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 Post subject: Murder or Suicide? Case - 14 Guage Sawed Off Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:03 pm
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I am hoping that those with experience in shooting and handling a sawed off shotgun may be able to assist, as pieces of the evidence does not add up to suicide, but suspicions of a "professional hit."

The case was closed the same day that the 4 bodies were discovered.
The lead detective responded quote on quote "even the baby (a 1 1/2 yr old) could of done it," when they were asked for the gunpowder residue test results.
1) Would there not be enough gunpowder residue if the person fired 4 shots that a test could ascertain?

The police also lied that his body "did not have a face" to deter the family from viewing the body (definately had nothing to do with empathy for the family!).
Upon viewing his body, the wound was located at the top area of the back part of his head.
2) What is the maximum length that the weapon would measure if sawed down to the maximum point that it can be sawed down to?
The wound from our view, was not consistent with where one would place the gun to kill themselves, the arm reach would be too far back (or not realistic) to place the gun that far and high up towards the back, instead of the sides of the head or temple, mouth, chin etc

3) If the 4th shot was self inflicted, what is the probability that the gun would fall and land perfectly leaned up against his hand with the top of the barrel on the floor and the trigger pointing directly up towards the ceiling (in other words, upside down perfectly balanced against his hand? I'm not a Science major, but the probability is about 1 in 1 billion from the picture the lead detective was forced legally to show the family.

4) The police said "nobody moved" and NOT ONE of the tenants in the 6 storey/floor building heard ANY of the shots (it was just days before X-Mas). This made no sense to any of the tenants in the building either. When a shotgun is fired does it not have a loud blast? Can a sawed off be suppressed or silenced?

5) Possible brand/name of any 14 guage shotguns you are aware that requires to be reloaded after each shot. I read they are not really popular anymore and the 14 is from Europe. Is this correct? Can you tell me anything that you are sure of about a 14 guage ie. recoil/kick, what happens when you shoot one etc

Thank you for all your help. Plese feel free to ask questions if more info is required. I have only listed facts specific to the weapon. However, if anyone is familiar with police work please feel free to ask additional questions.




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 Post subject: Re: Murder or Suicide? Case - 14 Guage Sawed Off Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:21 pm 
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I don't think anyone knows what you are talking about when you post a discussion of a homicide investigation on a shotgun website. Two points that you make probably don't help your position either.

1. You state the police lied about several things in your post. Are you a witness? If so maybe you should talk to the police, if not, you don't KNOW anything.

2. GSR Kits (Gun Shot Residue) have not been used since 2006, and earlier in some jurisdictions, when the Justice Department ruled them unreliable. They will display a false positive on someone who just washed their hands or used any item containing several cleaning chemicals, shampoos, soaps, etc. You could swab a baby after a bath and it could possibly show the same results as someone having fired a weapon.


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 Post subject: Re: Murder or Suicide? Case - 14 Guage Sawed Off Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:31 pm 
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Welcome to the forum. What does your avatar mean? Where are you from? Is your hypothetical real? Do you own any guns? If so, what? Are they deactivated?

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 Post subject: Re: Murder or Suicide? Case - 14 Guage Sawed Off Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:05 pm 
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WGB wrote:
I don't think anyone knows what you are talking about when you post a discussion of a homicide investigation on a shotgun website. Two points that you make probably don't help your position either.

I believe I was clear as to the fact that I am asking questions about a sawed off shotgun and yes it involved a real case - point is, it involved a shotgun and this is a shotgun forum. I posed the points (our belief) to see whether this could of been likely or questionable. If I knew about shotguns or used one I wouldn't have to ask those who have experience that would know!

2. GSR Kits (Gun Shot Residue) have not been used since 2006, and earlier in some jurisdictions, when the Justice Department ruled them unreliable. They will display a false positive on someone who just washed their hands or used any item containing several cleaning chemicals, shampoos, soaps, etc. You could swab a baby after a bath and it could possibly show the same results as someone having fired a weapon.


Thank you, for this info re: GRS Kits - you answered one of the questions. I was not aware that these tests were unreliable.
The case was before 2006 and the police were still using that test. Also I did not post that this case was in the USA, as I am not on here to debate the case - just to get some questions on a gunshot site to answer about shotguns to see the probability of...and get some answers.


