Murder on an ice floe
June 14, 2010 1:48 PM   Subscribe

You are not my research assistant but I need a hand to get to the first rung. Homicide on an international ice floe.

In the mid to late 60's or early 70's a homicide occured at a research station on an ice floe in the Atlantic. The significance of the case, after the murder, was the jurisdictional question and investigative response. I would very much appreciate any information that would get me going. Google, at least under my direction, has failed me. Thank you in advance.
posted by KneeDeep to Law & Government (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This?

467 F2d 341 United States v. Escamilla
posted by Perplexity at 1:54 PM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Is this the case you're speaking of? From the Montreal Gazette, 8/20/70

And an article from Time magazine a month later, 9/28/70
posted by inturnaround at 1:55 PM on June 14, 2010

Response by poster: That's it. Unbelievable, is there nothing the hive mind doesn't hold?
posted by KneeDeep at 2:33 PM on June 14, 2010

Is it normal for a ruling to be that informal ("Donald Leavitt... whose nickname was 'Porky'")?
posted by djb at 3:05 PM on June 14, 2010

The General Motors Defense Research Laboratory? Never heard of that one.
posted by ctmf at 5:04 PM on June 14, 2010

djb: in my experience, yes, Judges love to find the stupid nickname that's inevitable in a criminal trial and refer to it as often as possible in their rulings. Sometimes it's marginally relevant to the story or makes it easier to keep the parties straight, but usually it's just because they can.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:00 PM on June 14, 2010

Is it normal for a ruling to be that informal ("Donald Leavitt... whose nickname was 'Porky'")?

Check out footnote 5, where it really gets informal.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 9:48 PM on June 14, 2010

Is it normal for a ruling to be that informal ("Donald Leavitt... whose nickname was 'Porky'")?

Some judges seem to love that kind of stuff, as well as sarcasm and polite mockery. Reading legal judgements can be surprisingly interesting.
posted by andraste at 11:42 PM on June 14, 2010

The investigation of deaths on research stations is still complex. A relatively recent example is Rodney Marks, who died on the 12 May 2000 at the NSF's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. An autopsy to determine the cause of death (methanol poisoning) had to be delayed until November, when the body could be flown out of the station. There were lots of jurisdictional complications: the scientist was Australian, the coroner was in Christchurch NZ (five thousand kilometers from the site of the death) and New Zealand police were investigating, but the US NSF had been responsible for the scientific activity at the Pole. Because of the numerous difficulties, the coroner's report wasn't published until September 2008, and it still isn't clear whether the methanol was deliberately drunk.
(News Focus on the death in Science)
posted by James Scott-Brown at 8:19 AM on June 15, 2010

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