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Medical examiner says worst death seen was man who was thrown down a manhole into boiling water

Medical examiner says worst death seen was man who was thrown down a manhole into boiling water

A former medical examiner has revealed which postmortem was her 'worst nightmare'.

A former medical examiner has revealed which postmortem was her 'worst nightmare'.

If realising how quickly 2023 has gone by and how we've nearly reached Christmas wasn't enough to give you nightmares, then don't worry, because this certainly will.

We've all thought about dying - it's not just Barbie - but when it comes to the worst way to die, I don't think anyone could've pictured as excruciating an outcome as this.

Dr Judy Melinek - a former medical examiner who used to work in New York - gives a gory glimpse into her career in her memoir Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner - co-authored with her husband, T.J. Mitchell, Melinek.

However, if you wanted a taste of just how gruesome the deaths can get before you dip your toe into all the horrors, don't worry, because the former medical examiner has opened up about the very worst death she saw during her time working for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME).

Despite noting she often warns people who ask her what 'the worst way to die' is that they 'don't want to know,' Dr Melinek continues anyway.

She tells the New York Post in her two years at OCME, the 'worst nightmares [she] ever had' were after she performed the postmortem examination of a bartender named Sean Doyle.

Dr Judy Melinek reveals some pretty gruesome details in her memoir 'Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner'.
Instagram/@drjudymelinek

Doyle had been out drinking with his friend and his friend's girlfriend during the Christmas of 2022.

On the journey home, his friend accused Doyle of flirting with his girlfriend and proceeded to beat him up.

Unfortunately for Doyle, it didn't stop there, his friend concluding the argument by throwing him down an open manhole.

The drop from the opening of the manhole to the bottom is reported as being 18 feet and to make matters worse, Doyle didn't land on solid ground, but in scalding hot water.

Even more unluckily for Doyle, he survived the fall.

Sean Doyle fell down a manhole and landed in boiling hot water.
Getty Images/ Andrew Burton

Paramedics and firefighters were called but the tunnel was full of steam and measured 300 degrees (148C) - the result of a broken main.

And so, despite Doyle's shouts for help, they were unable to go down to save him.

Doyle's body was later recovered from the scene a whopping four hours later and it's temperature measured 125 degrees (51C).

However, Dr Melinek adds the body was likely even hotter, due to the thermometer only reading up to 125 degrees.

When Dr Melinek examined him, Doyle's outer layer of skin had peeled off and his insides were cooked.

No one could save him because of the high temperature of the tunnel.
Getty Images/ Chris Hondros

Dr Melinek discovered Doyle didn't suffer any head trauma in the fall, neither did he have any broken bones, which means Doyle was 'fully conscious' as he was - as Dr Melinek puts it - 'steamed like a lobster'.

The final nail in the coffin comes from TikToker @tales_by_angie, who adds: "What makes this the worst death ever is that steam burns, no matter how severe, do not destroy nerve endings the way flames do.

"Which means Sean would have felt everything."

The man who pushed Doyle into the manhole was later charged with second-degree murder, the New York Times reports.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@drjudymelinek / Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images

Topics: Health, World News, TikTok, Social Media