The Canadian years, 86, the inquest

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Sunday 22 February 13:49


The Inquest

My sister had come flying in and sat next to me in the courtroom. It looked like a school outing, the bank behind us was filled with colleagues of my father, who sat there chattering away. The priest at the center, he held a letter in his hand. This is from our church, and all 350 members have signed in support of Big Dan, that will show them. There was a neighbor who had ever been drinking with my father, but also Bile the neighbor who was almost killed by the stone hidden in the paperbag. The colleagues of my father looked like the house of commons in England, Ho hum, and hear, hear. You heard down the line as a sign of agreement with this or that fellow who spoke in favor of my father.


‘The honorable Doctor Michaels, colleague of the suspect.’ ‘Um hum,’ the honorable doctor cleared his throat, ‘this gentleman, and he pointed to my father, is the epitome of humility and patience in our portals of wisdom. I also do not allow, listen, I also do not allow envy of intellectual capabilities, which elsewhere so go often missing even a slight slur towards my colleague I will not permit.. ‘Have you ever sensed that his domestic situation left a lot to be desired,’ the ranger wanted to know? ‘I repeat,’ said Michaels, weighty, I will not answer questions that are dubious in nature. But I do want to tell you about his domestic situation. Recently I was invited by him and his son, who so unfortunately has left us prematrely, to spend a pleasant evening. I can tell you that I was jealous of the loving relationship between father and son. The pride and respect with which the father treated his son should have following in our society. Hear hear, shouted the other colleagues at the ranger.

The judges were appointed citizens who lived around the area in the district. Farmers who stood in awe of the university delegation. They made occasional notes or nodded at each other. The ranger knew he was getting nowhere,’ thank you doctor’, he said it is clear to me, ‘you can return to your place’. ‘Next witness’, said the ranger weighty, Ohler father is the pastor of the church of the suspect.

‘I object to the word suspect,’ Ohler said ‘and I want to see that registered and he pointed to the stenographer. ‘We are talking about the father who was present at the death of his beloved son, under special or suspicious circumstances.’ Hear, hear, the hive of voices sounded behind me. ‘I have a letter with me’, said the pastor, ‘I'd like to read it. ‘If it has to do with this case,’ sighed the ranger, who looked as if he fought a battle against the world. ‘Otherwise I would not have had that letter with me’, said the pastor nipping. My father was put in this letter as a committed Christian, a pillar of the church who enjoyed especially respect for his charity work. The letter concluded with a strong ending that probably, over a bottle of whiskey, had been dictated by my father himself to Ohler. That all signatories, the expressed the wish that the law would not go astray and as soon as possible would really investigate the case to bring the perpetrators to justice and not deliberately delaying the case by inquests and everything else that surrounds such. He then read out the names of all the church members. ‘That there are 350 miss, with a copy to our congressman, his 350 votes, you know,’ the Pastor decided direction stenographer.


A statement now follows from the general practitioner, said the ranger who can not attend because of work. He picked up the letter and showed that to the jury, a jury member read the letter over the microphone. The usual, about how he knew us since our arrival in Canada, the illness of my mother and then to my surprise, my name came up. My father had consulted him about alleged drug use from me, which made me an irrational person, who lived at times in a fantasy world and then was virtually unmanageable. I then just muttered poems rumbling through the house or talked in ancient languages. I also played with little girls aged 6 and 8 years respectively and I never received friends at home, which was unnatural for someone my age. . one thing and another also led to poor marks in school. .

‘Pastor Ohler pastor got up, ‘may I for a minute, he asked about drugs? `’Father, you name it,’ the ranger sighed, ‘after the break it was his turn to present the case and he was done with this witness.’ I saw some farmers jurors a little revived, drugs that might be interesting!’ Pastor, the floor is yours.’ ‘I can testify now I hear this, I have experienced how Young Daniel has slandered his father in front of me and how on another occasion he pretended for a christening occasion to have a better knowledge of the Bible than I and his father put together, even when quoting, He quoted verses in old dead languages ​​..

A few farmers looked at me doubtfully. ‘Thank you Father, for your contribution, please read on again,’ said the ranger to the farmers juror. ‘What struck me in this’, our doctor wrote, ‘was the loving way in which he spoke about his deranged son to me.’ I saw the ranger delete me mentally from his list, whatever I said  would be utterly implausible.

