Walking through the cosmopolitan streets of Paris’s 20th arrondissement, not far from rock star Jim Morrison’s tomb, a respectable, elderly lady is approached by a Chinese woman asking for directions.
As the pair bend over a map, the Chinese woman blows a tiny dust cloud of white powder into the face of the helpful Parisian. What happens next is like something from a horror film.
For, unbeknown to the victim, this white powder is Devil’s Breath, a substance so toxic and powerful that it turns everyone who ingests it into what investigators call ‘zombies’, devoid of their own free will.
Indeed, so suggestible does it make its victims that South American tribes used to administer the drug to the wives of dead chiefs, who, under tribal tradition, had to be buried alive with their husbands after they died.
Taken from the seeds of a plant which grows wild in Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela — related to deadly nightshade — the drug meant these women could be persuaded to walk happily into the graves to their gruesome deaths.
Now, in a series of cases that have horrified police, the drug is being used by criminal gangs in Europe to drug unsuspecting victims who are then easily persuaded to hand over their most valuable possessions.