If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death at the evidence of witnesses, but no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness. Numbers 35:30
The recent popular news story (linked above) makes a bold statement. The pictured skull is a 500,000-year-old clue revealing the world’s oldest known murder. My brother in crime solving, J. Warner Wallace, could not solve this cold case) which as they go has to be around absolute zero). Or maybe he could…he’s pretty good…I’ll have to ask him.
According to the story this skull (reconstructed in the photo) was found in a pit with many other bits of human skeleton. The article does state that it is impossible to say that the deceased was murdered but it is probably what happened.
Sorry folks, “probably” does not cut it in a murder investigation. While the referenced report does a good job of showing the injury was made before death; it does not prove murder. It proves simply the person had two similar sized holes in his head before death. That’s it! Bold statements require proof beyond one piece of evidence. As prescribed in the laws of the ancient Hebrews, one witness does not provide sufficient proof.
Hasty decisions repeatedly equate poor determinations. With this skull as that of a murder victim; and another as a killer.
The witness/evidence, two holes in the skull, no more prove the victim was murdered than it proves he (like this young warrior) overestimated his combat skills. Note the points of impact are very similar. The possibilities are endless but the truth is always singular. There is only one reason the fellow died and due to the lack of witnesses we will never really know.
The best pieces of evidence will cascade, lead to each other, and to a single truth.
As Christians we are expected to witness whenever possible in order to lead people toward salvation in Christ. How many witnesses, pieces of evidence, do we need to make our case stick? I can think of nine that have an extremely high rate of effectiveness. They are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). When these evidences are presented in one cohesive case I have never seen them fail to convict (a person’s heart that is).
F.Y.I. I think the oldest known murder is when Cain killed Able.
Come back next time for Part 2 of The CSI’s Utility Belt!