‘Drugs,’ asked my sister? ‘Never,’ I said, and I shook my head,’ I do not even smoke.’’ Okay,’ she said, ‘just to know’. That was the impact of the word "drugs" in those days, even she felt the need to ask that question.’ They've written you off,  before you got started,’ said my sister, ... ‘I might as well go home,’ I said. ‘No stay,’ said my sister ‘ wewill go home together. ‘My father was such a good chess player, I was wondering how he was going  to deal with the burden of proof  that the ranger would present and what the jury would say then.


We deliberately avoided my father and his followers and took some food in the small village just before Kananaskis. ‘That was a good one, ‘said my sister, ‘about drugs. Every parent has concerns today about drugs.’ I found it poor,’ I said. ‘You can not do anything with it’, said my sister, ‘the phrase was 'supposed' drug use’. ‘It is image forming, it gives a wrong image that will soon get worse. The ranger will do anything to get the jury on his side and dad can only speak when asked something,’ I have my doubts,’ I said, ‘I myself have experienced how he has silenced me. Dad will do everything to go unpunished because manslaughter is not a minor offense under UK law. You know what I think,’ I said, he's afraid of something that I would say, therefore, he has worked so hard to impose silence on me so that I could not speak. He feels threatened by me or something I know. But I would not know what.’ ‘Maybe you're right,’ she said, I think he has always done away with people in his life before they were a threat’. It is not a nice man,’ and that was the understatement of the year, in my opinion.

‘Welcome’, said the ranger, ‘the next person is immediately the only one that I summoned. It's the person present when under suspicious circumstances that are not explainable to date, a young man was robbed of his life.’ He held a pause to let it sink in. ‘I ask for that person who I suspect of involvement in one form or another, to take the stand here in front of the jury so that, they can see him well, while answering critical questions posed by me as an authority in this district and questions that were raised by the work of the coroner, our doctor.’ The preamble was already almost a conviction. . My father would be mangled, it was clear to me.

My father came out and looked at the jury and let his gaze slide over them, he kept everyone briefly, in his gaze. When he spoke it was with an icy measured voice, the voice of total control over a situation. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, good afternoon, I bow to your wisdom. Apart from the fact that you might be parents of a child, as I was recently of a beautiful son, you will soon pronounce a judgment over me and the end of my beloved son. Let your parent heart rule and speak  in this world of paper and rules. Regardless of what the legislation requires from you, I will bow me down to your judgment.

The ranger said in a blunt way, ‘you can answer questions that are posed, no more.’ ‘I respect the rules of decency,’ said my father. ‘I greeted those who may judge me. .’ I got a bad feeling about the course that the case would take, the ranger was no match for my father. Some jury members looked approvingly at my father. ‘Let's start’, said the ranger,’ it was morning and you drove to our area, but tells us how it went.’ ‘I drove past the barrier that was open and everyone could drive by,’ my father said, it was not staffed.’ ‘I mean from the moment that you signed the register,’ the ranger had a red blush on his cheeks, he had the idea that everyone should have thought now that the barrier ought to have been staffed, so was my father, he could put ideas in minds.

‘I signed the register and saw that we were the only ones who drove into the area at that monent. If you have carefully studied the register’, my father said, you would have seen that my son and I are enrolled in the same handwriting.’ ‘Yes,’ said the ranger? My father smiled at him. A juror asked what do you mean in the same handwriting?’ ‘My son did not want to come out of the halfton so I signed us both in. So the names are there but not written by the two owners of those names.’ ‘What are you trying to say,’ asked the same judge? ‘That if I had written four names plus the name of the ranger, he had not been there and still would have been registered. Or vice versa, if we were four and I signed only in my name, there are three people out of sight in the paper world, running around. For example poachers. Not registered.’ Hear hear, said a few colleagues which the ranger silenced with a blow of the hammer.


This was brilliant, I thought, my father had done away with the registry, in no time. The plural of the jury was to handle this and nodded. ‘Are you saying the registry is incorrect,’ asked the ranger ? ‘I'm scientifically trained,’ my father said,’ I believe in deduction and perspective, I just found it can be that in situations the registry could deviate from the actual situation, there is no check on the correctness of entries.’ Hear hear, called back a few bleating colleagues.’ If you do not cease that,’ said the ranger, ‘I will clear you out.’ ‘I hope you are a seeker of truth and objectively weigh my answers?’ It seemed that the ranger was questioned, my father was lecturing.

