The following pictures can better represent what was difficult to put into words in the preliminary report. The pictures represent available information that can suggest angles that might be very difficult to describe. I will include a narrative so as to explain what information can be gleaned from the photos, and believe that you will come to the same conclusions that the Outpost of Freedom has.

Michael Hill's father had owned a Colt model 1911 -A1, .45 caliber ACP automatic pistol. This was Mike's favorite weapon, probably both from a safety standpoint as well as emotional.

The pistol was taken as evidence after Mike's death on the lonely roadside. It was returned to Arleen Hill in October 1995, while I was conducting the investigation and I was able to handle and photograph the pistol (gun photos by Tim Wagner). The pistol is still operational. The damage has not rendered it unserviceable.

The lighting allows you to see the embedded material from what appears to be a hollow nose bullet, leaving a crescent shaped edge. The impact would have to have been from the left of this image (rear of the gun) to have concentrated the material in this manner.

In this photo you can see the dispersal of the shattered material from the impacting bullet. Again, the impacting bullet came from the left (rear of the gun) and, after shattering, sprayed material in an expanding pattern toward the right.

Now, we have determined, as did Detectives Sims and Hartmeyer, that the bullet that hit Michael Hill's .45 caliber automatic was fired from the rearward of the gun, whichever way the gun was facing.

We'll get back to the shot that hit the gun, shortly. First, let's look at the shots that hit Michael Hill.

Head wound

This was probably the first shot. Identified as " Gunshot Wound #1" , it was straight in, with a slightly upward angle. This wound would probably have been fatal, by itself, as the autopsy shows extensive brain damage resulting from the bullet's path.

The next shot, just three inches above the left nipple, entered at a left to right angle, indicating that Michael may have turned upon impact from the first bullet. Interestingly, if you would tape a piece of tape on your chest, at the location shown (3" above nipple, 4" left of midline, and then position yourself in a two-handed firing position, you will see that your arms and pistol (the front of the pistol) are obscuring access to this portion of your body. May, however, claims that Mike was in the two-handed position when May began shooting.

The shot that makes no sense under the scenario presented to the Grand Jury actually hit Michael twice.

Notice the entry wound on the top of the left shoulder? The bullet grazed Michael's cheek, and then entered the TOP of his shoulder. When I asked Detectives Sims and Hartmeyer about this, they suggested that Mike had leaned forward (not described by any witnesses) as a result of other injuries. While leaning forward, May fired and the bullet struck Mike at this angle.

Tim Wagner and Michael Goble assisted me with this investigation. For Mike to have been leaning far enough for May to have it him at this angle, Mike would have moved his body mass so far forward that he could not have been thrown, or fallen to his back, as all testimony indicates. In fact, it was difficult to maintain balance at the angler required.

Looking further, the other officers, when they arrived on the scene, reported that Mike was moaning and that his head was rolling from center to right. If one of us (Tim, Mike and myself) were to lay flat on the ground, slightly arch our back, and roll our head slightly to the right, the angles represented by these gunshots would align. The trajectory of the bullet, however, would have been from near the center of the road, and East of Mike's position on the ground. May was at the edge of the road, nearly twenty feet West of Mike (confirmed by May and Kittle's statements). This would mean that this shot, although not fatal, would have been fired by one of the three arriving officers (see preliminary report) Caldwell, Daniels or Kelly.

Note, also, the location of the brain tissue. Mike's body lay with his head near the bandages and the large pool of blood (from the shoulder wound?). His feet were toward May's cruiser. slightly toward the side of the road. His knees were very close to where the brain tissue was found, along with spattering of blood and the bullet jacket, just inches away from Mike's knee.

Back to the gun. It has been suggested that the gun was shot while being loosely held (after being shot) by Michael Hill. This doesn't account, however, for wounds that were first believed to have been shotgun pellets from an earlier in the day event. The FBI has these material matching the bullet fragments from the shattered bullet found on the ground near Mike Hill's body. This same material was found on the side of Mike's .45 caliber automatic pistol.

Let's look at those wounds that were tied to the estranged bullet:

The larger wound is at the ball, directly under the impact on the gun (see above). The second laceration is forward, supporting the theory that the shot was from behind. The question is -- how did the gun get shot from behind?

Mike's left inside elbow shows a pattern of fragments from the bullet that hit the gun.

Mike's knee shows, again, a linear pattern of the same material as the bullet that struck his gun.

So, we have three locations (right hand, inside left elbow and inside left knee) which show patterns from the shattered bullet. Presumably, the bullet impacted and splayed out an a plane fairly consistent with the surface of the ride side of the slide. This would require all of the injuries to line up in such a way as to allow a single plane to intersect them all.

We tried contorting ourselves as many ways as possible. the only way that we could come close is to sit on the ground, knees slightly raised. Rest the left elbow on the left thigh, propping up the head. Place the gun in the right hand, between the knees, and let it hang limply. Not a very defensive position, but surely one that would tie the gun to Mike Hill's hand -- and justify the murder thereof.

mail to:Gary Hunt

Return to Death of Michael Hill Index

Return to Outpost of Freedom Homepage