Daily Lessons for Teaching Death at La Fenice

Donna Leon
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 95 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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Lesson 1 (from Chapters 1-2)


Maestro Helmut Wellauer is found dead in his dressing room, supposedly from drinking cyanide. Discuss cyanide as a poison and the ways the cause of death may be determined.


1. Study the poison referred to as cyanide. What is its scientific name? Why was it used in the Wellauer murder? What might the dosage tell officials about the cause of death? What are the telltale signs of cyanide? Who is the first to discover the type of poison used? How was it ingested? What does it do? What are the reasons for use? Are there common and/or non-fatal uses for cyanide? What other poisons compare?

2. The killer obviously does not care that cyanide is easily detected. Modern forensics has many ways in which poison can be detected, before and after a person dies. Examine the methods and procedures used by modern science. Also include accuracy...

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