When 64-year-old South Carolina man Steven Clayton tumbled down the stairs of his enormous lakeside mansion modeled after Mount Vernon, authorities thought he had died from the fall. But if, like me, you’re also caught up on true crime series The Staircase, you’re probably aware that staircase deaths aren’t always what they seem!
The Washington Post reports that after Clayton’s funeral, an autopsy quickly revealed that his body contained incredibly high levels of tetrahydrozoline, a common ingredient found in eyedrops like Visine as well as nasal sprays. When Clayton’s wife Lana Sue was confronted with this evidence, she reportedly admitted she had poisoned him with eyedrops, putting it in his food. Her motive for doing so is still elusive.
Maybe you’re wondering Wow, eyedrops, who would have thought? But I am unfortunately here to tell you that a LOT of people have thought about using eyedrops as murder weapon before! Catch this from the Washington Post:
In 2008, a Long Island woman was sentenced to three years’ probation after spiking a roommate’s drink with the product. A Cleveland area man was given a five-year prison sentence in 2012 after nearly killing his father by pouring two bottles of Visine into his milk. In 2013, a Wyoming teenager was charged after pouring 20 bottles of the product in her stepmother’s tea and coffee over a four-month period. That same year, a California man was arrested after spiking his girlfriend’s drink with Visine following a fight. A Utah woman was charged with poisoning her husband over a period of several months in April 2017.
What the hell?! Apparently this makes for the perfect poison. So if you live with someone who uses eye drops and perhaps, just a little bit, wants you dead, don’t eat any sandwiches they make you.