History Main / AnimalAssassin

27th May '16 3:48:29 PM margdean56
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This is when somebody uses some sort of dangerous animal as discreet murder weapon. There's the old trick of leaving a snake in their hotel room, for instance, or the one where you drop a spider near their bed, or perhaps the one where you hide a {{sc|aryScorpions}}orpion in their suitcase. Whatever the animal, it's being used as a subtle but deadly surprise for the intended victim. The reasons for doing this vary: maybe the villain [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident hopes that the murder will be deemed an accident]] (since sometimes, the animal could have gotten there by itself), although other times, it seems that the villain just likes [[ComplexityAddiction doing things the difficult way for no good reason]]. Sometimes it's supposed to be some sort of trademark such as [[ReptilesAreAbhorrent a villain with a snake theme]]. Sometimes it can be an ordinary house pet trained to cause an "accident" like leaving on the gas (read: turning it on after the victim is asleep).

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This is when somebody uses some sort of dangerous animal as a discreet murder weapon. There's the old trick of leaving a snake in their hotel room, for instance, or the one where you drop a spider near their bed, or perhaps the one where you hide a {{sc|aryScorpions}}orpion in their suitcase. Whatever the animal, it's being used as a subtle but deadly surprise for the intended victim. The reasons for doing this vary: maybe the villain [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident hopes that the murder will be deemed an accident]] (since sometimes, the animal could have gotten there by itself), although other times, it seems that the villain just likes [[ComplexityAddiction doing things the difficult way for no good reason]]. Sometimes it's supposed to be some sort of trademark such as [[ReptilesAreAbhorrent a villain with a snake theme]]. Sometimes it can be an ordinary house pet trained to cause an "accident" like leaving on the gas (read: turning it on after the victim is asleep).



Not to be confused with a SharkPool or other up-front use of animals as a means of execution. This is just about the animals which are delivered to the victim (rather than the victim being delivered to the animal) and which the victim isn't supposed to know about until its too late. Compare AttackAnimal for when someone directly commands an animal to attack, rather than leaving it as a trap. If it's just made to ''look'' like a death by animal attack, that's ThisBearWasFramed.

'''GrammarNazi Note:''' Several of the animals mentioned below are "venomous" -- they inject some toxin in their victim. It is rarely relevant if they are "poisonous" -- that is, toxic if you try to eat them or if toxin is absorbed through the skin.

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Not to be confused with a SharkPool or other up-front use of animals as a means of execution. This is just about the animals which are delivered to the victim (rather than the victim being delivered to the animal) and which the victim isn't supposed to know about until its it's too late. Compare AttackAnimal for when someone directly commands an animal to attack, rather than leaving it as a trap. If it's just made to ''look'' like a death by animal attack, that's ThisBearWasFramed.

'''GrammarNazi Note:''' Several of the animals mentioned below are "venomous" -- they inject some toxin in into their victim. It is rarely relevant if they are "poisonous" -- that is, toxic if you try to eat them or if toxin is absorbed through the skin.



* This trope is parodied and [[DoubleSubversion double-subverted]] in the [[FrancoBelgianComics French comic book]] ''Rona : L'Or du Macho-Fichu''. The IntrepidReporter protagonist, while investigating in a BananaRepublic where he has enemies, is advised to "offer more" to the hotel tenant before getting a room. After doing so, the tenant accepts to remove "Eugène" -- a venomous snake that's "part of the house" -- whom he's been paid to put in Rona's bed. The same night, though, Rona finds ''another deadly snake'' in his bed, and the tenant is outraged -- it isn't Eugène, so it's utterly illegal since he's not getting any money from this.

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* This trope is parodied and [[DoubleSubversion double-subverted]] in the [[FrancoBelgianComics French comic book]] ''Rona : L'Or du Macho-Fichu''. The IntrepidReporter protagonist, while investigating in a BananaRepublic where he has enemies, is advised to "offer more" to the hotel tenant proprietor before getting a room. After doing so, the tenant accepts proprietor agrees to remove "Eugène" -- a venomous snake that's "part of the house" -- whom he's been paid to put in Rona's bed. The same night, though, Rona finds ''another deadly snake'' in his bed, and the tenant proprietor is outraged -- it isn't Eugène, so it's utterly illegal since he's not getting any money from this.



** In the story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band", the speckled band in question is a deadly snake the murderer sends down the bell cord [[FinancialAbuse to kill his adopted daughter to not give them her dowry]], and is commanded with a whistle -- a practice completely unknown in real life. When he tries to do the same thing to the dead girl's twin sister, who had gone to Holmes for help, Holmes attacks the snake, driving it back through the vent into the next room, and the murderer is [[HoistByHisOwnPetard bitten to death immediately after]].

