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Off topic, but kind of a Grooism (Fwd: An unbelievable true story)



Sorry folks, I ALWAYS resist forwarding stuff like this to a list like the 
Groop, but this is such a Grooism I had to share it. As with most of these 
sorts of things, I prefer not to automatically trust to the authenticity of 
the story but rather enjoy it as an Urban Legend.

>At the 1994 annual awards dinner given for Forensic Science, AAFS, President
>Dr Ron 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 story building intending to commit suicide. He left a 
note to that >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 descendent were aware that a safety net had
>been installed just below at 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.
>
>The room on the ninth floor, whence 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. They both said they thought the shotgun was unloaded. The old man 
said >it was his 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, 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.
>
>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-story 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, by Kurt Westervelt)
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At the 1994 annual awards dinner given for Forensic Science, AAFS, President Dr Ron 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 story building

intending to commit suicide. He left a note to that 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 descendent were aware that a safety net had been installed just below

at 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.

The room on the ninth floor, whence the shotgun blast emanated, was occupied by a 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. They both said

they thought the shotgun was unloaded. The old man said it was his 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, 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.

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-story 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, by Kurt Westervelt)


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