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Old 08-23-2020, 09:02 PM   #16
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I don't think that's the case with Norman. It seemed as though he likely would have had access to several different types of guns. Did they say the type of rifle he carried?
I'm not sure if the make, model, or even the caliber was specified.

What makes you think it wasn't the case with Norman? As a boy who hunted I presume he learned from a father who also hunted and likely owned guns of his own, but I don't see why that precludes Norman from committing suicide with his own rifle.
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Old 08-23-2020, 09:04 PM   #17
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A gun shot through the temple via accidental discharge (especially if he fell out of a tree) would be EXTREMELY unlikely under any circumstance.
I agree with this. I think the pattern of injury is far more consistent with a suicide or homicide.
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Old 08-24-2020, 07:51 AM   #18
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Suicide, conditionally.

https://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards...=147839&page=8

Post #113. Blood splatter was found on Norman's left hand. The round traveled right to left through his head, and left powder burns around the entrance wound (evidence that the end of the barrel was held at extremely close range--inches or less). Provided that he was right-handed, his left hand almost certainly steadied the barrel of the rifle. Admittedly, I don't know what his handedness actually was, but given that right-handedness is more common I'm comfortable presuming that's what Norman had until I have evidence to the contrary.

Also, the wound on the vertex of the head is simply described as "recent." It could have happened several days before his death, for all we know.
Okay, I had forgot about the coroner's report which not only noted the powder burns by his temple, but also blood spatter found on his left hand. Definitely suicide.
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Old 08-25-2020, 03:00 PM   #19
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Okay, I had forgot about the coroner's report which not only noted the powder burns by his temple, but also blood spatter found on his left hand. Definitely suicide.
Not necessarily. The bullet entered his right temple. It's possible he lifted his left hand in an attempt to thwart off attackers (his right arm may have been temporarily incapacitated). This could also account for blood spatter on his left hand.

The Ladners stated the bullet they found was a larger caliber than Ladner's gun would hold. It is very possible other bullet casings and bullets themselves (obviously mangled) would be in the ground nearby as the Ladner's hunted on the land and very likely used it for target practice as well.

The Ladners also stated the bullet that was returned to them was not the bullet they found. At the very least, there was sheer incompetence on the part of LE. Anybody who has spent considerable time around fire arms and knows gun calibers can identify the caliber of a bullet casing by looking at it. The incorrect casing returned to the Ladners was either the result of lost evidence (the correct casing was misplaced) or an inability to identify a correct casing (inexcusable). At the most sinister, the action is the result of a cover up.
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Old 08-26-2020, 07:16 AM   #20
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Not necessarily. The bullet entered his right temple. It's possible he lifted his left hand in an attempt to thwart off attackers (his right arm may have been temporarily incapacitated). This could also account for blood spatter on his left hand.
There was no evidence found at the scene to indicate anyone other than Norman being there.

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The Ladners stated the bullet they found was a larger caliber than Ladner's gun would hold. It is very possible other bullet casings and bullets themselves (obviously mangled) would be in the ground nearby as the Ladner's hunted on the land and very likely used it for target practice as well.
They found a bullet in an area where Norman liked to target practice. Something tells me that people other than Norman would have done the same.

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The Ladners also stated the bullet that was returned to them was not the bullet they found. At the very least, there was sheer incompetence on the part of LE. Anybody who has spent considerable time around fire arms and knows gun calibers can identify the caliber of a bullet casing by looking at it. The incorrect casing returned to the Ladners was either the result of lost evidence (the correct casing was misplaced) or an inability to identify a correct casing (inexcusable). At the most sinister, the action is the result of a cover up.
Or...maybe...the Ladner's were mistaken and it was in fact the bullet that they discovered? The Ladner's gave the bullet to a ballistics expert, were they also involved in this "sinister cover up" as well? This same ballistics expert who could not rule out Norman's gun as the originator of said bullet?
The police did not handle the bullet discovered by the Ladner's. And it was found partially buried in the ground.
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Old 08-27-2020, 04:04 PM   #21
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Parents have, understandably, trouble accepting the suicide of their children.
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Old 08-28-2020, 03:29 PM   #22
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There was no evidence found at the scene to indicate anyone other than Norman being there.
What evidence would there be? Other than footprints which you wouldn't see if it was hard packed soil, or else the perp dropping something.

