Recall back in February, there was widespread media coverage over a man’s death in Oklahoma after the local sheriff flippantly declared it looked like a case of spontaneous human combustion. Never mind the fact that the man was an alcoholic and a smoker. Yes, he burned in a characteristic way but that was not HOW he died. The conclusions from the medical examiner’s report have been released.
Danny Vanzandt, 65, of Muldrow, likely died of a heart attack after which his body was burned, possibly by a cigarette, the report states.
“The lack of soot within the airway and a negative carboxyhemoglobin level within the procured blood sample suggests death prior to the fire,” the medical examiner’s report states. “These findings are not consistent with someone breathing in smoke in the moments preceding death.
“The findings of the examination are most consistent with the decendent dying (likely of this heart condition) and then being involved posthumously in the fire which consumed most of his body,” the report states.
The examination also showed he was suffering from moderate to severe coronary artery disease. A heart attack is a plausible explanation. SHC, which is better described as a characteristic way of burning instead of a cause of death, has never been proven to occur. We hear about it a lot and, incredibly, people believe it really exists. Don’t buy it. There is no plausible cause and the evidence for these deaths is clearly related to other factors.