The CIA Heart Attack Gun

There was once a top-secret weapon known as the “heart attack gun.” It involved the freezing of shellfish toxin mixed with water to form a frozen dart that could be fired from the gun. The heart attack gun was a handgun with a sight affixed to the top, and it had a battery in the handle that used electricity to fire the dart, which could enter the body without perception. Once inside the body, the poison would then dissolve into the person’s bloodstream and cause a heart attack. No evidence of the dart or toxin would show up on an autopsy, and the cause of death would be deemed a heart attack. The weapon was developed in order to allow the CIA to commit assassinations that could never be traced back to them. In 1975 CIA Director William Colby presented the weapon at a senate committee hearing chaired by Senator Frank Church. In the aftermath of the Church Commission, President Ford — and later Reagan — had to issue executive orders banning the tactics of targeted assassinations by the CIA and other intelligence agencies.