(Editor’s Note: This blog was originally posted here.)
Speculation reported as a fact: Annie Moore shot Jim
Fact: No one knows for sure
Despite a lot of evidence pointing towards Jim’s death being self-inflicted, Annie Moore as Jim’s killer seems to be the final verdict for many people. That theory is often reported as a fact, but has never been proven. It should always be stated as speculation. Some people believe Jim was attempting to overdose on pentobarbital, and Annie Moore used the gun to assist him with his death, making it quicker. Others just believe the gun was used without the overdose aspect. Convincing someone else to shoot him would also be his final way to assert power and authority. The autopsy report is inconclusive, but is more in favour of suicide, despite the lack of evidence due to decomposition. On viewing his body on the first death photo, his left hand is positioned as if he had been holding a gun to his head. It is close to where the entrance wound was and held in a way that could suggest it was at an upside down angle when he fired it. Being right handed with a left handed bullet wound would not necessarily go against the suicide idea. Personally I’ve heard of more than one incident where a right handed person used their left hand to pull the trigger on themselves. The hard contact entrance wound was also larger than the exit wound, which can be found in suicide incidents. Where the gun was found is also a debate. Some sources state it was found 20 or even 200 feet away from Jim’s body. A report by an early responder states the gun was resting on Jim’s chest when they first set eyes on the scene. Jim’s controlling nature over everything in life would surely extend to being in control of his own death. While many people accept that Annie shot Jim and then herself, an early theory suggested the opposite; Annie was shot by another person, assumed to be Jim, then he took his own life. So, information and ideas can be gathered to back up both causes of his death, but suicide seems most likely. The opinion of some people is that Jim was “too much of a coward” to shoot himself, but that alone is not enough evidence to prove he didn’t commit suicide.