Sex is normally perceived as a life-creating act. Hence, it's perhaps the height of irony when the act results in the end of a life instead of the creation of a new one. However, dying while having sex happens more commonly than most people would think. More specifically, dying "in the saddle" accounts for approximately .6% of all sudden deaths.
The reasons for the deaths vary greatly. For some, the exertion involved in sexual activity ends up being too much to take and results in a heart attack, an occurrence the French call "la mort d'amour". In other cases, freak accidents or foul play are the culprit. Whatever the circumstances though, despite the morbid nature of the stories, it's undeniable that they're absolutely compelling.
Here are ten fascinating cases of people who shockingly died while having sex:
10 Jose Agustin Noh and Ana Maria Suarez / Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (1999)
23-year-old Jose Agustin Noh and his girlfriend, Ana Maira Camara Suarez, felt the need to have sex and decided to do so in a hearse parked in a warehouse. The vehicle was accessible to Noh as he was an employee of the Perez Diaz funeral home in Campeche, Mexico. The couple turned on the air-conditioner of the funeral car and proceeded to do their business. Afterwards, probably exhausted from the wild tryst, the couple dozed off in the hearse. Sadly, they ended up succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning, their bodies discovered by a funeral home employee the next day.
9 Jack McConaughey / Cardiac Arrest (1992)
Jack McConaughey's case is not particularly exciting. He was making love to his wife as he did every Monday morning when the woman suddenly realized that he had suffered a heart attack. However, Jack's case earns a spot on this list by virtue of who he was: the father of famous actor Matthew McConaughey.
Matthew's mother, Kay MacConaughey, is surprisingly open about the circumstances surrounding her husband's death. In fact, in her book, "I Amaze Myself!" she shared that when her husband couldn't be revived, she made sure that he was nude when he was taken from the house. "I was just so proud to show off my big old Jim McConaughey -- and his gift," she beamed.
8 Simon Burley / Strangulation (2007)
Simon Burley, 38, of Grimsby in North Lincs had a strange sexual fetish. He liked his lover to play the part of a neo-Nazi hangman while he hung by a noose. He would stand on a chair and kick it away, but just in time, his partner would cut the rope with a knife to save him. Unfortunately, one time in 2007, while he was roleplaying with Elizabeth Hallam, the knife he had given her was too blunt to cut through the rope. This resulted in Burley's strangulation, the attempt of paramedics to revive him proving unsuccessful. The coroner later laid down an open verdict at the inquest on the case.
7 William Martinez / Heart Attack (2009)
In 2009, a 31-year-old police officer, William Martinez of Atlanta, suffered from a fatal heart attack while he and a male friend were having sex with a woman who was not Martinez's wife. The strange twist in this story is that Martinez's wife filed charges against her husband's doctor for not warning William that strenuous activity, such as the three-way sex he had engaged in, could kill him. Surprisingly, in 2012, the jury sided with Martinez's wife as they said that his death from atheroschlerotic coronary artery disease had not been properly diagnosed and treated. That decision resulted in an award of $3 million for the widow.
6 Pope John XII / Apoplexy or Murder (964)
Born Octavius in 930 or 937 (when he was born and who his mother was are contested), Pope John XII's pontificate was infamous for the worldliness and depravity with which he ruled. Named pope at no older than 24, John XII was known as an immoral man whose promiscuity resulted in the Lateran Palace where he lived being referred to as "a brothel". The transcript to the Synod of Rome in 963 described the charges leveled against him:
They testified about his adultery, which they did not see with their own eyes, but nonetheless knew with certainty: he had fornicated with the widow of Rainier, with Stephana, his father's concubine, with the widow Anna, and with his own niece, and he made the sacred palace into a whorehouse.
In 964, John XII died while having sex. His death was described by Liudprand of Cremona as having come about either as a result of apoplexy (a stroke) during sex or from being bludgeoned with a hammer by an outraged husband who had caught Octavius in the act of having sex with the murderer's wife.
