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I think that the whole premise of Fracture (2007), that if you are rich you can do anything is flawed. Even for a rich person it would be very difficult to gain access to the hotel card without leaving any traces, make sure that Nunally will be on the operation and make sure that Beachum will be assigned by the DA office to the case. We, the audience, are supposed to just nod and say, yep, he was rich so he had means to set all this up, but I don't really believe in that.

My question, however, is about a different thing. About the bullets. I'm no weapon expert, so correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand, when you fire a gun you get a shell (that is returned by the gun) and the bullet, that is the actual projectile that flies to its target. I think that you can match both, the shell and the bullet to the gun if you recover them.

Thus the dialogue about matching the bullet in the end of the movie was confusing to me. Beachum said that he could match the bullet from Jennifer's body to the bullet Nunally was killed with. Surely he did not need the bullet from Jennifer's body - he must already had had the other three bullets that was fired at Crawford's house. And if Ted could switch the shells, it's not likely he had the time to also retrieve the bullets.

Now about the switching. How on earth did he switch the shells? He surely was searched and his whole house was searched. Beachum wonders the whole movie how the gun has disappeared, but the same question is applicable to shells if they were switched. And if they were not, then the talk about matching the bullet in Jennifer's body is a total nonsense - you could simply match the shells that you'd had all along.

Can some one explain this part to me please?

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I didn't really get the "if you are rich you can do anything" vibe from the movie. I thought it was more about Crawford (Hopkins) being a genius (I believe the opening scene where he finds the hairline 'fracture' in the wrecked plane tries to set this tone). I'll try to address each of your points:

it would be very difficult to gain access to the hotel card without leaving any traces

  • There was some kind of electrical device attached to the hotel card he used. This leaves open the likely possibility that he was able to modify any hotel card to open the room door. This is also another nod in the "Crawford is a genius" direction.

make sure that Nunally will be on the operation

  • Again, I think Crawford has done his research here to 'engineer' this happening not because he is rich, but because he is very intelligent. He must know that Nunally is the lead hostage negotiator for the LAPD and knows that if he sets up the scene correctly the police will view the situation as a potential hostage situation. He sets this scene by waiting for a time when his wife comes home while gardeners are still present and fires the shots through the window for the gardener to see.

make sure that Beachum will be assigned by the DA office to the case

  • I actually didn't think Crawford planned this aspect at all. He just realized the opportunity at his arraignment when Beachum mentioned he probably won't be present for the remainder of the trial. I think Crawford assumed he could beat any prosecutor, but once he realized Beachum already had one foot out the door he figured he could also use that to his advantage.

I think that you can match both, the shell and the bullet to the gun if you recover them

  • I'm also not a weapon expert, but I don't believe you can match shells to a gun that fired them. Thus he did need the bullet from Jennifer's body. Since the police probably didn't find the other 3 bullets that were fired into the air through the window.

Update: Actually it looks like even bullets aren't truly traceable and that is actually a Hollywood myth. However in the this movie's universe I think we can safely assume bullets are traceable and shell casings are not traceable to give the movie the benefit of the doubt.

  • Thank you for this. The last link specifically talks about shotguns/rifles I think, not pistols? – Andrew Savinykh Oct 25 '17 at 21:24
  • @AndrewSavinykh the question itself is specifically about shotguns. But the top answers basically say no bullet is really traceable from any kind of gun. – Adam Johns Oct 25 '17 at 21:26
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The gun was stolen from beacham then returned after the murder thus the shells and bullet matched beachams gun not the gun the murderer was caught with

  • 1
    It was not stolen from Beachum, it was stolen from Nunally, and this does not answer my question. It's basically the premise the question is based on. I'm basically saying that you cannot switch the shells the same way you switched the gun. – Andrew Savinykh Jun 16 '15 at 2:59

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