Adult film star Nacho Vidal was arrested in Spain last week, and charged with suspicion of manslaughter following an 11-month investigation into the death of fashion photographer Jose Luis Abad in July 2019.
According to police, Jose Abad passed away during “the celebration of a mystic ritual based on the inhalation of venom of the bufo alvarius toad.”
The bufo alvarius toad, which is also known as the Colorado River toad, originates in northern Mexico and southwest United States, and secretes a venom containing a psychedelic substance known as 5-MeO-DMT. Its effects are comparable to the widely known hallucinogenic brew, ayahuasca.
According to Yahoo! Finance, Vidal has advocated for inhaling the vapor from Colorado River toad venom after doing it to remedy his battle with depression and addiction. Vidal, whose real name is Ignacio Jordà, claimed in a 2016 YouTube video that the effects helped him “reconnect with his soul” and “with the Earth and Mother Nature.” He suggested that his friends also try the venom to “help them clean up their acts.”
Abad reportedly died in Vidal’s Enguera home, where investigators believe this ritual was being done regularly by preying on people who were “easily influenced, vulnerable or who were seeking help for illnesses or addictions using alternative methods.” Vidal’s attorney Daniel Salvador said that Abad’s death was “an accident,” disputing the allegation that his client posed as a shaman who promoted the use of toad venom.
Vidal was detained, along with one of his relatives, and an employee.
This is the first time we’ve heard of anyone overdosing by toad.