Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

2003 Darwin Awards

Honoring Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool--by removing themselves from it in the most spectacular way possible.

Exploding Ex-tortionist
2003 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

(September 7, 2003, Cambodia) Khim, nicknamed "The Big Giant," was an intimidatingly large former military policeman when he arrived at the Phnom Penh home of a drug dealer to extort money and amphetamines. He was a much smaller man soon afterwards.

He pulled the pin from a grenade to threaten the dealer, who immediately decided to give him the items he demanded. Then Khim, who had been drinking, forgot to put the pin back before slipping the grenade into his pocket. He walked to his motorbike, well satisfied with the transaction. As he climbed aboard... the grenade exploded.

Whether the drug dealer recovered his cash (and in what condition!) is unknown.

Reader Darren says, "Returning the pin to a grenade will not render it inert, once triggered; no fuse-mechanism will halt until it is blown from the grenade. Returning a pin to a 'thrown' (or otherwise triggered) grenade is a losing proposition. I think our bandit, a military-police officer, remembered the pin, but skipped basic-instruction.
More than you want to know about hand grenades.

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Submitted by: Anonymous
Reference: AAP,, The Daily News (South Africa)

Additional Reader Comments:

While it is true that once the ignition sequence has begun it cannot be stopped, that has nothing to do with the ring. The ring is a safety which retains the spoon. Once the spoon has been released, then the grenade is active.

The actual trigger is a small hammer held down by the "spoon" ... modern grenades worldwide have some variation of this. What most likely happened is that the moment the awardee put it in his pocket, he released the spoon, setting off the trigger.

I am an Ammo-Tech currently serving in the military and I receive grenades without the pin and tape wrapped around the spoon on a regular basis. The grenade is not activated until the spoon is released.

Are you happy to see me, or is that a grenade in your pocket?

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