‘From now on you just answer my questions’, said the ranger.’ So I do not give more explanation to the jury,’ my father asked surprised?’I mean it differently,’ said the ranger. I can not help, said my father, but I would ask you not to make a mockery here, we are discussing here the end of my beloved son. He got up and spread his arms to the jury, ‘the son I raised,’ he said, raising his voice, ‘that I have loved so, I beg leniency a father who struggeles with questions in his hour of despair. A former jury member said, ‘the questions were poorly put’. The ranger must have felt that this was theater, but part of the jury melted away, you could just see it.

‘I will help you and you fill in,’ said the ranger who had commendable patience. ‘You got out of the car and you heard a shot.’ ‘No,’ said my father,’ my son got out of the car and I heard a few moments later a shot. ‘Where was your son at that time?’ ‘I would not know,’ my father said, ‘I searched bent over, in the glove compartment for the hunting license. ‘But you looked up and saw him lying there?’ ‘Yes,’ my father replied. ‘The next question is of great importance,’ said the ranger, ‘Was your son was close to the road?’ ‘Yes’, my father said, ‘a few steps from a green field. ‘Right,’ said the Ranger, ‘a few steps from the road. He lay with his head away from you and was tossed about by the fatal shot?’ ‘Please describe that.’ ‘He was about 50 meters away from my halfton,’ said my father spread next to a stone with his arms spread out. ‘Who shot him,’ asked the ranger suddenly grim? ‘I would not know,’ my father said, that question has kept me busy for days.’

‘You don’t know,’ the ranger's voice had become hard? ‘Do you really not know that?’ ‘No,’ my father said, the ranger stood up and walked a few steps towards the jury box. ‘I think we know who fired the shot. You were all invited to work in our jury and all live in this area, my district. You are familiar with the area. You have just heard that the victim was walking or standing close to the road. It was dead silent You have also heard that those who I suspect of involvement in what happened, was with his halfton when the shot rang. I have some pictures, I am sorry that I have to show that in this context because they are not pleasant to look at.’ He gave the two pictures, and they went from hand to hand. ‘What you see is a shot upon impact and leaving the body, have  travelled in a straight line through it’.


The road is the lowest point and takes a few steps reciprocal of the road diagonally to move from the slopes in the mountains. If the shot was further from the road than there would be a difference   between the two holes. Because of the angle of the slope. Bullets come straight out of a barrel and do not adept themselves the uneven terrain. You should also know that the impact hole was located in the back. The victim, a young man in the prime of his life, was shot in the back.’ ‘Tell me,’ said the ranger ‘who now faced my father again  who was listening with deep concentration, ‘where did the shot came from?’ ‘The shot may have come from everywhere,’ my father said, ‘I myself see three possibilities.’ ‘I say there is only one,’ said the ranger. ‘That will not improve, it has to do with limitations in your mind,’ my father said.

‘Why don’t you explain that,’ said the ranger now downright hostile. The jury followed with great attention as if they were watching a tennis match, the two protagonists. My father straightened his back,’ I'm an engineer’, he started ‘and I want to know if any of the jury is familiar with Snell's law, because I will need that in my explanation.’ My father had entered his own hunting land, he was lecturing. Nobody said anything.’ Precisely,’ my father said. ‘When I look in the mirror I see my reflection. If I stand to the right of the mirror, let's say, I see reflected in an image in an angle of 45 degrees, a drop angle of 45 degrees. In other words, if I stand left to the mirror at an angle of 45 degrees to the mirror, I see the reflection of one object to the right of the mirror in the same angle of 45 degrees. This law sounds difficult but it is not. Snell discovered that angle of incidence equals angle of reflection. This knowledge we use with little side rearview mirrors daily driving a car, then we are not interested in our own reflection, no, we want to look past the car ..

As light is reflected, so bullets can ricochet. Also there is the angle of incidence equal to the true angle of reflection. If I shoot straight at a stone, really straight, then the stone would absorb the hit and the bullet would not have any rest speed left. If I hit the same stone, let’s assume from an angle than that bullet will richochete away in the conttray angle direction and then it still depends on whether the surface of the stone is smooth or also contributes to a modified follow-up. A few jurors now hung forward not to miss anything. If a bullet from a powerful weapon, that can easily travel 2 to 3 kilometers in forward speed misses target then you need to wait and see where it ends up. With luck it will impact in the ground or in a hill but if ricocheting away with a force that could cover a few kilometers distance, then it is best to take cover.’

