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smallthunder
10-03-2005, 08:44 AM
I'm writing this question on behalf of my husband, who is writing a serial-killer thriller --

Can you suggest a way that a man can kill another yet make it appear like the victim committed suicide?

SCENARIO: The killer is waiting for the victim to return home from work; the killer has already murdered the victim's wife, and wishes to make the scene appear to be that of a murder-suicide.

Stabbing seems to be out of the question -- not many people kill themselves this way, and then there would be the problem of the blade angle at entry. Gunshot is also "iffy" -- especially since the killer doesn't want to alert the neighbors that something has happened. Poisoning is also problematic -- how does one poison someone who is walking through the door?

Well, any/all suggestions would be gratefully received.

rickdemille
10-03-2005, 09:06 AM
That should be taken into account.

Gun shots can almost always be made to work with a little creative manipulation of weapons and time.

smallthunder
10-03-2005, 10:43 AM
That should be taken into account.

Gun shots can almost always be made to work with a little creative manipulation of weapons and time.

If you think it's relevant: The wife, I believe, has been drugged and then strangled. That murder is supposed to look like a murder -- no problem.

It's how to kill the husband as he returns home from work that's the problem -- a murder disguised as a suicide. I don't see how the killer can shoot the husband in such a way as to guarantee making it appear that the husband killed himself (after murdering his wife). Anyway, gunshots would make the killer's escape too risky.

Unique
10-03-2005, 02:07 PM
There's always hanging, slit wrists in the bathtub, or OD.

I suppose it would depend on if the murderer is supposed to be caught, too. If the crime is too 'perfect' how are they going to catch him? (Unless he gets caught from a different case)

Can he research some 'real life' cases? He might get some ideas there.

johnnysannie
10-03-2005, 04:38 PM
It may sound like a cheap Hollywood effect but the sound of a gunshot could possibly be covered by things like a passing freight train, fireworks, any type of loud boom that could be anticipated, or coincide with hunting season.

Just a stray idea!

smallthunder
10-03-2005, 04:39 PM
There's always hanging, slit wrists in the bathtub, or OD.

I suppose it would depend on if the murderer is supposed to be caught, too. If the crime is too 'perfect' how are they going to catch him? (Unless he gets caught from a different case)

Can he research some 'real life' cases? He might get some ideas there.

Hi, Unique --

I'm afraid I don't understand how the murderer can kill the husband by hanging, slit wrists, or OD -- unless the murderer can incapacitate the husband when the husband walks in the door -- in such a way as to leave no marks -- which is the crux of the matter. Is there a way to drug someone in motion, without leaving a trace?

The murderer slips up later -- so, yes, we're looking for the 'perfect' murder (creative writing allows this, no?).

My husband doesn't know how to start such a search of 'real life' cases -- nor do I. Any suggestions?

Should I have posted this in the "get with the genre/thriller" section?

smallthunder
10-03-2005, 04:43 PM
It may sound like a cheap Hollywood effect but the sound of a gunshot could possibly be covered by things like a passing freight train, fireworks, any type of loud boom that could be anticipated, or coincide with hunting season.

Just a stray idea!

That's a possibility -- hey, as I wrote above, this is "creative writing," so we can do as we like (within reason). But, again, what about forensic calculations? If the murderer shot the husband in the temple, would there be any CSI 'give away' like muzzle angle to contradict the appearance of a suicide?

johnnysannie
10-03-2005, 04:47 PM
That's a possibility -- hey, as I wrote above, this is "creative writing," so we can do as we like (within reason). But, again, what about forensic calculations? If the murderer shot the husband in the temple, would there be any CSI 'give away' like muzzle angle to contradict the appearance of a suicide?

Forensics would be a factor to consider. The murderer would have to shoot from an angle that could be consistent with a self-inflicted wound. Not impossible but a little tricky to figure out. It could work, though, because it is indeed creative writing!

Unique
10-03-2005, 05:04 PM
Hi, Unique --

I'm afraid I don't understand how the murderer can kill the husband by hanging, slit wrists, or OD -- unless the murderer can incapacitate the husband when the husband walks in the door -- in such a way as to leave no marks -- which is the crux of the matter. Is there a way to drug someone in motion, without leaving a trace?

The murderer slips up later -- so, yes, we're looking for the 'perfect' murder (creative writing allows this, no?).

My husband doesn't know how to start such a search of 'real life' cases -- nor do I. Any suggestions?

Should I have posted this in the "get with the genre/thriller" section?

I think this is the right place to ask questions, although you might get good response in one of the other threads, too.