Are you a witness? If so maybe you should talk to the police, if not, you don't KNOW anything.

No, I'm not a witness. It's my family! We are here to ask questions that the police or appropriate departments won't answer along with lies they have told us - I saw the wound and the pictures and it doesn't add up. The police just says they're baffled and there are many other details I chose not to post as it's not a discussion to solve the case - just to get answers and info on the gun as some of the evidence that made no sense, even to the police.

Please be kind enough to answer the questions if you can - I am not here to solve the case, it's not a solvable case (too long ago). However, new information came to light and I don't know a shotgun expert so we came here to get possible answers for the shotgun part of the case. Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Murder or Suicide? Case - 14 Guage Sawed Off Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:15 pm 
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Being a shotgun expert and a forensics expert are two different things. It seems to me you are looking for the latter, and during my limited time on this board I have yet to read anyone posting who proclaimed themselves as such.


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 Post subject: Re: Murder or Suicide? Case - 14 Guage Sawed Off Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:29 pm 
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I suggest that you refer this matter to the Internal Affairs Division of the lead agency. If there is a problem with the detective's investigation, they will get to the bottom of it.

I have investigated a few cold cases and with good results. I have also hit stone walls and had to call in the state or the feds to assist me. There is no statute of limitations for murder cases. They can be prosecuted even if the case is 50 years old.

In case of a detective dropping the case prematurely, IAD exists for such matters. In my dept, we called in outside agencies to do do some IAD cases. Some agencies exist to protect their own.

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 Post subject: Re: Murder or Suicide? Case - 14 Guage Sawed Off Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:26 pm 
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Since the gun was present it should not be difficult to learn if the person suspected of suicide could have held the gun in the position required to make the wound and still be able to reach the trigger. Gun powder from a break open gun would not be on the hands of the shooter to the same degree it would had the gun have been a handgun. There should be finger prints on the shells from loading and removing the empties.

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 Post subject: Re: Murder or Suicide? Case - 14 Guage Sawed Off Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Can a sawed off be suppressed or silenced?


YES...... google hushpower shotguns, i have one, also other diy and heath robinson ways to try and muffle a shotgun

you also ask about cutting down a gun......you could make a shotgun very small, it only needs the chambers and trigger assembly intact to still fire........would be useless as a shotgun but could be 10inches or so long and capable of being held and shot

and 14g? very rare and i doubt you could find commercial ammo.....

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 Post subject: Re: Murder or Suicide? Case - 14 Guage Sawed Off Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:55 pm 
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There are 14 gauge guns, but almost no modern ones that I'm aware of. Winchester fooled around with a 14 gauge semi-automatic, but I don't think it ever went into production. You can of course do a Google search to learn more. Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia on the matter:

Quote:
The 11, 14, and 18 gauge shells are the rarest of them all;[citation needed] people that own these types of rare shotguns will usually have their ammunition custom reloaded by a company that specializes in rare and custom bores for a high price. The very small 24 and 32 gauges are still produced and used in some European countries and Brazil. Punt guns and special purpose guns like the Russian 23 mm KS-23 (approximately 6 gauge) do exist, but are rarely encountered.


You left out a lot of details, like: where and when did this happen?. And you just joined SGW, so nobody can verify if this is a scam, or legitimate question, so you might expect some skepticism. Or a lot of skepticism.

If this is a legitimate issue, please post more facts. Also, in addition to internal affairs, the State Police can generally be brought into matters by a family if they suspect something is amiss with the local guys.

But for a person to have a working 14 gauge shotgun, and then to have modern shells to use in it, in and of itself would be a pretty rare thing.

You also mentioned "sawed off shotgun". Was this a break open type gun (Over/Under, Side x Side) or another action (pump, etc)?

Here's an excerpt from a recent post on legal lengths:

Quote:
No. You can also remove the stock to do maintenance work, or have a stock that, when folded or collapsed, renders the gun shorter than 26" OAL without running afoul of the law (or at least that's how BATFE currently interprets the NFA).

