罗纳德·奥普斯

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罗纳德·奥普斯是一则关于离奇自杀案的都市传奇中的虚构人物。

这个故事最初是于1987年产生的,在美国法庭科学技术学会的晚宴上,前会长唐·哈珀·米尔斯讲述了这个故事。米尔斯表示他只是出于娱乐目的而编造了这个故事,[1]同时也通过这个故事“展示不同证据的出现是如何影响案件调查和审理的”。[2]

而在互联网上,这个故事的出现可追溯到1994年8月,[3]之后便被广泛传播。在网络传播的版本中通常称,这取自1994年美联社对美国法庭科学技术学会晚宴的报道。[2]米尔斯认为此故事十分离奇,对其广泛传播表示惊讶。他在数年内受理了难以计数的对“该案”相关信息的询问。[1]

这一骗局被多部演艺作品借鉴,其中包括1999年保羅·湯瑪斯·安德森的电影心灵角落,在该片中,此案主人公的名字被改成了“希尼·巴林格”。

罗纳德·奥普斯自杀案[编辑]

互联网普遍流传的版本如下

英文版:

On 1994-03-23 a 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 most likely 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.

Now comes the exquisite twist. Further investigation revealed that the son, one Ronald Opus, had become 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.

中文版:

1994年美国报界评出十大最离奇的新闻。其中一件新闻是这样的: 这一年的3月23日,纽约警察总局的法医检查了一具尸体,得出结论:此人死于枪击头部。



死者名叫罗纳德·奥普斯,从他留下的遗书中得知,他本来是想从一幢十层高的楼的顶部跳下自杀的。然而,当他跳楼后身子经过第九层楼前时,一颗子弹从窗户里射出,将他当场打死。 警方经过调查发现,死者和开枪的人都不知道一个情况———当时八楼正在施工,工人们在那里刚装了一张安全网,也就是说罗纳德·奥普斯如果不是被枪击而亡,他的自杀计划其实是不能如愿的。然而,根据法律,一般说来,一个人如果实施有计划的自杀并且最终身亡了,即使自杀过程发生变化未能如自杀者所愿,那么依法也应该认定这个人是自杀。

可是,当警方对九楼射出的子弹进行调查后,案子的性质又有了变化。当时,九楼的一对老夫妻发生了口角,正在吵架,老先生拿出了一把枪恐吓老太太,后来又抠动了扳机,但是子弹没有打中老太太,而是从窗户飞了出去击中了罗纳德·奥普斯。根据法律,一个人如果想杀甲,却错杀了乙,那么仍然应该判这个人对乙犯了杀人罪。因此,此案应该是一桩凶杀案。当老先生面临杀人罪的指控时,老先生和老太太都一致表示,他们俩当时都以为枪里面是没有子弹的。老先生解释说,用没有装子弹的枪恐吓老太太,是他许多年以来与老伴争吵时一直有的一种做法。他没有杀害老伴的意图。如果老两口的话属实,那么这就是一起误杀的案子。

问题的关键就是子弹是在什么样的情况下由什么人装进去的。警方在调查中找到了一 名证人,这名证人证明在案发六周之前亲眼看到这对老夫妻的儿子往这把枪里面装了子弹。警方从更深入的调查中得知,因为老太太决定停止给成年的儿子经济支持,这个儿子怀恨在心,起了杀意。他知道他的父亲有用枪恐吓老太太的习惯,所以就给枪 装了子弹,希望借父亲之手杀了母亲。既然这个儿子明知给枪装子弹会有什么样的后果,那么即使他没有亲自抠动扳机,他也应该被指控犯了杀人罪。所以,此案就成了老夫妻的儿子对罗纳德·奥普斯犯下了杀人罪。

但是,峰回路转,警方在进一步调查后发现,这对老夫妻的儿子其实就是死者罗纳德·奥普斯本人。他由于借刀杀人之计一直没有得逞,心生沮丧,于是,在1994年3月 23日这一天他决定从十层高的楼顶跳楼自杀,然而却被从九楼窗户射出的子弹打死了。

也就是说,罗纳德·奥普斯自己杀了自己,所以此案最后仍被认定为是一桩自杀案。

但正如上文所述,罗纳德·奥普斯的案件是虚构的。

影视作品的借鉴[编辑]

以下作品曾引用本故事:

  • 电视剧《自杀》(Homicide),1998年1月16日播映。
  • 法律与秩序中,本·斯通检查官举了一个假设性的例子,一个人从帝国大厦跳下,只是为了得到一个火腿三明治,但是某一层的住户认为他要自杀就枪杀了他。
  • 澳大利亚电视剧《谋杀电话》(Murder Call),1998年播映。
  • 1999年保羅·湯瑪斯·安德森的电影心灵角落,部分细节有更改。

注释与参考文献[编辑]

  1. ^ 1.0 1.1 Andrea Campbell. Making Crime Pay: The Writer's Guide to Criminal Law, Evidence, and Procedure. Allworth Communications, Inc. 2002年. ISBN 1581152167. 
  2. ^ 2.0 2.1 Examiner Editorial Writer. Fiction is stranger than truth:The Internet and e-mail have created a gullible village. San Francisco Examiner. October 1, 1999 [2008-02-11]. 
  3. ^ 1994's Most Bizarre Suicide. Urban Legends Reference Pages. Snopes.com. [2008-02-11]. 

外部链接[编辑]