...

Deborah Gail Stone is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Deborah Gail Stone Died at 18 (1956-1974) - 18, an employee at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, was crushed to death between a moving wall and a stationary wall inside of the revolving America Sings attraction.

Eben Byers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Eben Byers Died at 52 (1880-1932) - Died of radiation poisoning after having consumed large quantities of a popular patent medicine containing radium.

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Edward Juchniewicz is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Edward Juchniewicz A 76-year-old man, was killed when the ambulance stretcher he was strapped to rolled down a grade and overturned. The ambulance attendants, while speaking to a doctor's staff, had left the stretcher unattended. Juchniewicz suffered a ...

Eileen Lonergan is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Eileen Lonergan Died at 29 (1969-1998) - Were stranded while scuba diving with a group of divers off Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The group's boat accidentally abandoned them owing to an incorrect head count taken by the dive boat crew. Their bodies were never recovered.

Franco Brun is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Franco Brun A 22-year-old prisoner at Toronto East Detention Centre, in Toronto, Ontario, died after attempting to swallow and choking on a 6.35 cm. (2.5 inches) by 10 cm. (4 inches) by 1.27 centimetres (half an inch) Gideon's Bible. Brun ...

Franz Reichelt is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Franz Reichelt Died at 33 (1879-1912) - Tailor, fell to his death off the first deck of the Eiffel Tower while testing his invention, the coat parachute. It was his first ever attempt with the parachute and he had told the authorities in advance he would test it first with ...

Gareth Jones is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Gareth Jones 54 - Actor, collapsed and died while in make-up between scenes of a live television play, Underground, at the studios of Associated British Corporation in Manchester. Director Ted Kotcheff continued the play to its conclusion, improvising ...

Garry Hoy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Garry Hoy Died at 38 (1955-1993) - A 38-year old lawyer and a senior partner at the Holden Day Wilson Law firm in Toronto, Canada, fell to his death on July 9, 1993, after he threw himself against a window on the 24th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Centre in an attempt ...

George Herbert is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
George Herbert Died at 40 (1593-1633) - 5th Earl of Carnarvon, became the first to die from the alleged King Tut's Curse after a mosquito bite on his face became seriously infected with erysipelas, which he cut while shaving, leading to blood poisoning and eventually ...

Georgi Markov is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Georgi Markov Died at 49 (1929-1978) - A Bulgarian dissident, was assassinated in London with a specially modified umbrella that fired a metal pellet with a small cavity full of ricin into his calf.

Gloria Ramirez is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Gloria Ramirez Died at 31 (1963-1994) - In Riverside, California, for complications of advanced cervical cancer. Before she died, her caregivers claimed that Ramirez's body mysteriously emitted toxic fumes that made several emergency room workers very ill. She was dubbed ...

Grigori Rasputin is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Grigori Rasputin Died at 47 (1869-1916) - Russian mystic, was reportedly poisoned while dining with a political enemy, shot in the head, shot three more times, bludgeoned, and then thrown into a frozen river. When his body washed ashore, an autopsy showed the cause of death ...

Gus Grissom is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Gus Grissom Died at 41 (1926-1967) - Ed White, and Roger B. Chaffee, NASA astronauts, died when a flash fire began in their pure oxygen environment during a training exercise inside the unlaunched Apollo 1 spacecraft. The spacecraft's escape hatch could not be opened ...

Gustav Kobbé is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Gustav Kobbé Died at 61 (1857-1918) - Writer and musicologist, was killed when the sailboat he was on was struck by a landing seaplane off Long Island, N.Y.

Harry Houdini is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Harry Houdini Died at 52 (1874-1926) - A famous American escape artist, was punched in the stomach by an amateur boxer who had heard that Houdini could withstand any blow to his body above his waist, excluding his head. Though this had been done with Houdini's permission, ...

Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. Died at 24 (1921-1945) - Accidentally dropped a brick of tungsten carbide onto a sphere of plutonium while working on the Manhattan Project. This caused the plutonium to come to criticality; Daghlian died of radiation poisoning, becoming the first person to ...

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Inejiro Asanuma is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Inejiro Asanuma Died at 62 (1898-1960) - The head of the Japanese Socialist Party, was stabbed to death with a wakizashi sword by extreme rightist Otoya Yamaguchi during a televised political rally. Yamaguchi was immediately arrested and later committed suicide.

Isadora Duncan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Isadora Duncan Died at 50 (1877-1927) - Dancer, died of a broken neck when one of the long scarves she was known for caught on the wheel of a car in which she was a passenger.