5 Tracey Scully / Strangulation (2009)
Colin Scully, 53, of Bridlington in East Yorkshire was having sex with his wife, Tracey, when she suddenly called out the name "Paul". Infuriated, Collin knelt on his wife's chest, pinned her down crucifix style to the bed, then strangled her using one arm. His anger had been heightened by the particular name that his wife had called out; he believed she was referring to Paul Deighton, whom the couple had met in a scooter club. Deighton, however, insisted that he never had an affair with Tracey. However, he did admit to sending her inappropriate text messages.
It took a jury only three hours of deliberations to sentence Collin to life imprisonment for murdering his wife.
4 Sharai Mawera / Lion Attack (2013)
Passersby in a lakeshore town near the border of Zambia were minding their own business when a man, wearing nothing but a condom, began screaming for help. Understandably, the passersby ignored the man and even kept their distance from him as they suspected he was mentally deranged. However, wildlife officials finally took him seriously and listened to his story of how he was having sex with his girlfriend when a lion suddenly came and attacked them. His narration continued with him being able to flee the scene but his girlfriend being left defenseless with the beast. The officials responded by firing a single shot into the air to scare off the animal. Unfortunately, they were too late. The woman, Sharai Mawera, had already been torn apart by the lion. In fact, all that could be found of her were an arm and a few small pieces of flesh.
3 Sergey Tuganov / Heart Attack (2009)
28-year-old Sergey Tuganov, a Russian, was offered a bet that he couldn't refuse. Two women wagered $4,300 that he wouldn't be able to go through with a half-day sex marathon with the women, and Tuganov promptly accepted the challenge and guzzled a bottle of Viagra to keep him going for twelve straight hours. Impressively, he was able to carry on for half a day, thus winning the bet. Unfortunately for Tuganov, just minutes after his victory, he suffered a fatal heart attack.
One of the female participants who identified herself only as Alina narrated, "We called emergency services, but it was too late. There was nothing they could do." Reports do not indicate if Tuganov was able to collect his prize money.
2 Kirsten J. Taylor / Electrocution from Nipple Clamps (2008)
Toby Robert Taylor and his wife, Kirsten J. Taylor, lived in a mobile home in Lower Windsor Township. On January 3, 2008, Toby called 911 and said that his wife had gone unconscious after being electrically shocked by a hair dryer. When the police arrived, they found Toby on the phone while attempting CPR on his wife, who was barefoot but fully dressed. Emergency personnel then attended to Kirsten but were unable to revive her.
Upon being questioned, Toby recounted his story that his wife had come home from work, had taken a shower, and had been shocked while drying her hair. Police found the story to be contrived and asked a detective to interview Toby. And that's when the real story emerged: Toby admitted that he and his wife were into weird sexual behavior. He would hook Kirsten's nipples to clips, plug the cord into an electric strip, and shock her. However, on that particular day, after one of the shocks he had delivered, she fell onto her face and lost consciousness.
After the revelation of what had really happened, Toby was charged with and convicted of third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and reckless endangerment. During the trial, it was revealed that Taylor had shocked his teenage girlfriend in a similar fashion as punishment for talking to other men.
1 Kenneth Pinyan / Perforated Colon (2005)
Kenneth Pinyan was an American Boeing engineer, who resided in Gig Harbor Washington. Unknown to anyone but his accomplices, Pinyan was in the habit of receiving anal sex from stallions at a farm in King Country, Washington. Unfortunately for him, one such episode resulted in him suffering from a perforated colon. His friend, James Michael Tait, along with another unidentified man, were shockingly videotaping the deed, and when it became evident that Pinyan had been injured, they urged him to proceed to a hospital . However, Pinyan refused due to shame, and he was only brought to a medical facility when he was close to death.
Later, a large number of videos of Pinyan in the act of bestiality were found in his home. In fact, some videos circulated on the Internet, and they eventually became the trigger for bestiality and its videotaping to be declared a felony in Washington. The case has also come to be known as the "Enumclaw Horse Case" after the place where the acts took place, and in 2007, "Zoo", a film about the story, debuted to much critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival.