It's not everyone who slips into a lovely, deep sleep before shuffling off this mortal coil. No – some people plot their own deaths by chainsaw or suffer similarly bizarre endings...
1. Off with my head!?
On 5 July 2008, David Phyall, 58, cut off his own head with a chainsaw in a carefully planned suicide. It was thought to be an extreme form of protest against the demolition of his Housing Association flat. He was the only person left living in the 1960s block in Eastleigh, Hampshire, after the rest were boarded up. Mr Phyall had refused 11 offers from the Housing Association to re-home him. The deputy coroner for central Hampshire said that Mr Phyall, who had a long history of mental illness, was ‘irrationally opposed to moving’.
2. Aircraft terminal…
Roger Wallace, 60, from Tucson, Arizona, was killed by his own radio-controlled plane on 18 May 2001 in a bizarre accident. The sun blinded him temporarily, and the 7lb plane smashed into his chest at 40mph. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
3. Extreme karma?
After escaping execution by the electric chair, in 1983, convicted murderer Michael Anderson Godwin was killed trying to fix his TV headphones while sitting on a steel-rimmed toilet in his South Carolina cell. The lifer bit into a wire and was killed instantly.
4. Brink of death
Jimi Heselden, millionaire owner of the Segway company, which makes motorised two-wheel scooters, died after falling from cliffs while riding a Segway himself. Heselden, 62, went off cliffs into the River Wharfe while riding the vehicle around his Thorp Arch estate in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire, on 26 September 2010.
5. No way out
On New Year’s Day 2015, Stephen Whinfrey, aged 50, went rabbit hunting at Squirrel Wood Scout Camp near Burghwallis, Doncaster and met the most bizarre death. When a rabbit he was tracking ducked into its hole, Stephen stuck his head in after it. Unfortunately, he got stuck and suffocated. An inquest found he had consumed alcohol, which may have accounted for his poor – and fatal – judgment that day.
A dog fell out of a 13th floor window in Buenos Aires on 24 October 1988, hitting and killing Marta Espina, 75. Several onlookers were hit by a bus, including Edith Sola, 46, who also died. A male witness then suffered a heart attack and died on the way to hospital.
7. Not dead yet…
In an extraordinary freak death, in August 2014, restaurant chef Peng Fan from southern China was bitten by the severed head of a venomous cobra he’d decapitated some 20 minutes earlier. In a reflex reaction, the snake’s head bit his hand when he picked it up to throw it away after making soup with the body, and he died before he could receive anti-venom medication.
8. Hoist by his own…pants!
One of the most macabre and bizarre deaths in recent times occurred on 21 December 2013 in Oklahoma, when the stepson of Denver St Clair, 58, strangled him with the waistband of his own underpants. Brad Davis, 33, admitted yanking the elastic of his stepfather’s underpants up over his head in an ‘atomic wedgie’. Davis pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and received a 30-year jail sentence.
9. Fatal freefall
On 4 April 1988, experienced skydiver Ivan McGuire, 35, jumped from 10,500ft above North Carolina, with the intention capturing his descent on video. But, although he remembered his camera, he forgot his parachute and accidentally filmed his own death instead.
10. Deadly crush
Hungarian artist Mihaly Gubis was crushed to death on 17 May 2006 in Germany by his own 1.5-ton sculpture Woman with Four Breasts. He’d been helping to load the 24ft statue onto a lorry when it’d lurched to one side, falling onto Gubis as he used his bodyweight to try to push it back upright. He died instantly.
11. Death by torchlight
Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in February 1998, in Lompoc, California, when he fell through the ceiling of a bicycle shop he was trying to burgle. The long-handled torch he was holding in his mouth to keep his hands free killed him when it rammed into the base of his skull as he hit the floor below.
12. Holiday horror
In a horrifically protracted death, two elderly sisters Alice Wardle, 68, and Mildred Bowman, 62, became trapped in their fold-down twin beds while sleeping in a holiday flat in Benidorm, back in 2005. The pair were trapped for four days before being discovered by family, who’d been frantically searching for them around the resort. But, by then, they’d suffocated to death. A coroner recorded that the wooden casing housing the beds hadn’t been fixed to the wall securely, proving fatal to the sisters.
13. Deadly wind-up!
Co-owner of George Thomas & Sons Textile Company, Paul G Thomas, 47, met with a very undignified end in on 11 August 1987 in Connecticut when he was operating machinery at the factory. Mr Thomas fell onto a winding spool of wool and was suffocated after being wound up in 800yds of yarn.