-The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ...
In our last post we discussed how the science of temperature change can be used to determine the time of death on a cooling body. In this post we move back to my realm of expertise, toxicology. Now, the way toxicology is applied in forensics changes drastically with whether the subject is alive or dead. When the concern is postmortem, then what we tend to be most interested in are the effects that the drug had on the body. What was the cause of death? How did the drugs/poisons interact with one another? What effect did the drug/poison have on the heart, the brain, etc.
Most know the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; the case of a mild mannered doctor who uses himself as a lab rat with a drug of his own mixture and releases the murderous personality of Mr. Hyde. There are several drugs we could attribute this change in Dr. Jekyll to. Many drugs including alcohol lower inhibitions. Perhaps Dr. Jekyll wasn't as mild mannered as he appeared. Perhaps the murderous rage was simply being held in check when he was sober and the reduced inhibitions let it free.
We can probably also eliminate cocaine from the list of possibilities. There are extremely rare cases where cocaine does cause paranoia in people taking it, but it's rare so let's assume Dr. Jekyll does not fall into this category. Certainly Mr. Hyde would still have the energy to seek out and act on his desires, but if we believe that Dr. Jekyll really was mild mannered then we would not expect cocaine to change his personality so drastically. Perhaps Dr. Jekyll would simply spend more time in his research without the need to sleep?
So, we assume that Dr. Jekyll does have some part of his personality that encompasses the rage and homicidal desire of Mr. Hyde, but is buried within his consciousness. His drug (PCP) reduces the inhibition holding this desire back and adds in the paranoia and violence to truly let Mr. Hyde free.
Though we are discussing literature and not an actual case, this is not a far fetched hypothesis. Indeed one real life horror, Charles Manson, used drugs to help induce the right frame of mind in his followers to commit horrible murders.