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Old 02-07-2018, 06:40 PM   #91
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What evidence exists that a drug cartel murdered? Zilch. Nada. Just fantastic tales

I know this is a very sensitive subject. And I want to tread lightly. No parent ever wants to believe their child is suicidal or committed suicide.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:38 AM   #92
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What evidence exists that a drug cartel murdered? Zilch. Nada. Just fantastic tales

I know this is a very sensitive subject. And I want to tread lightly. No parent ever wants to believe their child is suicidal or committed suicide.
I haven't watched the segment in some time, but was the location of the gunshot wound to Norman's head ever revealed? I don't know how long the rifle barrel was, but depending on the location of the wound one could make an estimate of how the rifle would have had to have been oriented, and whether Norman could've pulled the trigger.

Also, didn't he have a blunt force wound to the top of his head?
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:55 AM   #93
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can someone change the title? Didn't realize this was about Norman Ladner
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:04 PM   #94
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Delete double post

Last edited by PerhapsIt'sYou; 02-11-2018 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Double post
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:23 AM   #95
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I would love to know what evidence was uncovered to make them switch from an accident to a suicide. Was it solely the fact that he died from a close contact wound? That doesn't take into account the cut that he had on his head. Which is why I think an accident is more likely. This was one of the few suicide or murder segments where I think an accident was the most likely scenario. Especially after seeing the Don Hamilton segment. Norman was probably in a tree, the branch broke and he fell causing the gun to discharge and shoot him. It would account for the cut found on his head, as well as the investigators initially believing he fell out of a tree prior to getting shot (assuming there was evidence that indicated he was in a tree, like broken branches found around his body).
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:01 AM   #96
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I would love to know what evidence was uncovered to make them switch from an accident to a suicide. Was it solely the fact that he died from a close contact wound? That doesn't take into account the cut that he had on his head. Which is why I think an accident is more likely. This was one of the few suicide or murder segments where I think an accident was the most likely scenario. Especially after seeing the Don Hamilton segment. Norman was probably in a tree, the branch broke and he fell causing the gun to discharge and shoot him. It would account for the cut found on his head, as well as the investigators initially believing he fell out of a tree prior to getting shot (assuming there was evidence that indicated he was in a tree, like broken branches found around his body).
I'm going to go out on a limb (no pun intended) and say there was no evidence to justify changing the cause of death. While I tend to agree with the "Occam's Razor" assertion when viewing some of these segments in retrospect, this one seems to have a little bit more going on.

This particular post by MegtheEgg86 (in this larger thread) seems to point to Sheriff Lumpkin (who was interviewed in the segment) perpetrating a cover-up.

It may not be Mena-level drug drops involving the CIA, but either way, I'd have to agree that this guy wasn't totally "on the level" (the random stranger approaching his mother at the funeral home and telling her to quit asking questions clinches it for me)
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:36 AM   #97
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It may not be Mena-level drug drops involving the CIA, but either way, I'd have to agree that this guy wasn't totally "on the level" (the random stranger approaching his mother at the funeral home and telling her to quit asking questions clinches it for me)
There really could be any number of alternate explanations for that interaction though.

First, the story is relayed by the mother so it is hardly without bias. Second, even if we assume this interaction took place, is it not possible that she could have misinterpreted what the guy said? He could have been telling her to "move on" and focus on her other children. Or, he could have been some crackpot or screwball who was messing with her.

Also, if this account is to be believed, then we have to believe that this man who had knowledge that Norman Ladner was, in fact, murdered just happened to be in the same place at the same time as the family and happened upon this opportunity and used it to relay a message.

I'm sorry, but I don't buy it.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:04 PM   #98
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The whole drug deal angle (featured in this and several other segments) seems borderline satanic panic to me. Assuming Norman was murdered:

-Why did his killer/s leave behind the homemade radio device roughly 300 yards away from the crime scene, increasing their chances of connecting them with Norman's murder? They had the time to go back and retrieve it. Norman's father found it several weeks after Norman's death.
-If these drug dealers were sophisticated enough to be using low level radio frequencies to let planes know where to drop off the drugs, would they be the type of drug smuggler to murder a 17 year old? We're not talking about random gang bangers selling drugs, if that device was in fact used by drug smugglers, that's high technological stuff for the late 80's. I find it hard to believe these people would murder Norman just because he stumbled onto something involving drugs.
-What are the odds that someone with knowledge of Norman's murder would also be at the coroner's office 3 weeks after his death to intercept his parents and tell them to stop digging into the case? Not to mention that his parents made no effort to ascertain the identity of this man.

All of the evidence presented in this case that supports the murder theory, was found or introduced by Norman's parents. And just like many of the other suicide/murder segments, you have to take their word with a grain of salt, IMO. Not saying that the police department or investigators are beyond reproach, but I often see too much stock being put into innuendos and rumors whenever it makes the police look bad or incompetent.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:39 PM   #99
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All of the evidence presented in this case that supports the murder theory, was found or introduced by Norman's parents. And just like many of the other suicide/murder segments, you have to take their word with a grain of salt, IMO. Not saying that the police department or investigators are beyond reproach, but I often see too much stock being put into innuendos and rumors whenever it makes the police look bad or incompetent.

