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Suicide by snake? Woman killed by African black mamba she kept in New York home

Did she commit ‘suicide by snake’? Woman killed by African black mamba she kept in New York home along with 75 others

A woman is feared to have committed ‘suicide by snake’.

Aleta Stacey is thought to have deliberately allowed herself to be bitten by a deadly black Mamba snake.

The 56-year-old was found dead at the New York home she shares with 75 other snakes, most of them poisonous.

Police initially believed she had been bitten accidentally while cleaning the glass aquarium where the five-foot long snake was kept.

Deadly: The black mamba (example pictured) is one of the deadliest snakes in the world


Black mambas are fast, nervous, lethally venomous, and when threatened, highly aggressive.

Black mambas live in the savannas and rocky hills of southern and eastern Africa.

Reaching up to 14 feet they are Africa’s longest venomous snake.

Slithering at speeds of up to 12.5 miles per hour, they are also one of the fastest snakes in the world.

They get their name from the blue-black color of the inside of their mouth, which they display when threatened.

But friends and family believe Stacey could have deliberately allowed herself to be bitten.

They said she was an experienced snake handler who knew the dangers of getting to close to the fast and venomous snake.

They also pointed out that even after being bitten she failed to call the emergency services.

Doctors have said she could have survived the bite with prompt treatment.

Venom from the black Mamba is lethal unless treated with antivenon. Victims usually die within 20 minutes of being bitten.

‘We can’t understand why she didn’t call 911 right away and things like that. There’s a lot of loose ends,’ a friend told CBS News.

Another said: ‘She was an unhappy lady and a very nice lady, a very nice person.’

When asked if it’s possible her death was intentional, ‘It could’ve been.’

Stacey was found dead by her boyfriend 46-year-old Vito Caputo after he returned to their home in Putnam County, New York.

He said the padlock on the black mamba’s glass aquarium had been removed.

Bite marks were found on Stacey’s arm.

Officials removed 75 other snakes from the home, of which 56 were poisonous.

All 75 snakes were taken to the Bronx Zoo.

Police said they are investigating the death and have not ruled out suicide.


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