You can think what you want, but the truth is none of us were there so no one knows for sure, and the arguments for suicide are far from flawless.
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Old 08-31-2020, 08:18 AM   #23
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What evidence would there be? Other than footprints which you wouldn't see if it was hard packed soil, or else the perp dropping something.
Footprints, absence of blood spatter, shell casings, etc.
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:53 AM   #24
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One thing I always thought was interesting, especially with the suicide theory, was watching the re-enactment of the crime scene. The gun is broken (quite weirdly too, it almost looks disassembled) and the other officer at the scene says "it looks like it's been broken and repaired before". Of course, UM wasn't always consistent with its re-enactments being super close to everything that happened, but how could the gun have been broken in this manner if he committed suicide? The only think I could think of would it be it falling from his hand and breaking from the fall or recoil, but this would produce a very different break than what was seen in the episode.

So I'm willing to discount the presence of the break as shown (perhaps artistic license), but could the gun have had enough recoil to break from Norman firing it?
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Old 08-31-2020, 12:03 PM   #25
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One thing I always thought was interesting, especially with the suicide theory, was watching the re-enactment of the crime scene. The gun is broken (quite weirdly too, it almost looks disassembled) and the other officer at the scene says "it looks like it's been broken and repaired before". Of course, UM wasn't always consistent with its re-enactments being super close to everything that happened, but how could the gun have been broken in this manner if he committed suicide? The only think I could think of would it be it falling from his hand and breaking from the fall or recoil, but this would produce a very different break than what was seen in the episode.

So I'm willing to discount the presence of the break as shown (perhaps artistic license), but could the gun have had enough recoil to break from Norman firing it?

VERY highly unlikely the gun would break from firing it unless it was very shoddily put back together.
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Old 09-01-2020, 03:27 AM   #26
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Footprints, absence of blood spatter, shell casings, etc.
There would only be shell casings if a shotgun was used. Norman was killed either by a handgun or a rifle.

Besides, who knows what was there? I think the board puts way to much faith in law enforcement in to many instances. a lot of it is incompetent or corrupt.

Its just not a common things for 17 year old kids to commit suicide without a clear motive. Nothing came to the surface in Norman's case.
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Old 09-01-2020, 09:30 AM   #27
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I think the board puts way to much faith in law enforcement in to many instances. a lot of it is incompetent or corrupt.
For years the board put way too much faith in UM, who has shown time and time again to slant segments towards a certain conclusion while leaving out many pertinent details.
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Old 09-01-2020, 05:11 PM   #28
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For years the board put way too much faith in UM, who has shown time and time again to slant segments towards a certain conclusion while leaving out many pertinent details.
Yuuuup.

There are cases that have been featured on UM in which there's a very strong case for law enforcement corruption (Michael Rosenblum, Jay Given) or incompetence (Harold and Thelma Swain) being at the heart of the mystery, but I can't count the Norman Ladner case among them.

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There would only be shell casings if a shotgun was used.
This is untrue.

Handgun and rifle cartridges consist, basically, of a projectile and a casing. Upon pulling the trigger on such a weapon as a modern handgun or rifle, the firing pin contacts the primer of that cartridge, which then ignites the propellant within and sends the projectile forward out of the casing. The projectile is what contacts the target. The casing itself simply falls to the ground. Trust me, I've "policed" enough 5.56 rifle and 9 mm handgun "brass" on enough fire ant-infested ranges in my day to be sure.

And perhaps you're well aware and I've inadvertently insulted your knowledge base (apologies if that's the case--no pun intended), and the argument comes largely down to the semantics of shell as I suppose there are some who insist the term is proper for only shotgun shells rather than rifle and pistol casings. However, I've always heard and used the terms interchangeably. \_(ツ)_/
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Old 09-01-2020, 05:32 PM   #29
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VERY highly unlikely the gun would break from firing it unless it was very shoddily put back together.
I agree. If the rifle was found in such a condition, that certainly raises additional questions.
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:11 AM   #30
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I agree. If the rifle was found in such a condition, that certainly raises additional questions.
This might be a reason why they initially suspected an accident.
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