Okay, I can concede that the encounter w/Norman's mother was probably entirely innocent.

When I say that the Sheriff was behind a cover-up though, I mean to say that there were probably mistakes made during the investigation and he swept them (or had them swept) under the rug as a means of insulating himself and his agency from any civil or criminal liability - this is sadly all too common and has been seen in many other cases.

I agree too that the drug angle was overplayed in a lot of these.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:33 PM   #100
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When I say that the Sheriff was behind a cover-up though, I mean to say that there were probably mistakes made during the investigation and he swept them (or had them swept) under the rug as a means of insulating himself and his agency from any civil or criminal liability - this is sadly all too common and has been seen in many other cases.
The initial cause of death was accident and the family accepted it. It wasn't until the cause of death was changed to suicide that they started to question it being something else.

This begs the question - if the sheriff was really hiding something, why did he just not leave the cause of death at accident? He even said at the end of the segment that had the ruling been an accident the family probably would accept it. To me, if he was hiding something, that would have made much more logical sense.

Also, there seems to be a bias on here to just automatically assume the cops are wrong, lazy, incompetent, etc. and automatically giving the leg up to the theories of the family, appealant (in a final appeal case). I can't say I understand this logic considering the other side has perhaps even more reason to be biased.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:05 PM   #101
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The initial cause of death was accident and the family accepted it. It wasn't until the cause of death was changed to suicide that they started to question it being something else.

This begs the question - if the sheriff was really hiding something, why did he just not leave the cause of death at accident? He even said at the end of the segment that had the ruling been an accident the family probably would accept it. To me, if he was hiding something, that would have made much more logical sense.

Also, there seems to be a bias on here to just automatically assuming the cops are wrong, lazy, incompetent, etc. and automatically giving the leg up to the theories of the family, appealant (in a final appeal case), etc. I can't say I understand this reasoning considering the other side has perhaps even more reason to be biased.
For me, my skepticism comes down to the reasoning/evidence (or lack thereof) behind changing the cause of death. TheCars1986 laid out pretty good evidence to support an accident. The coroner though later changed the cause of death to suicide and the Sheriff seemed to just parrot that conclusion. Why? There's nothing that backs that up other than the close contact wound (and thats a pretty spurious justification at best).

I don't think Norman was murdered, I don't think there was any sort of conspiracy (if other people do, that's on them). There was clear evidence that it was an accident and the initial cause of death was even reported as such. Changing it though without anything to back it up, physically, forensically or otherwise (there was never any suicide note found, no documented history of depression/mental illness was mentioned etc) seems pretty incompetent to me at the very least.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:24 PM   #102
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For me, my skepticism comes down to the reasoning/evidence (or lack thereof) behind changing the cause of death. TheCars1986 laid out pretty good evidence to support an accident. The coroner though later changed the cause of death to suicide and the Sheriff seemed to just parrot that conclusion. Why? There's nothing that backs that up other than the close contact wound (and thats a pretty spurious justification at best).
Personally, I think this is a shortcoming of the segment itself.

It is mentioned, albeit briefly, that the Sheriff initially thought the cause of death was an accident. However, the coroner changed it to suicide after the autopsy. No rationale for this decision is given (that I can recall anyway). The rest of the segment focuses on the murder theory and the accident angle is not revisited again.

All that being said, I can't help but wonder if there were reasons for the change that UM didn't disclose. It wouldn't be the first time inconvenient facts were left out in order to tell a good story.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:28 PM   #103
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Personally, I think this is a shortcoming of the segment itself.

It is mentioned, albeit briefly, that the Sheriff initially thought the cause of death was an accident. However, the coroner changed it to suicide after the autopsy. No rationale for this decision is given (that I can recall anyway). The rest of the segment focuses on the murder theory and the accident angle is not revisited again.

All that being said, I can't help but wonder if there were reasons for the change that UM didn't disclose. It wouldn't be the first time inconvenient facts were left out in order to tell a good story.
You're probably right. One could only wonder what was left on the cutting room floor so to speak.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:30 PM   #104
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You're probably right. One could only wonder what was left on the cutting room floor so to speak.
It is unfortunate that the UM segment is the only source of information about this story.
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:42 PM   #105
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Okay, I can concede that the encounter w/Norman's mother was probably entirely innocent.

When I say that the Sheriff was behind a cover-up though, I mean to say that there were probably mistakes made during the investigation and he swept them (or had them swept) under the rug as a means of insulating himself and his agency from any civil or criminal liability - this is sadly all too common and has been seen in many other cases.

I agree too that the drug angle was overplayed in a lot of these.
I don't know how much of a cover up by the hands of law enforcement would benefit them in this case. They suspected accident, and ruled it as such. The coroner, after doing the autopsy, changed it to suicide because of the close contact wound to his temple. What is law enforcement supposed to do at that point? Challenge the coroner?
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