‘Imagine now a mountainous area with many rocks and stones, and a glancing shot fired and reflecting of various objects enters a lower field, traveling in a straight line through a body. That's not impossible. I can emphasize this even more with an extreme example, if you are in the middle of a small room with a stone floor and hard walls, then I recommend you not to shoot a gun on the ground, the chances are greater than not, that you will be struck by your own ricochet bullet, thank you’ and my father sat down. The ranger closed his mouth, which had opened in surprise. Hear hear said a colleague. ‘Remove the man,’ said the ranger to an usher.

‘That was an interesting statement,’ said the ranger, ‘now as to the real issues. You said that there were several possibilities?’ ‘You have just mentioned a stray bullet, you name the other options please’.’ Someone on the road, an extension of my halfton but behind me, has fired or..’and my father gave emphasis, ‘or I shot him.’ This overtook everyone, my father now stopped. ‘And?’ The ranger leaned forward, ‘our weapons were sealed and locked, you have determined that yourself, they had not been used. A few notes were made by the jury ..

‘The coroner our doctor and I have discovered something that we do not understand.’ The jury was again directly addressed by the ranger. ‘The shot was initially not fatal, the victim bled to death which lasted just over an hour.’ I studied my father's face intensely while the ranger spoke. ‘While the distance to our station was only 10 minutes driving time. His death was unnecessary. The victim died bleeding to death in the halfton. For a moment the expression of my father changed, this was not planned, so much was clear. ‘The victim bled to death in the back of he halfton and not theplace of the fatal shot, there is too little blood in comparison with the pickup. The heart has pumped an additional 1 hour and probably slightly longer  the victims blood. Here you can read it ladies and gentlemen,’ and he held the record of the coronor up.

‘There is something else that we do not understand,’ my father now looked extremely concentrated. ‘This,’ and the ranger unfolded a large sheet of paper out, ‘is a tangle of trails that one that I suspect has passed after the shot.’ The dog brigades have mapped it, starting at the site of the son and then you can see how each side track follows all sorts of paths. It goes along fens and rivers, along hillsides and across an open field. As if the person is persistent in searching for something. ‘I do not understand. Your son is shot in the field and you're going to either side and walk around there for God knows how long, ‘I am talking to the accused, ‘why?’ I had to hand it to him, the ranger led the jury least as good as my father had done.

‘I ask you, how is it that your son is in the back of your halfton dying and you do not go to the ranger station? But only report it a few hours later? Why did you go for a walkabout in the wilderness, away from your son off, I think I know the answer, but I like to hear from you.’ ‘Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I like to point out to  you to the possibility of a lie detector test and I want to thank you for your attention, those were my questions.’ ‘We want to hear your answer,’ said the president, a gray old man in a friendly tone, ‘take your time.’ ‘That is not necessary,’ my father said. ‘That was my son, my dearly, beloved son’ and he paused, to give a dramatic effect. ‘I ran up to him and then,’ everyone leaned forward, ‘I got a blackout. I regained consciousness and ‘... ‘You were unconscious,’ interrupted the president? ‘I had fallen and I looked around me and I was lost. After some searching I found my way back and when I came to the place where my son had fallen, he was no longer there, he was gone.’


‘I found him back, my son, my great, great friend in my life’ and he raised his hands in despair, in the back of the halfton, gathered by the Lord. More I can not tell you, because there is no more. .’, he gave a loud sob, ‘thank you for your attention.’ The jury retired, and after what seemed like an eternity they came one by one solemnly striding inside. The chairman spoke, ‘the jury having heard all things and taken in to account all the considerations, of what has happened, have come to a conclusion. He straightened his back, ‘I would firstly want to pass my condolences with your big loss,’ he told me father, ‘then it is our opinion that this constitutes: Accidental Death Caused through great negligence.’ Hear hear, sounded the colleagues and Ohler pastor raised his hands theatrically, ‘blessed are all present here,’ he said.

Thank you Chairman said the ranger who seemed suddenly very tired and the statistics?  · 12 to 11 votes and one abstention. ‘I declare the inquest closed,’ said the ranger.

I was stunned, accidental death caused by gross negligence. I realized what a farce the court is as good people can be manipulated by evil people and be deceived. Outside I heard Ohler say, ‘this calls for a celebration, a night at the Highlander.’

San Daniel 2015

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