Sex cannot be the worst way to go. Yet, tales of death during carnal pleasure fill us with equal parts amusement and terror. Somewhere in the recesses of our mind, we are aware of how distracted and vulnerable—not to mention ridiculous—we are during copulation. Man-eating animals, jealous lovers, ill health, and plain old bad luck are quick to take advantage of our moment of weakness. Death will find us even in the very essence of life.
10 – Condor Club’s Elevator Piano
Sometime between 4:00 and 6:00 AM on November 24, 1983, the assistant manager of San Francisco’s Condor Club died when the piano he was having sex on malfunctioned. James “Jimmy the Beard” Ferrozzo, 40, was crushed when the elevator piano accidentally rose to the ceiling. Ferrozzo was caught between the piano and the ceiling, while lying on top of his 23-year-old stripper girlfriend, Theresa Hill. The club’s janitor, Angel Vicente, discovered the pinned couple when he arrived to work at 7:30 AM. Hill survived the ill-fated rendezvous.
The Condor Club broke boundaries when it opened as the world’s first topless bar in 1964. The club was made famous by stripper Carol Dodda. According to her 2015 obituary, Dodda “helped take stripping out of the shadowy margins of American of society.” She worked the Condor Clubs for decades, and the elevator piano became one of her burlesque act’s signatures.
9 – Pervert Poetic Justice
Sexual assault can be taxing on the cardiovascular system. No one knows this better than convicted pervert Isabel Chavelo Gutierrez, who died while raping a 77-year-old south Texas woman. On June 2, 2011, Gutierrez, 52, crept into the woman’s Tivoli residence by removing a glass pane on a screen door and attacked her at knifepoint. In the midst of the assault, the 250-pound rapist rolled over, indicated he did not feel well, and died.
Gutierrez was a known sexual predator. He had been convicted of aggravated sexual assault and indecency with a seven-year-old child. In 2008, he was paroled and listed on the national sex offender registry. According to the victim, she encountered Gutierrez the day before the attack at the post office. Gutierrez lived two miles away and rode his bicycle to the victim’s house. When Gutierrez lost consciousness, she escaped, ran to her daughter’s house, and alerted authorities.
8 – Cucumber Sex Romp
On July 19, 2014, a German woman died during a cucumber sex romp. Rica Varna, 46, suffocated when her lover left the vegetable in her mouth—and forgot about her. Oliver Dietmann faces a sentence of five years if he is convicted of negligent homicide. Dietmann, 46, admits to putting the cucumber in Varna’s mouth. He explained, “But suddenly, there was smoke coming from the kitchen.” After running to the kitchen, feeding his dog, and smoking a cigarette, Dietmann returned to find Varna unconscious.
The autopsy revealed that Varna slipped into a coma after the cucumber cut off airflow. Dietmann claims he tried to remove the vegetable, but it was “too mushy.” Prosecutors believe the four bottles of wine and multiple glasses of schnapps consumed during the rendezvous might have adversely effected the insurance salesman’s judgment. Dietmann revealed that “we often used vegetables because we had no proper dildos.”
7 – Fatal Tryst In Fairmount Park
On November 6, 2015, lovers were murdered in a SUV during a tryst in a Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Shakoor Arline, 25, and Lisa Smith, 32, were shot repeatedly in the head. According to Philadelphia police captain James Clark, the shooting appears to be “very much a crime of passion.” Arline and Smith were both dating other people at the time of their murder, and had maintained an on-and-off-again relationship for years. Between midnight and 5:00 AM, the shooter approached the vehicle, opened the rear door, and unloaded nine bullets into the couple.
Police discovered the remains of Arline and Smith in various states of undress. Investigators believe that murder followed Smith from her home, which is a half-mile from the park. A mother of five, Smith was an Arizona native who had lived in Philadelphia for years. Shakoor was a UPS worker. He is survived by his 17-year-old sister, Taylor.
6 – Alsatian Allergy
In 2011, Irish authorities charged a 57-year-old man for violating the nation’s bestiality laws after a mother of four died after having sex with his Alsatian dog. On October 7, 2008, the 43-year-old woman died from an adverse allergic reaction to the intercourse. Sean McDonald and the woman met in an online chat room to discuss sexual fantasies. The Gardai believe the sex was consensual—at least on the woman’s part. However, McDonald will be the first person to be charged with the country’s 1861 buggery laws. Conviction could mean life in jail for the dog-owner.
The unidentified victim fell ill around 7:30 PM and was rushed to Limerick’s Mid-Western Regional Hosptial. She succumbed around 8:00 PM. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was anaphylactic shock—the same condition suffered by people with peanut or bee sting allergies. The Alsatian involved in the incident remains in quarantine.