Hacking - Another Unfortunate Name

Hacking - now there's another unfortunate name. Especially when your wife's gone missing.

According to this story on yahoo news, "The husband of a missing pregnant woman told a 'reliable citizen' witness at a psychiatric ward that he killed his wife as she slept and then threw her body in a trash bin." Reliable... Psych ward? Interesting. Defense counsel, make a note of that.

Also, "Mark Hacking was arrested Monday on suspicion of murder, even though his wife's body has not been found." Reminds me of a story I once heard. Defense counsel, time for more notes:

A defendant was on trial for murder. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In his closing argument, defense counsel attempted to explain reasonable doubt to the jury through a simple demonstration.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you," the lawyer said as he looked at his watch. "Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom." He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly. A minute passed. Nothing happened.

Finally the lawyer said, "Actually, I made up the previous statement. But you all looked on with anticipation. That is reasonable doubt. You each have reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed and, therefore, you must return a verdict of not guilty."

The jury retired to deliberate. Only a few minutes later, the jury returned and delivered a verdict of guilty.

"But how?" inquired the lawyer. "You must have had some doubt - I saw all of you stare at the door."

The jury foreman replied, "Oh, we did look, but your client didn't."


  1. I think that story is an urban legend...All in the law business have heard it, and as a prosecutor, I am scared of it.

  2. I had heard this story as both an urban legend and as a lawyer joke. Just a few months ago, though, I spoke to lawyer who swears that it actually happened, that he knows the defense counsel, and that he had talked to court personnel who were there. I think he said it was in Mass.

    Either way, true or not, it still goes to how tough it is to prove a murder with a body. Not only does the jury have reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the murder, they may have reasonable doubt that the "victim" is even dead.

  3. I'd never heard that story - and it's going down in my book as a classic!

    Personally, I think Hacking did it. I also think he's seriously disturbed.... living in a fantasy la-la land.