A strange obituary appeared in the Russian press last month, describing a “successful entrepreneur” whose life took an improbable turn when, during a prison stint, he learned to ingest great quantities of poison.
Poison connoisseur Dmitry Butakov, of Lipetsk, had but one superpower–the ability to withstand and enjoy lethal doses of toxic substances.
Butakov would begin his typical lunch with an invigorating glass of acetone before eating a ball of mercury and drinking a bottle of antifreeze, often performing this ritual on camera for the local media.
Butakov baffled medical experts when he suffered no apparent harm after eating toadstools and drinking dissolvent. His test results showed a lethal dose of poison in his bloodstream, but toxicologists agreed that the poison did not appear to have penetrated his system or affected his cells.
His final coolant bender would have a different outcome, of course. Butakov became ill and was rushed to a hospital after drinking antifreeze with a cola chaser. He died several days later of severe blood poisoning.
I am inclined to believe this incredible story is an urban legend. I have been unable to locate any photgraphs or videos of Butakov, even though he was reportedly under the nearly constant surveillance of the news media. The obituaries, appearing in Pravda and other Russian news media, provide no clue as to the date or even the year of Butakov's demise.