The OAL requirement is a goofy part of the regs that is almost rendered moot by the 18.5" barrel length requirement for shotguns and 16" barrel requirement for rifles.


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 Post subject: Re: Murder or Suicide? Case - 14 Guage Sawed Off Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:46 pm 
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Not being inconsiderate but just a couple of points. You state that the pictures don't look right. The problem is that if you are not an expert in the field you really can't make an accurate accessment of what loo sprint and what does not. Also, as it is a family member it is very possible that your emotional attachment will cause you to reject what the police have determine because you don't want to believe it. That does not make it false. Your questions about the gun don't add up. You ask how short a gun can be cut down and if it can be silenced. But it sounds like the gun was at the scene and you know the gauge again indicating the gun was examined. I'm not aware of a way to determine the gauge just from ballistics like you can with pistols or rifles. You'd have to have empty shells or the gun itself. So if the gun was present why ask how short it can be, measure how long it is. Don't ask if it can be silenced, look to see if it has a silencer. 14 gauge? Really? I can't see anyone pulling thought out unless they were looking at the gun.

I'm sorry for your loss but I do think this is the wrong place to look for answers. We are guys that like shotguns and shooting and hunting with them. With the exception of a few current and former LEOs the guys here have no expertise in this area. All you can get here is completely speculative guesses.


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 Post subject: Re: Murder or Suicide? Case - 14 Guage Sawed Off Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:26 pm 
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compo wrote:
Can a sawed off be suppressed or silenced?


YES...... google hushpower shotguns, i have one, also other diy and heath robinson ways to try and muffle a shotgun

you also ask about cutting down a gun......you could make a shotgun very small, it only needs the chambers and trigger assembly intact to still fire........would be useless as a shotgun but could be 10inches or so long and capable of being held and shot

and 14g? very rare and i doubt you could find commercial ammo.....



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 Post subject: Re: Murder or Suicide? Case - 14 Guage Sawed Off Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:35 pm 
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I have practised law for almost thirty years. I've seen many families of suicides. The family is going not going to want to believe it's a suicide even if there was a note. It's human nature, and I'd probably do the same thing myself. Not facing the truth only prolongs the grief and suffering. The police knew what happened, and so did everybody else besides the family. The only question is why,,,not how,,,,can a man can turn a gun on his entire family then kill himself.

Professional hit men do not come in homes and wipe out an entire family with a shotgun a few days before Christmas. Who does that is a man who thinks he can't go on with life and he wants to take his family with him, probably because he thinks that he can't provide for them, and they can't get along without him very well in this world. Such men aren't in their usual and right minds.

Let this go. Only God knows why.


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 Post subject: Re: Murder or Suicide? Case - 14 Guage Sawed Off Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:58 pm 
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I agree with the Counselor. I have investigated too many suicides n my lifetime. The family is always in denial even when they witnessed the act.

I have observed the after affects of suicides. I recall one in which the deceased had been in an argument with his wife and tried to turn his car into an airplane and attempted to jump the river. He had just cashed his paycheck and had the money in his pocket. His wife was present when we pulled him out and all she wanted was the money. Only later did she show remorse.

The saddest one occurred on the deceased father's birthday. The deceased's wife left him for his best friend. He shot himself in front of the whole family.

I could go on and on about suicides as I have seen my share of bodies that couldn't take living anymore. I did a term as coroner shortly after I retired and it was an experience that I wouldn't repeat.

Off topic a bit, as usual for me: In NC, coroners are elected officials who go to the scene of deaths, such as shootings, car accidents, etc., that don't occur in medical settings. No medical training is required. Coroners who find that deaths occur from foul play requests an autopsy from the state medical examiner. Then follows through if the autopsy deems it foul play. Our current coroner is a local businessman. Our coroners get $35 per death report filed with the county registrar.

Also, In NC, the coroner is the only person who can arrest or serve a process on the county sheriff.

Back on topic: Suicides are terrible for families and they don't want to accept it.

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 Post subject: Re: Murder or Suicide? Case - 14 Guage Sawed Off Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:06 pm 
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Can ya'll conceive the electrons that have be inconvenienced by this thread?




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