Tacitus claims that Nero considered poisoning or stabbing her, but felt these methods were too difficult and suspicious, so he settled on – after the advice of his former tutor Anicetus – building a self-sinking boat. Though aware of the plot, Agrippina embarked on this boat and was nearly crushed by a collapsing lead ceiling only to be saved by the side of a sofa breaking the ceiling's fall. Though the collapsing ceiling missed Agrippina, it crushed her attendant who was outside by the helm.
Messalina considered Agrippina's son a threat to her son's position and sent assassins to strangle Lucius during his siesta. The assassins fled in terror when they saw a snake suddenly dart from beneath Lucius' pillow—but it was only a sloughed-off snake-skin in his bed, near his pillow.