Did Murdoch shoot himself?


Tommy

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Jul 21, 2012
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Where there any witnesses that actually named the officer who shot himself?

There were survivors who actually stated that it was Captain Smith who shot himself. However, others say that he brought a child to one of the lifeboats and then swam away never to be seen again. Would witnesses have known who Wilde and Murdoch were?
 

Matteo Eyre

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Feb 7, 2013
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i wouldn't have said that they could have easily told the difference especially as there wasn't much of an age gap between them, some may have been able to.Thomas Arthur Whiteley, 1st class saloon steward claimed that whilst on board collapsible B he witnessed Captain Smith with a child in the water before smith went under the waves, this suggests that it was not Smith who shot himself, but the Officer is unknown, no real thought has been given to the fact that it could have been Moody who shot himself but i doubt this. I would have thought that it could would have been Wilde that shot himself as his whereabouts during the sinking are unknown and it isn't known if he assisted in trying to lower the remaining 2 collapsible boats.
Hope this helps
Matteo :)
 

Tommy

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Jul 21, 2012
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i wouldn't have said that they could have easily told the difference especially as there wasn't much of an age gap between them, some may have been able to.Thomas Arthur Whiteley, 1st class saloon steward claimed that whilst on board collapsible B he witnessed Captain Smith with a child in the water before smith went under the waves, this suggests that it was not Smith who shot himself, but the Officer is unknown, no real thought has been given to the fact that it could have been Moody who shot himself but i doubt this. I would have thought that it could would have been Wilde that shot himself as his whereabouts during the sinking are unknown and it isn't known if he assisted in trying to lower the remaining 2 collapsible boats.
Hope this helps
Matteo :)
Also, Lightoller wrote a letter to Murdoch's widow saying that he died "like a man doing his full duty". I think it was also signed by Pitman (who left quite early in the sinking, so wouldn't have known) and Boxhall.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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That's right, nobody wrote to Wilde's wife. Probably because she'd been dead for over a year.

[Moderator's note: Two messages about Moody's death were posted here after this message. The first was moved to the existing thread about Moody's death; the second was deleted as redundant. MAB]
 
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C

Caroline Mendes Ferreira

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By my research Murdoch is a mystery because it has several polemics around him as he died
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>By my research Murdoch is a mystery because it has several polemics around him as he died <<

What research?

Not to be a killjoy, but so far, about all I've seen from you are declarations of fact made without first making sure they ARE facts, as well as missives which looked like they've been taken from somebody else's work.

Did you even bother to read the article I posted a link to? I know some of the guys who did that work and I guarantee you they did some serious research.
 

L. Colombo

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Nov 22, 2012
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i wouldn't have said that they could have easily told the difference especially as there wasn't much of an age gap between them, some may have been able to.Thomas Arthur Whiteley, 1st class saloon steward claimed that whilst on board collapsible B he witnessed Captain Smith with a child in the water before smith went under the waves, this suggests that it was not Smith who shot himself, but the Officer is unknown, no real thought has been given to the fact that it could have been Moody who shot himself but i doubt this. I would have thought that it could would have been Wilde that shot himself as his whereabouts during the sinking are unknown and it isn't known if he assisted in trying to lower the remaining 2 collapsible boats.
Hope this helps
Well, as for a maybe not 100% but quite 90-95% certain elimination of Moody and Smith from the 'suicide candidates':

1) Moody didn't even have a gun, since only the senior officers - Smith, Wilde, Murdoch and Lightoller - had taken the guns stowed in the first (or second?) officer's cabin, plus Lowe had taken his own (personal) gun which he had taken on board in case he could have needed one.

2) Smith was seen by Harold Bride to jump into the water from near the bridge a few minutes before the final plunge:
Senator SMITH.
I want you to tell again, because there seems to be a little confusion about it, when you last saw the captain of theTitanic?
Mr. BRIDE.
The last I saw of the captain of the Titanic, he went overboard from the bridge about, I should think, three minutes before I left it myself.
Senator SMITH.
Did he have a life preserver on?
Mr. BRIDE.
I could not say, sir.

There are also other accounts of Smith diving from the bridge at that time (William John Mellors, Harry Senior, and others, plus Walter Hurst who said he ricognized Smith in the mysterious man with the 'powerful' 'voice of the autority' reported by Gracie and others, who died in the water near collapsible B).

This should limit the field to Wilde or Murdoch, IF any officer really shot himself. (Of which I'm not so convinced. Some 25-40 people who were at collapsible A and B or in that area survived, but very few reported the 'suicide').
 

Matteo Eyre

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Feb 7, 2013
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Ah right, would Pittman have left the ship by this point?? If he hadn't would he have been given a gun?? Didn't know Bride testified that he'd seen him, is that in Gracie's book?? Yes i can see how it limits it to them now, I do believe that an Officer committed suicide as i don't think it would have been something that people would have made up and i think there would have been slip ups in their stories if it was a lie, since people would have seen others shot i do not believe that all would have paid attention to another gun shot being so worried as to what to do with themselves and only those who were looking that way would have seen it, that plausible??
Matteo :)
 

yla

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Dec 15, 2019
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I believe it was Captain Smith that shot himself. No other officer had full responsibility of the ship and passengers. Why would any of the officer kill themselfs knowing Smith would be the one that would be blamed for the disaster. What I mean is no other officer could speed up or slow down the ship without Smith's permission.
The ship, crew and passengers safety is all in the hands of the captain.

And I'm pretty sure Captain Smith did not want to survive that night to face what was coming to him. The rest of the officers had an excuse.
 

J Sheehan

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Aug 23, 2019
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There has to be an alternative explanation as to how Murdoch died, and there's four possible methods I can think of:

1: Murdoch ended up in the water and died of hypothermia, just like most of Titanic's victims did.

2: He was killed when the forward funnel fell on top of him.

3: Murdoch made it to the overturned Collapsible B, but died of exposure during the night.

4: His leg got caught in the lifeboats falls and he got dragged underwater and drowned.

Of these four scenarios, I think the fourth one is the most likely way Murdoch died but do let me know what you all think.