Christopher Logue, Christopher Logue’s True Stories from Private Eye (London: A. P. Rushton, 1973), p. 23.
The town of Debreczen in north-west Hungary was the home of a man called Janos Dey.
Dey was married to a nagging wife. As he did not want to get rid of her he spent a good deal of his time considering how she could be brought to her senses. Finally he evolved a plan in which fear and guilt would play important roles.
He would fake a suicide.
Dey constructed a safety harness and climbed into it while his wife was doing her shopping. Shortly before she was due back he got into the harness and suspended himself, a convincing corpse, from the ceiling of their bedroom.
His wife returned, and seeing what she believed to be her dead husband, she screamed and fainted.
The women living next door heard the scream. She hurried over to see what had happened.
She found what she thought were two corpses.
Not one to miss an opportunity the woman decided to loot the flat before she fetched the police.
As she was slipping out of the bedroom with various items under her arm, the hanging corpse lifted its foot and gave her a good kick.
So great was the shock she died of a heart attack.
Dey was acquitted on a charge of manslaughter. He told the court that his wife’s nagging had stopped.