There’s A Part Of America Where You Can Theoretically Get Away With Murder

by : Tom Percival on : 01 Nov 2016 16:41

Fun fact for anyone plotting the demise of their enemies there’s a place in the U.S. where theoretically you can get away with murder. 


In the U.S. there’s an area of land known as the ‘Zone of Death’ a patch of land in Idaho inside Yellowstone national park where a constitutional loop-hole makes obtaining a conviction for murder almost impossible, Vox reports.

Without going too much into the legal jargon the loophole occurs because the federal government’s designate Yellowstone National Park as a Wyoming federal district.

yellowstone_river_in_hayden_valleyyellowstone_river_in_hayden_valleyEd Austin/Herb Jones

This means Wyoming should deal with any crimes committed within the park. However the the Zone of Death is in Idaho which is where the constitutional problems begin.


Under article III of the Constitution, which requires federal trials to be held in the state which they were committed, you could legally demand a trial in Idaho despite the fact Wyoming  should handle the matter.

Complicating matter further is article VI which ensures criminal defendants the right to a trial by jury and that the jurors must live in the state and district where the crime was committed.


As no one lives in the the Yellowstone district in Idaho the state cannot prosecute you and you’d be let go.

The ‘Zone of Death’ came to national attention when Brian Kalt a Michigan State Law Professor wrote a paper on the phenomneon called ‘The Perfect Crime’.

Worried that his research could be used to commit a real life crime Kalt did actually write to the Department of Justice, the US attorney in Wyoming, and the House and Senate judiciary committee asking them to fix the loophole.

Unfortunately they never bothered to actually fix the problem…

Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.

Topics: News


  1. Vox

    How you could get away with murder in Yellowstone’s “Zone of Death"