I was looking it up, and apparently it is an anaerobic bacteria, so it grows better in sealed jars or cans where it is not exposed to oxygen. Its source is soil or water, and common places it is found: improperly processed low-acid canned foods, garlic-in-oil products, grilled onions, leftover stews, potatoes, and vaccum packaged foods. Death was not listed as a symptom, but I do know it can cause hospitalization. Respiratory paralysis, inability to swallow, vertigo, and visual disturbaces are the symptoms. It lasts about 12-36 hours- but could last several days to a year- ouch. Totally possible to get from home canned goods. My info came from a book by Joanne Stepniak and Vestano Melina.
When I was in college, I went to visit some friends at a different uni, and they worked at a pizza place. They gave me and dp free pizza. As we were finishing it, they informed us they had been cited by the health inspector for having veggies contaminated with botulism. Luckily, as far as I know, we were ok.