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Warning: Do not assume that a gun is loaded.

Discussion in 'The Lighter Side' started by fcamd, Sep 6, 2002.

  1. fcamd

    fcamd UofM82/UERM87

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    > Warning: Do not assume that a gun is loaded.
    >
    > At the 1994 annual awards dinner given for Forensic Science, AAFS
    President
    > Dr. Don Harper Mills astounded his audience with the legal complications
    > of
    > a bizarre death. Here is the story:
    >
    >
    > On March 23, 1994 the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and
    > concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head. Mr Opus had
    > jumped from the top of a ten-storey building intending to commit suicide.
    >
    >
    > He left a note to the effect indicating his despondency. As he fell past
    > the ninth floor his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast passing
    through
    > a window, which killed him instantly.
    >
    >
    > Neither the shooter nor the deceased was aware that a safety net had been
    > installed just below the eighth floor level to protect some building
    > workers and that Ronald Opus would not have been able to complete his
    > suicide the way he had planned.
    >
    >
    > "Ordinarily," Dr Mills continued, "A person who sets out to commit suicide
    > and ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he
    > intended, is still defined as committing suicide." That Mr Opus was shot
    > on
    >
    > the way to certain death, but probably would not have been successful
    > because of the safety net, caused the medical examiner to feel that he had
    > a homicide on his hands.
    >
    >
    > In the room on the ninth floor, where the shotgun blast emanated, was
    > occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing vigorously and
    > he was threatening her with a shotgun. The man was so upset that when he
    > pulled the trigger he completely missed his wife and the pellets went
    > through the window striking Mr Opus. When one intends to kill subject "A"
    > but kills subject "B" in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of
    > subject "B."
    >
    >
    > When confronted with the murder charge the old man and his wife were both
    > adamant and both said that they thought the shotgun was unloaded. The old
    > man said it was a long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the
    > unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her. Therefore the
    > killing of Mr Opus appeared to be an accident; that is, if the gun had
    been
    > accidentally loaded.
    >
    >
    > The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple's
    > son loading the shotgun about six weeks prior to the fatal accident. It
    > transpired that the old lady had cut off her son's financial support and
    > the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun
    > threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would
    > shoot his mother.
    >
    >
    > Since the loader of the gun was aware of this, he was guilty of the murder
    > even though he didn't actually pull the trigger. The case now becomes one
    > of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.
    >
    >
    > Now comes the exquisite twist.
    >
    >
    > Further investigation revealed that the son was, in fact, Ronald Opus. He
    > had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to
    > engineer his mother's murder. This led him to jump off the ten storey
    > building on March 23rd, only to be killed by a shotgun blast passing
    > through the ninth story window. The son had actually murdered himself so
    > the medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.
    >
    >
    > (A true story from Associated Press, Reported by Kurt Westervelt)
    >
    >
     
  2. pizzaaguy

    pizzaaguy

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    Truth IS STRANGER than fiction!

    ...and today's Darwin award goes to...
     

  3. mass_resident

    mass_resident

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    But a good one.

    There is no such person named Kurt Westervelt. In google search his name always appears in variations of this context:
    "A true story from Associated Press, Reported by Kurt Westervelt"
     
  4. Dogman

    Dogman Getting Senior

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    Isn't this the openning scene of the movie, Magnolia starring Tom Cruise?
     
  5. SomeGuyInAHat

    SomeGuyInAHat

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    This was an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street.
     
  6. P-Ratt

    P-Ratt Got Glock?

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    I have a professor/friend who does urban myth research. Good call mass_resident. This story is untrue but interesting. Here's his take.

    "...has been around since 1994. Apparently this ficticious tale was told at a meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences as a hypothetical story made up to illustrate a point, and since that time, it has been told as true - as all urban legends are told. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

    I would still pass it on, ;U but not as true.
     
  7. SomeGuyInAHat

    SomeGuyInAHat

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    In fact, if I recall correctly, the episode of Homicide: Life on the Street involved Dr. Cox, the chief medical examiner, relating the story over drinks to other medical examiners through a series of flashbacks in which detectives Frank Pembleton and Tim Bayless unravelled the case.
     
  8. Gunrnr

    Gunrnr Senior Goofoff Millennium Member

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  9. ChuteTheMall

    ChuteTheMall Wallbuilder and Weapon Bearer

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  10. WolfmanGK

    WolfmanGK Super Plump

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  11. Dogman

    Dogman Getting Senior

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    Gow do we know that the concept of an "Urban Legend" isn't an Urban Legend itself?
     
  12. Gunrnr

    Gunrnr Senior Goofoff Millennium Member

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    Wolfie & Dog -- you know, you might be right...the whole concept of Urban Legend could be part of the bigger Govt conspiracy of disinformation!


    ...they're everywhere, they're everywhere...