I hope you love your mother, some don't

Feb 27, 2006
Las Vegas
This story can only be listed under humor

If you like a good murder mystery, you're going to love this one.

Do you like to read a good murder mystery? Not even Law and Order would
attempt to capture this.

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-story 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, "Someone 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, 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 not
loaded. 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,
assuming 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

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 expec tation 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-story building on March 23rd, only to be
killed by a shotgun blast passing through the ninth story window. The
son, Ronald Opus, had actually murdered himself. So the medical examiner
closed the case as a suicide.

A true story from Associated Press, (Reported by Kurt Westervelt)
True or not, it's an entertaining story. It was apparently made up for a speech to a meeting of Forensic Scientists, for those who don't care to read the Snopes article. I'd actually like to see a Law and Order episode about that.
If it were in fact true, it's some pretty twisted logic to blame the person who loaded the gun versus blaming the person that pulled the trigger. If I fill my truck with gas, and my brother runs someone over with it and kills the person, do I go to jail for filling the tank? I think not.
But if you knew ahead of time he would run someone over if you filled the tank, you would be responsible. (So would he, of course).
If I passed cherry bombs and M80s [with matches, of course] out to the schoolchildren as they entered school in the morning, who would be held responsible for the aftrmath?
probably some generic political party, the one opposite the person blaming them of course, LOL

ps, this is not a political comment, but a social comments, always blame the other guy.
Oh, I agree it's entertaining. I was merely commenting on the stories self-proclaimed veracity.

Of course the philosophy question for today is, "Is snopes true?"
I agree that in this particular story, the person who loaded the gun was indeed responsible for the death that occurred. The reason being that he loaded the gun with malicious intent. Obviously the simple act of loading a weapon is not a crime, but doing so knowing that someone is likely to be killed is certainly criminal.
What about someone removing a stop sign from an intersection to put up in their playroom or den?
You know the rest of the story, someone t-bones a car at the cross streets and 2 or 3 people are killed.
Then someone had seen the license plate of the sign thief and reports it to the police!
The sign thief better have a good expensive lawyer?
In my opinion, the old man is guilty of deliberate homicide. It is a criminal assault to (without justification of course) point a gun at someone and pull the trigger, even when the person pulling the trigger knows, or thinks that, the gun is empty.

If in fact the gun is loaded, and the person the gun is aimed at is killed, its deliberate homicide, even if the person who pulled the trigger thought that the gun was empty. The reason is that the trigger puller obviously pulled the trigger without first checking to see if the gun was loaded, and he's responsible for the consequences of his actions. The fact that he did not intend to kill the person because he thought that the gun was empty doesn't matter. What matters is that he intended to pull the trigger while pointing the gun at the person. He might get off with a low level murder charge, or with negligent homicide, but he's guilty of homicide.

If he misses the person he intended to point the gun at and hits and kills someone else, he's still guilty of a homicide and the reasoning in the paragraph immediately above this one applies.
Reviving a 14 year old thread?
I see now at the bottom of posts there is something called "similar threads". Even if a post is old it shows up, so I'm guessing people are replying to these old threads.

I don't recall this feature on the site before the major upgrade to Bitog.
Going about and reviving old threads with irrelevant comments is typical for certain posters. Even when the threads subsequently get locked they do it again in yet another thread.

When asked why they do this the answer is "Cause it is fun."
I always wonder if posting on these will bring the old members back here lol. I always wonder whatever happened to the inactive members some haven’t been active for almost 15 years.