Flicking through my notebook, I found an old piece of writing from an exercise we did at our writers' group. I can't remember when we done it or what the exercise was, but I think it had to involve a 'moose's head'. (*Shrugs shoulders)
I remember writing the piece, and I remember what inspired me. It was a story I heard on the radio that morning that was so unbelievable but yet true. It's listed up there with the Darwin awards. The story is not exact, all characters purely fictional, but the key elements are there . . . and I involved a moose's head.
Conundrum: Can a person be charged for their own murder?
Daniel Redgrave, the alleged murder victim, had suffered with depression for most of his adult life, and during a particularly bad period, decided to take his own life by jumping from the roof of the tower block where he still lived with his parents. However, after he jumped, the coroners stated that the cause of death was not the suicide fall, but the bullet wound in his chest.
This puzzled the authorities, and after an investigation, this was what they found.
Three months prior to Daniel Redgrave's suicide/murder, he had been the cause of a family feud and was disinherited from his parent's will. It appeared that his mother refused to give him anything in the event of her death, including the head of a moose that hung on their wall.
In a fit of rage, Daniel Redgrave loaded his father's rifle - the very rifle used to kill the moose - and placed it back on its perch above the mantelpiece. His father, it was told, often got into heated discussions with his wife and always grabbed the riffle from the mantelpiece, threatening to shoot her. Daniel knew this, and this spurred him into loading the rifle in hopes that his father would shoot and unwittingly kill his wife.
But after three months nothing had happened and the bullet was forgotten.
Daniel Redgrave's depression continued to worsen, and eventually he decided that enough was enough. He climbed the stairs to the roof and stood on the edge, determined to take his own life.
Little did he know that floors below him, his parents were engaging in one of their heated discussions. As he always did, Mr Redgrave grabbed the riffle, unknowing that it was loaded. As Daniel Redgrave leapt from the roof in his suicide bid, Mr Redgrave shot the rifle. However, the bullet missed his wife, passed through the window and hit his son in the chest as he plummeted to his death.
He was dead before he hit the ground.
The courts tried to charge Mr Redgrave for the murder of Daniel Redgrave as he was the one who had shot the rifle, but because he didn't know the rifle was loaded, all they could charge him with was manslaughter.
However, because of the evidence against Daniel Redgrave, clearly showing that he was the one who loaded the weapon with the intent of murder, the charges against Mr Redgrave were dropped and they had no choice but to charge the victim with his own murder.
His mother kept the moose's head.