"It wasn't a solar murder exactly, but it was damn close if you ask me!" said the Jr. Judge on the case. He was in a closed door discussion with the Sr. Lawyer, who believed that nothing short of capital punishment would suffice.
We'll skip the actual names, because they're mostly irrelevant in this case. The accused was an eighty-four year old father, who had done away with his entire family, in a most hideous, convoluted way. No one remained alive but him, and his care givers. They refused on personal grounds to testify against him.
The senior judge ruled against homicide. It was much too complicated a family history for a clear case. But, he could bring 2nd degree murder to stick, through some small, unknown, device of the law.
Solar flares had been recorded by the scientific community on the day of the deaths. The electrical systems of several large communities had been down for several hours, creating a very dark extended evening. Crime rates had skyrocketed in those communities, which had no advance preparation for the hydro deficiency. It had been all too simple.
Due to the lack of electrical appliances, computers, phones or heating, the northernmost communities gathered by candlelight, and oil lamps in a central building during the period of time that the solar storms raged.
Family members were charged with responsibility for the welfare of the children and elderly.
In this case, the elderly man could not be found. He had overturned his pickup truck on a gravel road, in his need to escape. From what, no-one was exactly sure. Some suspected a form of altzheimer's, dementia or schizophrenia.
He was found inside the skin of a white grizzly bear, underneath his truck the next morning. Was he dead? No. But everyone else who had been in the vehicle was. His daughters, and their daughters. Body parts were scattered over a half acre piece of snow covered meadow, clearly having left the vehicle as fast moving projectiles. The carnage was horrendous.
The 84 year old man was pulled out alive, and recovered sufficiently in hospital to stand trial for his misdeeds.
The outcome of the trial was a very curious one. Everyone in the community came to sympathize with him. He had decided and acted on his own system of crime and punishment.
The burial grounds were dug up repeatedly every year, by the old man. He was searching for his lost family members, over and over. He knew they were there, he said. He could damn well read their names on the ugly tombstones that had been placed over their bodies!
Each time the digging was accomplished on a day of high solar flares. Authorities could never determine why and how the flares were implicated in his strange behavior.
Each day following, the town's people assembled again to rebury their dead with due respect and ceremony. The only man who didn't attend was the father.
He was busy assembling the house, in which he intended his freshly exhumed 'living' dead family to live with him!
Writing by Regina Stemberger