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In Delicato Flagranto Morto

Felix Faure (1841-99), Sixth President of the French Third Republic

On 16th February, 1899 in the middle of the infamous Dreyfus crisis, Faure slipped away for a rendezvous with his mistress, Madame Steinhal, wife of the artist Adolphe Steinhal. Legend has it that Faure's bodyguards heard a scream and broke down the door to find him seated dead on a sofa with his beautiful mistress kneeling in front of him a la Lewinsky. According to some reports, she was in a state of trauma-induced lockjaw and his member had to he removed surgically. Madame Steinhal was thereafter known as "the kiss of death."

Lord Palmerston, Prime Minister

"Old Pam," Britain's randiest prime minister, died in his eighty-second year, officially from pneumonia after catching a chill while riding in his carriage; it was rumoured, however, that he had in fact died of a heart attack while engaged in a sex act with a young parlor maid on his billiard table.

Cardinal Jean Danielou (1915-74)

The French have a phrase for orgasm - le petite mort (the little death). In 1974, France woke to the news that one of their most respected senior churchmen, a world-leading Catholic theologian, the head of the theological faculty at Paris University and the author of fourteen books on sexual morality and church discipline had experienced le grand mort when he dropped dead on the stairs of a brothel in Clichy, the red-light district of Paris. The French police explained that the seventy-year-old Cardinal was on his way to "comfort" a twenty-four-year-old blond prostitute in an official capacity only.

Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (1908-79)

A multimillionaire grandson of the oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, the forty-first vice US president (to Gerald Ford) and the governor of New York State, Rockefeller died in the saddle at the age of seventy-one while working on a late Saturday-night project with his twenty-seven-year-old female research assistant. The unlucky researcher was pinned under her hefty boss's naked body for several minutes until she eventually phoned the paramedics. The New York Times noted that the larger-than-life septuagenarian Rockefeller "died the way he'd lived, with an enthusiasm for life in all its public and private passions."

Pope John XII (C. 955-64)

Known as John the Bad, the pope was bludgeoned to death with a hammer by an irate husband who caught His Holiness in bed with his wife. When news of the death reached Rome, it was noted that Pope John was lucky to have died in bed, even if it wasn't his own.

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