William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Wednesday, 27, August, 2008

Calling a Bluff?

Filed under: Forensics — williamthecoroner @ 09:49

Katherine Mae Simpson put a handgun to her head and pulled the trigger.  She’d done it several times before.   Her husband had given her the gun several times before.  Each time previously, however it was unloaded. *  This time, it WAS loaded.

Mrs. Simpson was drunk and upset.  Her husband had returned home with flowers to make amends for an affair he’d had with another woman the weekend before.**  She said she wanted to kill herself, he went to the truck and gave her the loaded gun.

Prosecutors are calling it murder.  The defense points out it was a voluntary act on the wife’s part.  The prosecutors point out that handing a loaded weapon to a suicidal drunk is, at bottom, a really bad idea.  The entire story is HERE.

O readers, what are your thoughts?

*This breaks all of Jeff Cooper’s four rules, but we will ignore that here.

**What kind of bozo attempts to make amends for an affair with FLOWERS FFS?  Maybe orchids from Tahiti IN Tahiti, that might work, but I don’t think FTD has enough flowers for this situation.


  1. Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own actions—drunk or drugged. It’s our decision to drink or to take some drug. While I can sympathize with the woman’s parents, she was the one who acted.

    With that said, her husband is also negligent. But not of murder. I keep loaded weapons around the house all the time. My wife knows where they are located and how to use them. I bought a revolver at a gun show last weekend and she was the first to see it, how to check to see if it was loaded, how to load it and how to handle it. (She wants to keep it herself too! )-: ).

    Stupidity abounds and many times fatal. That’s what happened here, not murder.

    Comment by Crucis — Wednesday, 27, August, 2008 @ 10:58 | Reply

  2. The prosecutor said that it was “a really bad idea”, unfortunately for him not all really bad ideas break the law. I don’t think this guy should be tried for murder, he is an asshat to say the least. Ultimately the woman wanted to kill herself, and she pulled the trigger. This guy is a no good dirt bag but a murderer, I am not so sure.

    Comment by Anthony — Wednesday, 27, August, 2008 @ 11:25 | Reply

  3. Hrm, I’ll guess he;ll be charged with second-degree, and he’ll plead down to manslaughter.

    I suppose an argument could be made for first-degree murder — he knew she was suicidal, and he knew that the affair and the drunkenness would exacerbate the situation.

    He IS a first-rate douchebag.

    Comment by crankylitprof — Wednesday, 27, August, 2008 @ 11:30 | Reply

  4. At the minimum, accessory to murder, but I’d think at least 2nd degree. He knew her condition and set her up…

    Comment by Old NFO — Wednesday, 27, August, 2008 @ 12:39 | Reply

  5. I had someone who hit me. Dinner was cold, or some other horrific injury to his alcohol muddled being. They bought me roses to make up. To this day the scent of roses make me physically ill.

    I’d say manslaughter at the best. First degree. . I could get that.

    Comment by Brigid — Wednesday, 27, August, 2008 @ 21:29 | Reply

  6. I doubt she expected it to be loaded this time. He tricked her and set her up and I think he got the result he wanted… except for the charges, of course.
    If she really wanted to die, she would have done it without his help. I don’t think she was suicidal.

    My alcoholic husband shot himself five months after I left him. We did not use guns, never had them in the house. He bought one easily, although it was for someone else, and asked to be shown how to use it.
    Less than a week later, he used it on himself.

    Statistics show that most female suicides do not use guns, and if they do, they do not shoot themselves in the head. Ruins the open casket funeral.

    Comment by Jean — Wednesday, 27, August, 2008 @ 21:42 | Reply

  7. In a culture where brides are purchased with small white stones set in grey metal, I’m not surprised that some people think offerings of flowers are sufficient to win forgiveness.

    “If I had two dozen roses,
    And an old bottle of wine,
    If I really coulda hung the moon,
    Would it change your mind?”
    — Shenandoah


    Comment by rethoryke — Wednesday, 27, August, 2008 @ 22:43 | Reply

  8. I have no problem with keeping a ready firearm loaded for use.
    I have a TREMENDOUS problem with handing a suicidal drunk a loaded weapon. Particularly one who has put an unloaded gun to her head before in this sort of gesture. Yes, the gesture was stupid and dramatic. Yes, anyone who picks up a firearm should see if it is loaded or not.

    This was a set up, I think. It certainly was not the act of a loving, caring spouse. He is blameworthy for handing her the weapon, and blameworthy for not unoading it himself. The question “am I my brother’s keeper,” was rhetorical, but I think the answer is “Yes.”

    Comment by William the Coroner — Thursday, 28, August, 2008 @ 06:33 | Reply

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