Here's How This Woman's Christmas Day Poison Plot Was Foiled

Poison has been a tool of murderers and would-be murderers for centuries. As Medicina Antiqua notes, for centuries in ancient Rome, meeting your end via poisoning was a very real possibility, particularly the closer you were to the top. Similarly, at least one pope — John VIII, according to History — was done in at least in part by poisoning (although it bears noting that his assailant grew impatient and finished the job by bashing him in the head with a hammer).

These days, poisoning someone is at once easier and harder than it's ever been. It's easier because you can find out how to concoct a deadly poison and order everything you need to make it with a few hours of research on the internet. It's also harder because modern forensics will almost certainly lead back to you as the murderer, meaning that you may have succeeded in killing your foe, but you won't get away with it. And in the 2010s, a British woman tried to poison her husband and was undone by a mundane spelling mistake.

Jacqueline Patrick misspelled the word dignity

As Reuters reports, Jacqueline Patrick and her daughter were up to here with their husband/father for reasons we won't get into here. At least twice, Patrick tried to kill her husband on her daughter's insistence, The Guardian reported. Indeed, she made at least one attempt in October of 2013 and again on Christmas Day of the same year. Specifically, Patrick spiked her husband's drink — a cherry Lambrini described by Reuters as a "drink favored by teenagers looking to get drunk on a low budget" — with antifreeze. It didn't work; though gruesomely sickened, Douglas Patrick survived.

The two Patrick women seemingly made little attempt to cover their tracks and left text messages to each other, including the incriminating "I got the stuff I will give him some later delete txt tell no one ok" and "he feels sick again I gave him more delete this." The final nail in Jacqueline's coffin, however, was her inability to spell. She produced a document in which Douglas purportedly asked not to be resuscitated, and the fake note included the word "dignerty." Police later asked Jacqueline to write the word "dignity," and she spelled it the same way as in the fake note, further sealing her involvement in this crime.