Recently, the news media in India highlighted the shocking, sensational story of a “sweet looking, articulate, well regarded lady” who was arrested for allegedly killing at least six—possibly more—family members by administering cyanide to them. The killings were allegedly carried out in a phased manner over a period of several years and hardly anybody suspected any foul play except one whose complaint eventually led to the horrifying exposes. In simple terms, the victims were murdered and obviously died untimely deaths. Nothing has so far emerged to show that the spirits of these murdered people took any action to seek justice and nail the perpetrator. It is well known that generally, when an unnatural death takes place, the victim’s spirit makes efforts to ensure that the truth is revealed and does not rest in peace till due punishment is meted out. Each spirit chooses its own mode of bringing the truth to light. For example, some choose to appear in a relative or friend or someone’s dream or directly before them and narrate the details of what happened to them. Some spirits force the culprit to make an admission of their guilt.
In fact, there are several oft cited cases where the law has been guided by a spirit. For instance, here’s a quick recap of the case of Anne Walker, whose spirit was unable to find peace until the two men who murdered her were arrested and hanged is on record. Its seems that late one night in 1681, a miller, James Graeme, of County Durham, England, was accosted by the hideous ghost of a young woman. She was drenched with blood and had five open wounds on her head. She told Graeme that her name was Anne Walker and that she had been murdered, with a pickax, by one Mark Sharp acting on instruction from a relative of hers, also named Walker, by whom she was pregnant. She made it clear to Graeme that unless he gave the information to the local magistrate she would continue to haunt him.
Refusing to believe what he had experienced, Graeme did nothing. But after the apparition appeared, pleaded and threatened twice more, he went to the authorities with the grisly story. A pit identified by the ghost was searched, and Anne Walker’s body was found. Sharp and Walker were arrested, tried, found guilty and hanged. Anne’s spirit, thus avenged, did not appear again. There are other similar cases on record and as I’ve written earlier, in my travels into the interiors of India, I have been told about many, many instances when justice was dispensed due to the intervention or revelations made by a ghost or spirit. In several cases, Panchayats, unaware of a crime, were made aware of it by the spirit of the person who had suffered, and taking note of the spirit’s ‘testimony’, carried out investigations on their own and were able to nail the culprits. In all such cases, the disclosures were made voluntarily by the spirits concerned. Going by experiences of Panchayats, families and individuals, in most cases spirits are keen to see justice dispensed—understandably, it brings peace to their soul and allows them to move forward unencumbered. Of course, kaal and karma play their own, cardinally important, central roles too, but getting into that in relation to spirit appearances and solving crimes after death would require a whole book rather than a column.

Incidentally, programmes like AfterLife TV and publications like Mysterious Universe offer intriguing, true life insights into the different ways the souls of those who have been murdered seek justice and why peace is so very important for them. Last year, author and crypto expert Brent Swancer raised a question about “murdered spirits” in Mysterious Universe: “…Do they possess the ability to right these wrongs and allow themselves to pass on to wherever it is they go? Or is this all just coincidence, overactive imaginations, and lore? We may never know, but it is somewhat fulfilling to at least think that in some cases perhaps these restless spirits were able to exert themselves on the world from beyond the veil of death in order to find the peace and closure they were denied in life.”
There so many well documented cases on record where murdered victims have not only helped crack the case when it reached a dead end on earth but often alerted others about the treachery behind their deaths. Why then, did not a single person allegedly murdered by the “sweet looking” lady in India make any attempt to seek justice? Is it that they did make attempts but those attempts were not fully understood by those on earth? Is it that the manner of their death through cyanide poisoning rather than a brutal, violent death have something to do with the silence from their side? Cyanide, inhaled or ingested, is known to cause unconsciousness. Death could occur within several seconds of inhaling a high dose of cyanide, but lower doses and ingested cyanide may take a few hours to a couple of days.
In August this year, Thought. Co carried an article entitled “How Does Cyanide Kill?” by Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. who wrote: “Murder mysteries and spy novels often feature cyanide as a fast-acting poison… Have you ever wondered how cyanide poisons and kills people…” She goes in to detail the symptoms which include dizziness, confusion, slow heart rate, coma and explains that “death from poisoning usually results from respiratory or heart failure…how much cyanide is lethal depends on the route of exposure, the dose, and duration of exposure. Inhaled cyanide presents a greater risk than ingested cyanide… As a rough estimate, since lethal dose depends on the exact compound and several other factors, about half a gram of ingested cyanide will kill a 160-pound adult…”
In the cyanide case under discussion, could it be that since the victims likely slipped into a confused or unconscious state or a coma-like state, they were unaware that they had been poisoned? The big question here is: if they were unaware at the time of their deaths that they had been murdered through poisoning, would they not have become aware once their souls had been released from their bodies and come in contact with other souls? Just as there are questions and questions, there are possibilities and possibilities, each one fascinating, each one contributing to a better understanding of the afterlife and the other world. Read about them in the next column.

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