Potassium cyanide is an inorganic compound with the formula KCN. This colorless crystalline compound, similar in appearance to sugar, is highly soluble in water. The vast majority of KCN is used in gold mining followed by use in organic synthesis, and electroplating. Smaller applications include jewelry for chemical gilding and buffing.
Highly toxic, KCN is odorless but due to hydrolysis, the moist solid emits small amounts of hydrogen cyanide, which smells like bitter almonds (not everyone can smell it—the ability thereof is due to a genetic trait). It is also used by entomologists as a killing agent in collecting jars, as most insects succumb within seconds, minimizing damage of even highly fragile specimens.
A number of prominent persons were killed or committed suicide using potassium cyanide, including members of the Nazi and various religious cults. Potassium cyanide (and other forms of cyanide) are a popular method of murder in fiction.
Mayo researcher under investigation by FBI; He is accused of buying potassium cyanide to use as a weapon in a domestic dispute. He is also charged with making terroristic threats.(NEWS)
Feb 24, 2007; Byline: Dan Browning; Staff Writer A research scientist and associate professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester is...
BRITON IN CHINA MURDER RIDDLE 'POISONED BY CYANIDE DROPS'; Sensational New Claims about Expat's Mystery Death in Hotel; Expat 'Poisoned with Cover Up Adultery and; Potassium Cyanide to [Pounds Sterling]800m Wire Transfers'
Apr 15, 2012; Byline: Hazel Knowles IN DALIAN, CHINA and Jonathan Petre IN LONDON A BRITISH businessman found dead in a Chinese hotel was...