A Wisconsin woman has pleaded guilty to the charge of spiking her boss's coffee with substances that made him sick.
Karen Zenner, 56, admitted to putting anti-anxiety medication, eye drops and caffeine pills her boss's coffee over a period of three weeks, reports the Daily Mail.
She was sentenced to six months in prison for the offense.
Zenner explained that she was not trying to kill her boss, but merely wanted to make him forget about the $2,000 he loaned her.
She did not explain why she thought making him sick would erase his memory of the debt.
According to court documents, the boss, who has diabetes, testified that he repeatedly found "a slimy substance in his coffee cup," and also noticed an increase in his blood sugar.
When the boss checked video recordings from the company break room, they confirmed Zenner was putting something in his coffee.
In addition to the prison sentence, Zenner was also placed on three years probation.
She will have to pay a fine of $1,175, in addition to writing a letter of apology to her boss, who did not fire her.
As a Google search reveals, putting poison in coffee is rather common. A search for the words "poison" and "coffee" yields the following headline results on the first page alone:
- "Drink of Death: Moment woman watches her friend die after lacing her coffee with cyanide."
- "Sydney student Mirna Salihin drinks coffee her friend Jessica Wongso laced with cyanide."
- "Indonesian woman gets 20 years for poisoned-coffee murder."
- "Chilling CCTV shows woman drink killer coffee her best friend poisoned with cyanide."
- "Video: Mirna Salihin consumes cyanide laced coffee."
- "Poisoning Your Lover's Coffee."
The last article, from the Wired website, also lists several instances of poisonings that did not involve coffee.
For example, Atlanta woman Lynn Turner killed two of her husbands by feeding them Jello laced with antifreeze.
Also noted is the case of Stacy Castor of New York, who killed her husband with antifreeze, and attempted to kill her stepdaughter by mixing antifreeze with vodka, orange juice and soda.
Utah resident Serena York also used antifreeze to poison an elderly neighbor by mixing it into a peach smoothie.
An unidentified Ohio woman killed her fiance by spiking his raspberry tea, also using antifreeze.
An Alabama couple also used antifreeze to kill their 3-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son, reportedly because they were "tired of the responsibility" of raising them.
According to FBI statistics, women are seven times as likely as men to choose poison as their murder weapon, notes The Washington Post. From 1999 through 2012, poison was used in 901 murders in the U.S.