Since most of the world likes to watch TV series about solving crimes, or even watch live trials when they are televised, I decided to write about a crime/suicide that happened in the United States. It was such a bizarre death that it was presented at an AAFS event and astonished the audience with its legal complications. In order to test your reasoning powers in a foreign language, I have divided the story into 9 paragraphs and have posted them out of order. So using your second-language logic, find paragraph #1, and then paragraphs 2 through 9 to learn the story. It should be fun and will be worth your time. However, I suggest that after you have put the story in order, you reread it as it is oddly complicated.
When confronted with the accusation, the old man and his wife both insisted that neither knew that the the shotgun was loaded. The old man confessed that he often threatened is wife with the gun but kept it unloaded. He also said that on the day of the killing he was having trouble holding the gun steady, so he used the trigger to steady his arm. He declared that he had never intended to kill his wife and that the gun must have been accidentally loaded.
Usually, a person who decides to commit suicide succeeds if they really want to, and we know that from celebrity suicides that happen regularly. But the fact that Ronald Opus was shot on his way to certain death nine stories below him probably would not have changed his mode of death from suicide to homicide. However, in his case, his chosen mode of death would not have been successful because of the net, causing investigators to change it from suicide to homicide.
After more investigations, the medical examiner concluded the case by declaring it a suicide.
When a medical examiner was called to examine the body of an apparent suicide, he concluded that the deceased, Ronald Opus, had actually died from a shotgun wound to his head. This suddenly wasn’t a routine case. The medical examiner was surprised because the deceased had jumped from the top of a ten-story building after leaving a suicide note in what was proven to be his own handwriting. However, as he fell past the ninth floor, still alive and thinking about who knows what, he was shot through the window of that ninth floor apartment. This shot killed him instantly in the air.
The continuing investigation uncovered a witness who saw the elderly couple’s son loading the shotgun approximately six weeks prior to Ronald Opus’ death. It happened that the old lady had cut off her son’s financial support, and the son, knowing his father’s habit of using the shotgun to threaten his mother, had loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would kill his mother.
But there was a glitch. Ronald Opus would not have been able to kill himself by jumping from the window. He had not noticed that a safety net had been installed at the eighth-floor level to protect some window washers. Had he not been shot, he would have merely bounced.
This was an unexpected twist. Further investigation revealed that Ronald Opus was the son of the elderly couple, and he had apparently grown impatient with waiting for his father to kill his mother. And that is what led him to jump from the 10th floor of their apartment building.
The case now became one of murder, with the deceased, Ronald Opus, accused of his own murder.
The room on the 9th floor, where the shotgun blast came from, was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing and he was threatening her with a shotgun, as was his habit. He was so upset and unsteady that, when he accidentally pulled the trigger, he completely missed his wife (whom he didn’t intend to kill anyway) and the pellets went out the window and hit Ronald Opus. Legally, when one intends to kill Subject A but accidentally kills Subject B during the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of Subject B. But things were different in this case.
The word cliffhanger comes from cliffs. Duh. Cliffs are vertical, or nearly vertical, rocks that have been formed by erosion and weathering. There are lots of famous cliffs, but the first ones that come to my mind are the White Cliffs of Dover, probably because there was a popular World War II song about them that was part of my childhood, and also because they are on the historical English coastline.
When one thinks of cliffhangers, England and its gothic novels always come to mind. Cliffhangers are the kind of story, book or movie that uses suspense either at the end of an episode or a scene. A good example was the way the final episode of Game of Thrones, season 5, was done. Jon Snow was dead. Or was he? Those of us who sweated it out until season 6 was aired were never really sure. The writers used old-fashioned melodrama, suspense and uncertainty, and the audience was left as if hanging from a cliff in a state of tension and apprehension. And that’s a true cliffhanger.
This part of the blog will not be able to offer any nail-biting cliffhangers, but it will have classes in series, and I hope they will be interesting enough that you will want to come back and read what happens next, even if you don’t lose sleep anticipating the next chapter. Enjoy.
I have known Betsy for a long time, and in all these years I have learned so much from her… not just English, but from her vast experience as a teacher and as a person. Being an excellent teacher is not just about knowing your subject perfectly (which is of course the case since English is her first language) but also about loving to learn and to relate to people from all kinds of backgrounds and ages. I had as much fun in her classes as a nerdy Star Wars / Elvis teen fan as I do now as busy working grown up!
Betsy was the my English teacher in Uberaba, a long time ago…. An excellent teacher, a wonderful human-being. She gave me the nickname I gladly adopted ever since. We became close friends and we are still close – in our hearts.
A melhor novidade para 2017 será, sem duvida, o BLOG da Betsy. Excelente professora da Língua Inglesa, Betsy tem com seus alunos uma relação de amizade espontânea, acolhendo sugestões de temas atuais, abrindo caminho para que suas aulas sejam proficientemente dinâmicas e divertidas. Para mim, sua aluna e amiga, para todos os seus alunos, tenho certeza, serão de grande valia as consultas que faremos em busca de novos esclarecimentos.
Taking English classes with Betsy is a great pleasure.
She enriches her classes with her wonderful life story, which she happily shares with her students.
Classes are carefully and diligently prepared by Betsy according to the individual needs of each of her students, and always accompany reading material on fresh, new subjects.
She is a very enthusiastic and up-beat teacher, who imparts knowledge to her students through engaging and interesting discussions.
All in all, taking classes with Betsy is a very pleasant, enriching and memorable experience.