Monday, April 29, 2013

Burning Suspense

This is a Forensic Sciences case narrated to me by my sister. She called it a complicated and yet an interesting one and you can frame your own opinions after reading it.

There was a person who no longer wished to live. He made a plan to commit suicide by jumping from the 10th floor. So it looks like a simple case of suicide at this point. But while he was preparing to jump, he was shot by a pistol fired from the 9th floor. There were repairs happening in the apartment during that time and a net was tied near one of the floors below so he fell on the net. Even though he fell on the net, he was already dead due to the gun shot. Well, now it looks like a case of murder.

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that there was a family staying in the 9th floor and the man inside the house was holding the pistol and ‘playfully’ threatening his wife at that time. Both the husband and the wife knew that the pistol was empty and the press of trigger was just another act they had played out many times before, in situations where he was annoyed by his wife or when he was drunk or some such stuff. It was definitely not the first time that he was playing with the pistol so he had basically tried to fire the gun at his wife but instead hit the falling man. Do you think it is still a case of murder? Well no, it becomes a case of suicide again.

The case moved at this stage towards identifying who loaded the pistol. The couple had a son who had some issues with his mother and so had actually loaded the pistol thinking it would kill his mother, when his father went berserk next time. Basically, he wished to use his father to do his bidding. But unfortunately, his father did not lift the pistol for a long time and he was getting frustrated. So instead of waiting, he planned to kill himself. That’s the circle closing in on itself.

Ironically, had the father not lifted the pistol at that moment, the son would not have died as he would have fallen on the net. Not digressing from what we were actually trying to figure out: it seems like a case of suicide, after all!

Dr. Don Harpermills

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