Urban Legend

In March, 1994, a medical examiner viewed the body of one Ronald Opus, who was not an investment banker, and judged that he had died from a shotgun wound to the head.

Opus had apparently jumped from the top of a ten story building, intending to commit suicide. He left the obligatory suicide note. As he fell past the ninth floor, a shotgun blast exited a window and killed him before he hit the ground. Unknown to Opus or the shooter, a safety net had been installed just below the eighth floor to protect builders, who were undertaking certain construction work. Opus would not have been able to kill himself, and his death was most certainly now murder.

Police established that an elderly married couple lived in the appartment from whence the shot came. It turned out that the husband often got angry with his wife and took to pointing and firing an unloaded shotgun at her to settle frequent arguments. This is what apparently occured at the moment Opus was descending the building, from the outside. Neither spouse understood how the gun got loaded on this occasion. As there was no criminal intent, the murder charge was downgraded to manslaughter.

It then turned out that a third-party witness had seen the old couple's son loading the gun a few weeks earlier. Apparently he blamed his mother for cutting off his financial support. He knew it was only a matter of time before his father wielded the gun at his mother, aimed, pulled the trigger and killed her. The son was now guilty of murder for his actions.

The exquisite twist to this saga is that the elderly couple were Ronald Opus's parents - he had been responsible for his own death, after all. Back to suicide.

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