Monday, October 19, 2020

Luci H. Zahray, The Poison Lady

by Paula Gail Benson

On Saturday, the Palmetto Chapter of Sisters in Crime was delighted to welcome as its guest Luci H. Zahray, well known to Malice Domestic attendees as “the Poison Lady.” Luci, who has a Masters degree in Toxicology from Texas A&M, first came to Malice as a fan, but when she heard writers asking how they might dispatch victims with poisons, she offered answers and quickly became the source to be consulted. She has some interesting tales about traveling with her poison “toy box” through airport security.

This year, Luci has been able to spread her excellent information through virtual meetings. During her time with Palmetto Chapter, she focused on household toxins such as methanol, tobacco, hand sanitizer, and anti-freeze. The amazing part of her information was how little of a substance was needed to produce blindness, illness, or death. She calculated based on how the substance would affect a 170 pound man and referred to the amount as LD 50 (lethal dose 50%).

Here’s a link to where she visited The Stiletto Gang on September 11, 2009. Gloria Alden’s summary of a Malice Domestic meeting (found in Writers Who Kill) indicated that Luci’s topic that year had been lead. For another Writers Who Kill post, Edith Maxwell mentions hearing Luci talk about using liquid nicotine, rosary peas, Tylenol, and alcohol as poisons.

If you have an interest in poisons, you won't want to miss one of Luci's presentations.



  1. Thanks Paula--I'm going to look her up!

  2. i learned a lot from Luci at Malice in year past. I sent her my new book, which uses one of her ideas, but it came back. Anyone have an address for her? Judy Hogan