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Bill Gates shot in mock documentary

Microsoft chairman not really dead but Linux still implicated

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An independent film that follows a conspiracy surrounding the fictional death of Bill Gates is scheduled to appear on the festival circuit early next year.

MacArthur Park, a new feature-length independent documentary, examines the questions about the Gates 'assassination' and chronicles a year of campaigning by Citizens for Truth, a fictional grassroots group who refuse to believe the official investigation.

The premise of the documentary, said to be a cross between Kevin Costner vehicle JFK and The Blair Witch Project, is that Gates was shot dead in Los Angeles on 2 December 1999 while attending a charity event.

In a parallel with the JFK assassination, he was shot from the roof of the Park Plaza hotel, across the street from MacArthur Park. According to the official version of events, the 'assassin' - Alek Hidell - fled and killed a police officer before himself was killed by an LAPD marksman.

Hidell was a political radical who wanted to starts a class war by killing the world's richest man, the official report concludes.

Distrust of the Los Angeles Police Department and its investigation of "the last great crime of the 20th Century" leads to doubt about the lone-gunman theory and the formation of Citizens for Truth.

The team behind the The Blair Witch Project, Haxan Films, is advising Director Brian Flemming about how to develop the film and its Web site, macarthurpark.com

The idea is to use the site to evolve the films storyline and to create a buzz around the story in much the same way as happened with the low-budget horror movie.

The producers of the story, GMD Studios, also plan to use the site billgatesisdead.com (which incidentally runs on Linux) as a forum for people to kick around alternative theories about the investigation

The usual suspect likely to feature in the fictional conspiracy plots there are likely to include Apple, Netscape, Java fans, Linux enthusiasts and, inevitably, the US Department of Justice. Oracle chief Larry Ellison, who not so long ago was himself rumoured to be dead, is sure to figure somewhere too.

A call from The Register, revealed that Microsoft are less than happy about the project and are likely to have something to say about the use of the domain billgatesisdead.com. We await developments with interest... ®

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