J. G. Parry-Thomas is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
J. G. Parry-Thomas Died at 43 (1884-1927) - A Welsh racing driver, was decapitated by his car's drive chain which, under stress, snapped and whipped into the cockpit. He was attempting to break his own land speed record which he had set the previous year. Despite being killed ...

Jack Daniel is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Jack Daniel Died at 61 (1850-1911) - Distiller, died from blood poisoning. The infection started in his toe, which he injured kicking his safe in anger when he couldn't open it early one morning.

James Frederick Polley is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
James Frederick Polley A 23-year-old, from Raytown, Missouri died while riding the Fire In The Hole ride in Branson, Missouri, at Silver Dollar City theme park. The train of cars he was riding in was mistakenly thought to be empty and inadvertently had been ...

Janet Parker is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Janet Parker Died at 40 (1938-1978) - A British medical photographer, died of smallpox in 1978, ten months after the disease was eradicated in the wild, when a researcher at the laboratory Parker worked at accidentally released some virus into the air of the building. She ...

Jansen Van Vuuren is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century

Jeff Dailey is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Jeff Dailey A 19-year-old gamer, became the first known person to die while playing video games. After achieving a score of 16,660 in the arcade game Berzerk, he succumbed to a massive heart attack. A year later, an 18-year-old gamer died after ...

Jerome Irving Rodale is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Jerome Irving Rodale Died at 73 (1898-1971) - An American pioneer of organic farming, died of a heart attack while being interviewed on The Dick Cavett Show. According to urban legend, when he appeared to fall asleep, Cavett quipped "Are we boring you, Mr. Rodale?".

Jimmy Lee Gray is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Jimmy Lee Gray Died at 34 (1949-1983) - A man executed in Mississippi's gas chamber, died bashing his head against a metal pole behind the chair that he was strapped into. The poisonous gas had failed to kill him but left him in agony and gasping for eight minutes. It was ...

John Bowen is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
John Bowen Died at 47 (1780-1827) - A 20-year-old of Nashua, New Hampshire was attending a halftime show at a football game at Shea Stadium on December 9, 1979. During an event which featured novelty and custom-made remote control flying machines, a 40-pound model plane ...

Jon-Erik Hexum is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Jon-Erik Hexum Died at 27 (1957-1984) - An American television actor, died after he shot himself in the head with a prop gun during a break in filming, playing Russian Roulette using a revolver loaded with a single blank cartridge.

Keith Relf is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Keith Relf Died at 33 (1943-1976) - Former singer for British rhythm and blues band The Yardbirds, died while practicing his electric guitar. He was electrocuted because the amplifier was not properly grounded.

Kenji Urada is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Kenji Urada Died at 37 (1944-1981) - A Japanese factory worker was killed by a malfunctioning robot he was working on at a Kawasaki plant in Japan. The robot's arm pushed him into a grinding machine, killing him.

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Kip Siegel is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Kip Siegel Died at 52 (1923-1975) - Died of a stroke while testifying before a US Congressional subcommittee.

Kurt Gödel is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Kurt Gödel Died at 72 (1906-1978) - The Austrian/American mathematician, died of starvation when his wife was hospitalized. Godel suffered from extreme paranoia and refused to eat food prepared by anyone else. He was 65 pounds (approx. 30 kg) when he died. His death ...

Len Koenecke is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Len Koenecke Died at 31 (1904-1935) - Was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher by the crew of an aircraft he had chartered, after provoking a fight with the pilot while the plane was in the air.

Leslie Harvey is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Leslie Harvey Died at 28 (1944-1972) - Guitarist of Stone the Crows, was electrocuted on stage by a live microphone.

Louis Slotin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Louis Slotin Died at 36 (1910-1946) - Chemist and physicist, died of radiation poisoning after being exposed to lethal amounts of ionizing radiation from the same core that killed Harry K. Daghlian, Jr.. He allowed the core to become fully shielded by a spherical ...

Luigi Greco is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Luigi Greco The Mafia boss of the Sicilian faction of Montreal, died from an incident occurring while renovating a family pizzeria. He used a mop dipped in gasoline and a metal scraper to remove the filth on the floor. However, the combination ...

Margo Jones is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths Of The 20th Century
Margo Jones Died at 44 (1911-1955) - Theater director, was killed by exposure to carbon tetrachloride fumes from her newly cleaned carpet.