Bloggers sometimes refer to a “48-hour rule,” which states that people should hold off making sweeping judgments about a news story until sufficient time has passed for all the facts to be known. The face-eater case from Florida, supposedly a warning about the effects of “bath salts,” suggests that we should make that a 48-day rule:
Authorities may never know why a Florida man viciously attacked and chewed on the face of an older homeless man in Miami last month after lab tests failed to find components of “bath salts” in the system of the assailant, who was killed by police.
The tests detected only marijuana in the system of the attacker, the medical examiner said Wednesday, ruling out other street drugs that some had speculated 31-year-old Rudy Eugene might have taken.
An expert on toxicology testing said marijuana alone wasn’t likely to cause behavior as strange as Eugene’s.
“The problem today is that there is an almost an infinite number of chemical substances out there that can trigger unusual behavior,” said Dr. Bruce Goldberger, Professor and Director of Toxicology at the University of Florida.
Goldberger said the medical examiner’s office in Miami is known for doing thorough work and he’s confident they and the independent lab covered as much ground as possible. But it’s nearly impossible for toxicology testing to keep pace with new formulations of synthetic drugs.
The department ruled out the most common components found in so-called bath salts, which mimic the effects of cocaine or methamphetamine and have been associated with bizarre crimes in recent months. An outside forensic toxicology lab, which took a second look at the results, also confirmed the absence of bath salts, synthetic marijuana and LSD.
Does anyone else find it even more unnerving, that there’s a guy out there who didn’t need bath salts to start eating a guy’s face?