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Rap Sheet: Hans Gruber's crimes in 'Die Hard'

Published December 2, 2013 4:40 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Disclaimer: The should not be taken as any form of legal counsel or guidance; there may be errors in interpretation of the law and there may be crimes and violations missing from this list. I am not an officer or an attorney; I am a movie fan with a blog.

Here at The Salt Lake Tribune's crime blog, I tally the crimes characters commit and evaluate what potential sentence they could serve for them. Now that it's December, the Rap Sheet takes on one Christmas movie after another — and what better way to start than one with 40 stories of sheer adventure?

OK, so New York City cop John McClane's game of cat and mouse against the exceptional thief Hans Gruber and his gang of well-tailored criminals only incidentally takes place at Christmas, but it's "Die Hard," the cinematic experience of a generation, so deal with it.

Specifically, how many crimes did Gruber rack up before falling to his death from Nakatomi Tower? And if he had not turned into human mess on the sidewalk, what kind of sentence could he have been looking at? Let's find out.

Conspiracy to commit murder • Gruber plans for his henchman to kill the security guard.

Thirty counts of aggravated kidnapping • Gruber and his men, armed with guns, trap everyone inside the tower.

Conspiracy to interrupt a communication device • He plans to disrupt the phone communication from the building to the outside world.

Murder • Gruber shoots Joseph Takagi in the head.

Attempted aggravated robbery • Gruber tries to steal the $640 million in negotiable bonds from the vault.

Conspiracy to commit murder • Gruber orders his men to shoot at the armored police vehicle.

Murder • Gruber shoots and kills Harry Ellis.

Providing false information to a police officer • Gruber lies about his identity to McClane.

Attempted murder • Gruber tries to shoot McClane.

Use of an explosive device • Gruber blows the bombs on the roof.

Attempted murder • Gruber again tries to shoot McClane.

Would you look at that, 40 crimes — one for every story of precipitous adventure. If convicted for all of them, Gruber would have been looking at a potential 33 life sentences, plus 76 years, in prison. Better bring something to read, Gruber. Maybe Forbes or Time magazine.

— Michael McFall