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In Shawshank Redemption, Andy tells the prosecutor and the court that the night that his wife and her lover were killed, he threw his revolver into the river from the bridge and went home. The prosecutor tells him that the police search the river for 3 days and didn't find any gun. How was this possible? The river was shallow, it was not a fast flowing river, the revolver was heavy and no one saw him throw the gun. Then how did they find his finger prints on the murder weapon?

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    "his finger prints on the murder weapon" Are you sure about that? Weren't they on some bullets and a bottle he dropped? – Walt Oct 24 '14 at 7:37
  • Among the few items, but not enough to tie him up to the murder, unless it was on the gun, coz, let's face it, they were murdered using a gun and not a bottle of hooch – SandyShores Oct 24 '14 at 9:28
  • I'm guessing this won't be the first time someone was convicted without a murder weapon. Remember, this is the 1940s (which might also explain the cops' inability to find the gun). – Walt Oct 24 '14 at 9:46
  • Yes, your completely right. But the prosecutor HOLDS out a gun in bag, and i quote "through which 8 bullets were fired, four for each victim, and on which are Mr. Dufrene's fingerprints on them." – SandyShores Oct 24 '14 at 10:12
  • No, that's not what he says and there's also no bag; you should rewatch the scene (I just did). But that's what he wants the jury to think. Yes, the DA expertly deceives the jury and overwhelms them with forensic evidence to get a high-profile conviction that the viewer knows is wrongful. But sadly, these things happen all the time in real life. – Walt Oct 24 '14 at 10:48
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I'll start at the end.

Then how did they find his finger prints on the murder weapon?

They didn't, you've simply misremembered this part. The murder weapon was never recovered. Andy's fingerprints were found on a broken bottle and some bullets found near the scene of the crime. The revolver that the DA (shrewdly) shows at court is not the murder weapon but a substitute.

The prosecutor tells him that the police search the river for 3 days and didn't find any gun. How was this possible? The river was shallow, it was not a fast flowing river, the revolver was heavy

The Royal River is indeed a small river. But I feel this is plausible due to a few factors:

  • The movie takes place in the 40s. The technological means and techniques for scouring and dredging that speed up a water search today weren't available back then;

  • It was at night and Andy was still a little drunk, so he probably couldn't remember exactly where he threw the gun, which would make the search even harder;

  • Chance. Simply put, these things happen. A police force isn't infallible, the river is still 40 miles long and Andy might've dropped the gun in a strong current that carried it away.

And ultimately, I'm not even sure it matters all that much. Without direct evidence, a murder weapon or eye witnesses, the DA put up a convincing argument: Andy had a motive, left fingerprints & footprints behind, admits he had a gun and bullets and his detached demeanor comes off as icy. If the gun had been found, the DA might've found a counter-argument (that Andy secretly had 2 guns, for example), because it's still Andy's word, and his story unfortunately doesn't ring true.

  • That's very enlightening :) – SandyShores Mar 23 '15 at 4:29

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