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Aqua Tofana

This story takes place in the 16th century in Rome. The famous poison was made by a woman named Giulia Tofana. She made this poison to help women get out of their marriages. Some may think why didn’t they just divorice their husbands? Well, back then divorce was impossible to obtain, let alone a woman being the one to take action. The only way to get out of marriage was death. Of course murdering someone is wrong, however these women were being abused, assaulted and overall being treated wrong. It is a question between morality and safety and a lot of women back then would’ve chosen their safety.

Advertising the poison was one of the tricky parts of her business. There were no physical advertisements. The only way people were able to know that this product exists was through gossip among women. Miss Tofana was always careful with who she gave the poison to in order to not get caught.On top of this, the poison was made to look non suspicious in plain sight. Women would place on their vanities and most people wouldn’t think twice about looking at it because it resembled a perfume bottle. A few drops of this odorless poison would be placed in a food or drink. Over the course of a few days, the husband will get sick and eventually die. The poison’s main ingredient was arsenic. Arsenic wasn’t able to be traced back then which is probably how Tofana’s business ran for so long.

Unfortunately, Miss Tofana’s business came to an end when a client had second thoughts. After seeing her husband almost drinking the soup with the poison, she stopped him and confessed to the entire act. Soon after, Miss Tofana and a few of her workers went into hiding at a church. This didn’t last too long though when a rumor went around where she poisoned Rome’s water supply. Miss Tofana, her daughter and 3 workers met a sad ending and were executed in July 1659. The way people viewed Miss Tofana was very controversial. Some felt that she was a serial killer with the goal to kill as many men as she could. Others felt that she was a hero to women who wanted freedom.

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