Murder. It happens every day. While it is a despicable act, many people often fantasize about murdering someone. Most jokingly think about it; a coworker or neighbor who just won’t shut the hell up. Others – well some people feel strong about their homicidal tendencies. So, if you’re infuriated about that loud neighbor or that open-mouth-chewing coworker, trick them into taking a trip to Yellowstone National Park. You can murder them and not only not have to cover it up – you can tell the world! Why, you ask? Because it’s freaking legal!
Now, you can’t just walk up to any random person in Yellowstone and stab them to death (nor should you). You see, there is a legal loophole that allows for a section of Yellowstone to make it impossible to charge anyone with a crime, including murder. This legal conundrum inspired the 2007 novel Free Fire, by best-selling author C.J. Box. More accurately, the 14-page article entitled The Perfect Crime, by MSU law professor Brian Kalt. You can read the entire article on the Social Science Research Network.
Yellowstone National Park is federal land. It falls on three different states; Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. This is what creates the land of murder and mayhem. Essentially, if someone were to be killed within the perimeters of the uninhabited sections of either state that Yellowstone owns, there can be no jury selected based on the Constitution. Being federal land, the state has no jurisdiction. Law states that district and state where a crime is committed shall select a jury within that state and district. This is impossible on federal park land. Kalt has been proactive in attempting to have the law changed. Unfortunately, Congress has all but ignored him. Kalt believes that the only way Congress will rewrite the laws is if it is too late.
So there you have it. There is literally a section – albeit small – of the country that murder is legal. Now, I’m not condoning murder of any kind here. I am just reporting about a ‘horror’ story on a ‘horror’ site. I do think that I want to read Free Fire now though.