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** In the story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band", the speckled band in question is a deadly snake the murderer sends down the bell cord [[FinancialAbuse to kill his adopted daughter to so as not give them to have to pay her dowry]], and dowry]]. The snake is commanded with a whistle -- a practice completely unknown in real life. When he tries to do the same thing to the dead girl's twin sister, who had gone to Holmes for help, Holmes attacks the snake, driving it back through the vent into the next room, and the murderer is [[HoistByHisOwnPetard bitten to death immediately after]].



* Happens at the beginning of the Literature/AlexRider book ''Scorpia''. An old gangster has finally decided to retire from a massive international terrorist group, but you don't retire from massive international terrorist groups. So one of the members gives a "parting gift", which is actually a briefcase full of scorpions, which climb all over the man and sting him to death. Apparently his heart gives out long before the poison kills him.

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* Happens at the beginning of the Literature/AlexRider book ''Scorpia''. An old gangster has finally decided to retire from a massive international terrorist group, but you don't retire from massive international terrorist groups. So one of the members gives him a "parting gift", which is actually a briefcase full of scorpions, which climb all over the man and sting him to death. Apparently his heart gives out long before the poison kills him.



* Worthy of mention due to the utter madness: in ''[[TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms Tangled Webs]]'', one {{Jerkass}} tries to kill a young lady by dropping a venomous (deadly ''for a human'', that is) spider on her bed. Nevermind she's... a ''drow''. As in "sneaky people who check where they go and hold spiders for sacred animals". Of course, when she saw it, CrowningMomentOfFunny ensues. She horribly suffered from sharp venomous bites of nostalgia for a few minutes.

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* Worthy of mention due to the utter madness: in ''[[TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms Tangled Webs]]'', one {{Jerkass}} tries to kill a young lady by dropping a venomous (deadly ''for ''to a human'', that is) spider on her bed. Nevermind she's... a ''drow''. As in "sneaky people who check where they go and hold to whom spiders for are sacred animals". Of course, when she saw sees it, CrowningMomentOfFunny ensues. She horribly suffered suffers from sharp venomous bites of nostalgia for a few minutes.



* UsefulNotes/{{Cleopatra|VII}} successfully killed herself by having a venomous snake snuck in a basket into her room. Although scholars dispute this account due to the difficulty of forcing a snake to strike and the non-lethality of most snake bites. It is nonetheless the official history. The popular image is her [[MarshmallowHell clinging the snake to her bosom]], so maybe she was trying to stab herself with the snake's fangs.

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* UsefulNotes/{{Cleopatra|VII}} successfully killed herself by having a venomous snake snuck in a basket into her room. Although scholars dispute this account due to the difficulty of forcing a snake to strike and the non-lethality of most snake bites. It is nonetheless the official history. The popular image is her [[MarshmallowHell clinging clasping the snake to her bosom]], so maybe she was trying to stab herself with the snake's fangs.
21st May '16 11:46:36 PM Anddrix
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* SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker once got a man's pet cat, hopped up on Joker Venom, to bite its owner, killing him and giving him the usual hideous rictus grin. This occurred in his appearance in "The Laughing Fish".

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* SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker ComicBook/TheJoker once got a man's pet cat, hopped up on Joker Venom, to bite its owner, killing him and giving him the usual hideous rictus grin. This occurred in his appearance in "The Laughing Fish".
1st May '16 6:26:53 PM JackG
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* ''Court Martial'' by Creator/SvenHassel. Two Section have to get rid of a troublesome Gestapo agent who's blackmailing them. After a [[RasputinianDeath number of unsuccessful attempts]] have landed the agent in the hospital, Porta and the others decide to pay a friendly visit with a wildcat in a cage. "As you know, cats have nine lives. And after what you've been through, you seem almost as immortal! So we're going to do a scientific study - cat vs. man!" Unfortunately the wildcat gets freed from its cage too early and HilarityEnsues.


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* ''Court Martial'' by Creator/SvenHassel. Two Section have to get rid of a troublesome Gestapo agent who's blackmailing them. them. After a [[RasputinianDeath number of unsuccessful attempts]] have landed the Gestapo agent in the hospital, Porta and the others decide to pay a friendly visit with a wildcat in a cage. cage. "As you know, cats have nine lives. lives. And after what you've been through, you seem almost as immortal! immortal! So we're going to do a scientific study - cat vs. man!" man!" Unfortunately the wildcat gets freed from its cage too early and HilarityEnsues.

HilarityEnsues.
1st May '16 6:25:30 PM JackG
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* ''Court Martial'' by Creator/SvenHassel. Two Section have to get rid of a troublesome Gestapo agent who's blackmailing them. After a [[RasputinDeath number of unsuccessful attempts]] have landed the agent in the hospital, Porta and the others decide to pay a friendly visit with a wildcat in a cage. "As you know, cats have nine lives. And after what you've been through, you seem almost as immortal! So we're going to do a scientific study - cat vs. man!" Unfortunately the wildcat gets freed from its cage too early and HilarityEnsues.


