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Case Number 23169: Small Claims Court

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Iceman Murder Mystery

PBS // 2011 // 60 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 21st, 2012

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson thinks the hominid did it in the chieftain's cave with the candlestick.

The Charge

"He's been dead for more than 5,000 years and probed by scientists for the last 20." Greatest opening synopsis sentence in DVD history.

The Case

Otzi the Iceman, an ancient caveman discovered in a glacier in the Italian Alps almost twenty years ago, is finally getting what's due him: a traumatically invasive posthumous surgical procedure to determine how he died.

That's right, after a couple of decades examining this corpsicle from all angles, and apparently having exhausted other experimental avenues, these researchers with too much time on their hands opt to keep their funding intact by taking the enormous risk of thawing Otzi and digging into his mummified guts for…Honestly, I have no idea what the point of all this is.

Sure, Iceman Murder Mystery tells us this is to learn more about antique man, but it has to be asked: who cares how this guy died?

Am I missing something? Will the paleoanthropologists out there set me straight? Is there some reason (other than Severe Laboratory Boredom) to go through all the rigmarole and carve up this poor frozen bastard?

Spoiler Alert! Here's what we learn: Judging by his petrified stomach contents, Otzi was eating something before he was killed. Also, it looks like he was hit from long range. From that overwhelming evidence, these scientists believe he was killed by someone he knew. And there may have been two shooters! (Actually, they don't say that last thing.)

Along the way, we learn about cavemen, how they liked wearing fur, and messing around with bows and arrows. Terrific.

The Verdict

NOVA may be made by smart people, but judging from this corny production, they also appear to be lethally bored. Guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 60

Perp Profile

Studio: PBS
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Historical
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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