In the opening scene of Lethal Weapon, we see Amanda Hunsaker high on drugs jumping off of a balcony to her death.

Her autopsy report states that she had taken pills laced with liquid drain killer and she would have died if she had not have jumped off of the balcony.

BURKE: Got some news on that Hunsaker case.

MURTAUGH: That was quick.

BURKE: So was the autopsy. You ready for this? They're not calling it a suicide.


BURKE: Surprise, surprise. First off, found evidence she took barbiturates.

MURTAUGH: Brilliant. There's an open pill bottle on her table

BURKE: Right, right. That's not the surprise. Surprise is someone doctored the pills. Every capsule was loaded with drain cleaner.

MURTAUGH: Jesus...

BURKE: If she hasn't jumped, she would have been dead within fifteen minutes.

Yes. L.A.P.D. definitely rules her death a homicide. Roger Murtaugh informs Amanda's father of the situation:

MICHAEL HUNSAKER: Murder?...but, I thought...

MURTAUGH: Poisoned. Even if she hadn't jumped, she would still be dead.

Why was her death considered a murder? Even though she inadvertently took pills with drain cleaner in them, her death was actually caused by blunt force trauma from her fall. How can they rule her death a murder on what was "going to happen"?

  • 1
    Well, did they actually consider it a murder? Do they state this somewhere? They don't have to officially file it as murder to find it a strange incident worth an investigation.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Dec 6, 2016 at 13:21
  • @NapoleonWilson Yes, they most definitely did d. Added info to question. Dec 6, 2016 at 13:44
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    Evidence of poisoning is evidence of foul play, which begs the question whether she actually jumped, or was she pushed? Either way, there's clearly foul play involved, so they want to find the person responsible for the poisoning. The final charge might only be attempted murder, instead of murder 1, but the cops still need to investigate, and that's a homicide case.
    – Steve-O
    Dec 6, 2016 at 14:27

2 Answers 2


She was poisoned. Stumbling and falling could have been caused by the poison - not by a desire to kill herself.

The cops didn't have any witnesses of the fall. No video. No suicide note. The bed had vestiges of someone else. Her pills were poisoned. Everything points to murder, not suicide. We saw her jumping, but the cops didn't and the evidence points otherwise.

What are the chances she decided to kill herself, minutes away from dying from poisoning? Very slim. The most likely explanation was the poison clouded her judgement, maybe left her disoriented, which lead to her death.

  • 1
    We see the jump. The cops don't. They can only judge the evidence at hand. If there is evidence of attempt murder, and you don't know if it was a suicide or not, you start investigating it as a murder. Also, who knows what effects the drain cleaner had on her system? She might be high or hallucinating because of the drain cleaner poisoning.
    – CyberClaw
    Dec 6, 2016 at 13:46
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    Well, they know that she jumped, since Murtaugh tells his wife that she "dove out the window" feel free to add this information to your answer to better describe things :) Dec 6, 2016 at 13:49
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    This is my question and why I asked it...if you can find some information or state a well thought out reasoning for this assumption, then you would have a great answer, indeed. Dec 6, 2016 at 14:55
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    So what are you saying? Because her pills were poisoned it's a reasonable assumption that she was pushed from theb balcony? If that's what you're saying, then that would be a reasonable argument worth putting into the answer. But I can't seem to find it there yet. It's still rather fuzzily argumented.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Dec 6, 2016 at 15:17
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    @Napoleon Wilson because she was poisoned, you can't call it accidental. You know there were ill intentions at play here. Did she casually decide to kill herself, despite not knowing she was going to die very soon? It'd be such a huge coincidence, it's very unlikely - it'd make more sense if the poison / drugs combination led her to jump/fall off with an hallucination, or just general disorientation. We don't know why she jumped off, so it's reasonable to think the poison had some hand in it.
    – CyberClaw
    Dec 6, 2016 at 15:53

They're saying it's murder because someone deliberately laced the pills with drain cleaner which would have killed her anyway. Perhaps hoping that by the time her body was discovered, any trace of drain killer would be gone and it would have looked like an overdose instead.

Either way, her death was not an accident and it wasn't suicide so had to be murder.

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