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* ''Court Martial'' by Creator/SvenHassel. Two Section have to get rid of a troublesome Gestapo agent who's blackmailing them. them. After a [[RasputinDeath [[RasputinianDeath number of unsuccessful attempts]] have landed the agent in the hospital, Porta and the others decide to pay a friendly visit with a wildcat in a cage. cage. "As you know, cats have nine lives. lives. And after what you've been through, you seem almost as immortal! immortal! So we're going to do a scientific study - cat vs. man!" man!" Unfortunately the wildcat gets freed from its cage too early and HilarityEnsues.

1st May '16 6:24:06 PM JackG
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* ''Court Martial'' by Creator/SvenHassel. Two Section have to get rid of a troublesome Gestapo agent who's blackmailing them. After a [[RasputinDeath number of unsuccessful attempts]] have landed the agent in the hospital, Porta and the others decide to pay a friendly visit with a wildcat in a cage. "As you know, cats have nine lives. And after what you've been through, you seem almost as immortal! So we're going to do a scientific study - cat vs. man!" Unfortunately the wildcat gets freed from its cage too early and HilarityEnsues.

14th Apr '16 8:22:33 PM merotoker
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** A more "hands-on" example occurs when a girl bitten by a snake in the ocean turns out to have been an attempt at murder [[spoiler:by her fiancee's jealous stepsister]], which involved physically holding the snake and forcing it to bite the victim. This is rather more realistic than most examples of this trope, because such an animal really can't be relied upon to kill someone on its own. Since they were both in the sea, it was basically impossible to find the "weapon" afterward, [[spoiler:though a witness is able to spy what turned out to be tape holding the snake in place.]]

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** A more "hands-on" example occurs when a girl bitten by a snake in the ocean turns out to have been an attempt at murder [[spoiler:by her fiancee's jealous stepsister]], which involved physically holding the snake and forcing it to bite the victim. This is rather more realistic than most examples of this trope, because such an animal really can't be relied upon to kill someone on its own. Since they were both in the sea, it was basically impossible to find the "weapon" afterward, [[spoiler:though a witness is able to spy what turned out to be tape holding the snake in place.]]place]].




In ''Fanfic/{{Pokedex}}'', Weedle's entry shows that they are often used as assassins by replacing their venom with a more potent one.

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\n* In ''Fanfic/{{Pokedex}}'', Weedle's entry shows that they are often used as assassins by replacing their venom with a more potent one.
one.






* In the special ''The Real Wolfman'', the specialists believed at the end that [[spoiler:a man had trained a hyena to attack women and children and the villagers believed it was a werewolf or a large wolf.]]
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Monk}}'', it turns out that [[spoiler:the killer, a Howard Stern-esque radio DJ, had trained the neighbor's dog to turn on the gas in the bedroom where his wife, the victim, slept whenever the dog heard a certain phrase during his radio broadcast.]]

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* In the special ''The Real Wolfman'', the specialists believed at the end that [[spoiler:a man had trained a hyena to attack women and children and the villagers believed it was a werewolf or a large wolf.]]
wolf]].
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Monk}}'', it turns out that [[spoiler:the killer, a Howard Stern-esque radio DJ, had trained the neighbor's dog to turn on the gas in the bedroom where his wife, the victim, slept whenever the dog heard a certain phrase during his radio broadcast.]]broadcast]].



* In ''Series/OnceUponATime'', Regina in the fairy tale world had a pair of Agrhaban vipers sent to her room to kill herself with (à la Cleopatra) until her lover, the Genie suggests that there's another way. He uses the vipers to murder the king. It later turns out she [[ManipulativeBitch planned the whole thing]].

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* In ''Series/OnceUponATime'', Regina in the fairy tale world had a pair of Agrhaban vipers sent to her room to kill herself with (à la Cleopatra) until her lover, the Genie suggests that there's another way. He uses the vipers to murder the king. It later turns out she [[ManipulativeBitch [[ManipulativeBastard planned the whole thing]].



* In one episode of ''Radio/BoldVenture'', a radio show starring HumphreyBogart and Lauren Bacall, someone is murdered by having an enraged gamecock with razor sharp spurs on its faced tossed on to them while they are asleep. Their face is slashed to ribbons and they bleed to death.

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* In one episode of ''Radio/BoldVenture'', a radio show starring HumphreyBogart Creator/HumphreyBogart and Lauren Bacall, someone is murdered by having an enraged gamecock with razor sharp spurs on its faced tossed on to them while they are asleep. Their face is slashed to ribbons and they bleed to death.



