I thought for sure the idiotic slugs that pass for security in our airports had mishandled this woman resulting in her death when they said she strangled herself while trying to escape from handcuffs. However, Slate reports indeed you can manage to screw up this maneuver and contort yourself into such a position. They also linked this video
showing how the double-jointed might attempt this maneuver, while warning people not to try it at home with handcuffs and asphyxiate themselves like this woman did.
Not that I’m saying this lets the cops entirely off the hook, but I have to admit surprise that it’s possible for some people to bring their hands over their head that way.