Initially, authorities ruled the March shooting death of Texas restaurant executive Thomas Hickman, 55, a kidnap-murder, since he had been shot in the back of the head and the body dumped in the New Mexico desert. Later, however, investigators found the murder weapon nearby, attached to balloons that had snagged on cactus, and in July concluded that Hickman had killed himself but rigged helium-filled balloons to carry the gun away as he lay dying (a plan that resembled a 2003 episode of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation").

  • or