* Classic ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'', ''Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society'' #12 Amber Zone article "Royal Hunt". The EvilChancellor Hamir has arranged for attacks by two different types of animals on the Potentate and the {{PC}} party: the Delajabar, an amphibious animal that lives in the Dweljara river, and a small but highly poisonous monster that will be inserted into the party's tents at night.

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* Classic ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'', ''Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society'' #12 Amber Zone article "Royal Hunt". The EvilChancellor Hamir has arranged for attacks by two different types of animals on the Potentate and the {{PC}} {{P|layerCharacter}}C party: the Delajabar, an amphibious animal that lives in the Dweljara river, and a small but highly poisonous monster that will be inserted into the party's tents at night.



** The show humorously {{lampshade|Hanging}}s this trope. One {{mook}} releases a scorpion into Dr. Venture's room while he is sleeping just as a competing mook let a tarantula loose. Instead of killing their intended target, the two creatures just fight each other.

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** The show humorously {{lampshade|Hanging}}s this trope. One {{mook}} {{mook|s}} releases a scorpion into Dr. Venture's room while he is sleeping just as a competing mook let a tarantula loose. Instead of killing their intended target, the two creatures just fight each other.



* Cleopatra successfully killed herself by having a venomous snake snuck in a basket into her room. Although scholars dispute this account due to the difficulty of forcing a snake to strike and the non-lethality of most snake bites. It is nonetheless the official history. The popular image is her [[MarshmallowHell clinging the snake to her bosom]], so maybe she was trying to stab herself with the snake's fangs.

to:

* Cleopatra UsefulNotes/{{Cleopatra|VII}} successfully killed herself by having a venomous snake snuck in a basket into her room. Although scholars dispute this account due to the difficulty of forcing a snake to strike and the non-lethality of most snake bites. It is nonetheless the official history. The popular image is her [[MarshmallowHell clinging the snake to her bosom]], so maybe she was trying to stab herself with the snake's fangs.



* Some versions of the Assassin live-action game, as played on college campuses, allow this tactic. To make a "kill", the attacker must place a toy snake, spider, or scorpion in the target's bed, backpack, or the like; if anyone but the intended target finds the plastic or rubber AnimalAssassin first, the "kill" fails.

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* Some versions of the Assassin live-action game, as played on college campuses, allow this tactic. To make a "kill", the attacker must place a toy snake, spider, or scorpion in the target's bed, backpack, or the like; if anyone but the intended target finds the plastic or rubber AnimalAssassin Animal Assassin first, the "kill" fails.
31st Mar '16 7:14:29 PM molokai198
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* [[TheChessmaster Queen Blister]] in ''Literature/WingsOfFire'' tries to send her sister and rival for the throne, Queen Burn, a package of venomous dragonbite vipers as a gift, and then offers them to her during a peace meeting when that doesn't work. [[spoiler:Burn sees through Blister's plan and tries to kill her instead, but it turns out that there were two snakes in the box...]]
24th Mar '16 9:10:31 AM ObsidianFire
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Often, the murder animal will even be GenreSavvy enough to know its role in the story. Rather than waste time hiding or just wandering around aimlessly, as a real animal might do, it gets straight to the point and attacks the hero by the quickest route, despite having no apparent reason to do so. No matter how big the bedroom is, the spider will almost always end up crawling onto the face of the sleeping hero -- and not, say, scuttling into the wardrobe, which is arguably more likely but rather less helpful for the plot. Although this could be justified, as these critters are cold-blooded and may seek heat/warmth. Don't expect a lot of sympathy for the animal, either. The ones chosen as assassins are generally a species which people consider AlwaysChaoticEvil like [[ReptilesAreAbhorrent snakes]] and [[SpidersAreScary arachnids]].

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Often, the murder animal will even be GenreSavvy enough seems to know its role in the story. Rather than waste time hiding or just wandering around aimlessly, as a real animal might do, it gets straight to the point and attacks the hero by the quickest route, despite having no apparent reason to do so. No matter how big the bedroom is, the spider will almost always end up crawling onto the face of the sleeping hero -- and not, say, scuttling into the wardrobe, which is arguably more likely but rather less helpful for the plot. Although this could be justified, as these critters are cold-blooded and may seek heat/warmth. Don't expect a lot of sympathy for the animal, either. The ones chosen as assassins are generally a species which people consider AlwaysChaoticEvil like [[ReptilesAreAbhorrent snakes]] and [[SpidersAreScary arachnids]].
16th Mar '16 8:55:21 PM foxley
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* ''ComicStrip/DickTracy'': One of 'Trigger' Doom's henchmen attempted to dispose of Tracy by dumping him in a pen with an enraged bull. Tracy is only saved when Constable Ferret shoots the bull.
18th Feb '16 11:21:28 AM molokai198
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