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Tapeworm Blamed

1966: On the afternoon of 6 September, a parliamentary messenger named Demetrio Tsafendas stabbed and killed Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd in the chamber of South Africa’s House of Assembly. Tsafendas was quickly labelled a “crank” and a “madman”: he had a history of mental illness, he had been detained in institutions in several countries, and he was obsessed with, and his actions driven by, an illusory tapeworm in his stomach.

Source: Tiffany Fawn Jones, Psychiatry, Mental Institutions, and the Mad in Apartheid South Africa (2012), pp. 86–92

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