WASHINGTON—According to a study released Wednesday by the American Sociological Association, approximately 73 percent of all marble statuettes of the Greek mythological figure Achilles are used to bludgeon a wealthy dowager to death. “Our research shows that almost two-thirds of marble statuettes depicting Achilles brandishing a sword and shield are at some point used to strike and ultimately kill a widow who inherited the vast fortune of her late husband,” said study co-author Emily Reyment, adding that in over half of documented cases, the large figurine is silently picked up from a pedestal or mantel before being held high over the unsuspecting elderly woman after she had turned away to pour another cup of tea for her guest. “After crushing the dowager’s skull, 22 percent of the blood-stained statuettes are frantically wiped down with a handkerchief and then hidden in the hollow of a grandfather clock, while 15 percent are left near the body as the murderer rushes to tell the servants what he was horrified to discover upon entering the sitting room. In most cases, however, the Achilles statuette slowly slips from the fingers of someone the dowager has known for years and falls to the floor as they slowly back away and whisper, ‘Oh my god, what have I done?’” The study went on to confirm that roughly 60 percent of all porcelain vases are eventually placed in the exact spot where the statuette of Achilles once stood, but never look quite right.

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