-> Humor collection -> Suicide, Accident or Homicide?

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Suicide, Accident or Homicide?

     For those of you who were unable to attend the Awards Dinner 
during  the Annual Meeting in San Diego, you missed a tall tale on 
complex forensics presented by AAFS President Don Harper Mills in  
opening remarks.  The following is a recount of Dr. Mills' story...
     "On March 23 the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald  
Opus  and concluded that he died from a gunshot wound of the head
caused   by a  shotgun.  Investigation to that point had revealed that
the   decedent  had jumped from the top of a ten story building with
the intent to  commit suicide (he left a note indicating his
despondency).  As he   passed the 9th floor on the way down, his life
was interrupted by a   shotgun blast through a window, killing him
instantly.  Neither the  shooter nor the decedent was aware that a
safety net had been   erected   at the 8th floor level to protect some
window washers and that the  decedent would not have been able to
complete his intent to commit  suicide because of this. 
     Ordinarily, a person who starts into motion the events with a 
suicide intent ultimately commits suicide even though the mechanism 
might be not what he intended.  That he was shot on the way to  
certain  death nine stories below probably would not change his mode
of   death  from suicide to homicide.  But the fact that his suicide
intent   would  not have been achieved under any circumstance caused
the medical  examiner  to feel that he had homicide on his hands. 
     Further investigation led to the discovery that the room on   the 
9th floor from whence the shotgun blast emanated was occupied by an 
elderly man and his wife.  He was threatening her with the shotgun  
because of an interspousal spat and became so upset that he could  
not   hold the shotgun straight.  Therefore, when he pulled the
trigger,    he  completely missed his wife and the pellets went through
the window  striking the decedent.
     When one intends to kill subject A, but kills subject B in the 
attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject B.  The old man was 
confronted with this conclusion, but both he and his wife were  
adamant   in stating that neither knew that the shotgun was loaded. 
It was   the  longtime habit of the old man to threaten his wife with
an unloaded  shotgun.  He had no intent to murder her; therefore, the
killing of   the decedent appeared then to be accident.  That is, the
gun had   been   accidentally loaded. 
     But *further* investigation turned up a witness that their son  
was  seen loading the shotgun approximately six weeks prior to the
fatal  accident.  That investigation showed that the mother (the old
lady)   had  cut off her son's financial support and her son, knowing
the   propensity  of his father to use the shotgun threateningly,
loaded the gun with   the  expectation that the father would shoot his
mother.  The case now  becomes one of murder on the part of the son
for the death of   Ronald Opus. 
     Further investigation revealed that the son became   increasingly 
despondent over the failure of his attempt to get his mother  
murdered.   This led him to jump off the ten story building on March
23, only   to be  killed by a shotgun blast through a 9th story window. 
       The medical examiner closed the case as a suicide."

Categories for this item: Real Life -> Humor collection -> Suicide, Accident or Homicide?