Hanging - the murderer could first garrotte from behind - use the rope to cover the original wound.

Theoretically, you're trying to fool the coroner during autopsy, yes? How sophisticated the investigation is would depend (in real life) on how convincing the murder scene is. If foul play isn't suspected, they probably won't look to hard.

Also, is this taking place in an urban or rural setting? I'm in a somewhat rural area - our 'suspicious' but unknown cases go to the State labs. I read an article recently on how backlogged our State labs were - it can take months (6+) for some cases to be done. (weird, huh?) Your murderer could kill right many folk in 6 months!

Check this out: http://tinyurl.com/dksju (http://tinyurl.com/dksju)

True crime books can give you ideas about real life. You could check online for true crime, forensic sciences. I like to read thrillers/suspense books; reading those can help you figure things, too.

For the OD - there are drugs that incapacitate - Ketamine comes to mind, which can be followed with other, more common street drugs or street drugs + alcohol. A dart gun like vets use (large animal vets) would work.

caveat - I'm no expert - I just read a lot. :idea:

alleycat
10-03-2005, 05:31 PM
Can the killer throw the husband off the rooftop? The killer can leave some kind of symbolic message behind to further indicate suicide....say he takes the husband's wedding ring off and places it on the dead wife's body. Just a thought.

ac

Rabe
10-03-2005, 09:23 PM
If I remember the thread correctly so far:

Killer poisons then strangles the wife and now wants to off the husband to make it look like a 'murder/suicide' and get away with it, for a bit of time at least.

My question? Why not find some way to get the husband to imbibe the same poison that the wife imbibed? This way it could be viewed as a suicide pact that went wrong. Unless the killer and the husband struggled, it would help to reduce the amount of contradictory forensic evidence that would alert investigators to anything being amiss. Perhaps he spikes the husband's liquor that he has whenever he comes home, in the food the husband thinks the wife left in the oven for him (since he worked so late or something). Whatever way.

Of course, you would have to worry about the time of death difference if it were too great.

But some of the other suggestions so far posted have been problematic, especially the 'hanging' suggestion and the 'gunshot' suggestions. Though, it's not always instantly a problem for someone to fire a gun and be able to get away with it.

We had a recent suicide in town where the father shot himself in the heart with a .22 calibre pistol, in the house while his children were sleeping. He lives a few houses up from a sheriff's department sergeant. So the gunshot noise wouldn't be the most awful thing. What would be is the forensic evidence that would nail it as being something less than a suicide.

I recall an episode of CSI (I believe the original Las Vegas series) wherein a person in a Sherlock Holmes roleplay group committed suicide and made it look like a murder. Perhaps if you're able to find that episode it'll also spark some more ideas?

Rabe...

johnnysannie
10-03-2005, 10:43 PM
The level of noise from a gunshot varies by the size and type of firearm. A .22 caliber pistol would make a small pop, probably not even as loud as a firecracker. Whereas a .357 magnum pistol would be very loud. So would a shotgun. It would all depend on the caliber and type weapon used.

smallthunder
10-04-2005, 04:34 AM
Thanks, everyone, for weighing in -- my husband is going to to with something along the lines of overdosing on the debilitating drug given to the wife. The wife is going to obligingly (inadvertently) help set it up by leaving out an open bottle of the husband's favorite wine as a "welcome home -- it's the weekend!" drink.

Unique
10-04-2005, 05:22 AM
awww man! No torture. Shucks.



(just kidding small....

smallthunder
10-04-2005, 02:59 PM
awww man! No torture. Shucks.



(just kidding small....

Well, no torture of the home-coming husband -- but I'm pretty sure that my husband has the serial killer doing ... um ... creative things ... to his female victims. :whip: I'm not asking him about that, however ... there are some things I don't want to know about this WIP of his, you know what I mean?

:faint:

Unique
10-04-2005, 04:10 PM
I do understand.


When are you going to write yours? I'd like to see if you've thought of anything I've forgotten.

Heh heh.

alleycat
10-04-2005, 04:21 PM
Well, no torture of the home-coming husband -- but I'm pretty sure that my husband has the serial killer doing ... um ... creative things ... to his female victims. :whip: I'm not asking him about that, however ... there are some things I don't want to know about this WIP of his, you know what I mean?

:faint:
Maybe this is like some kind of Agatha Christie story where your husband is supposedly writing the "perfect murder" mystery novel, while all the time he's planning on using it as a blueprint for his own devious plot! Yikes!

Just kidding, of course....but I would keep an eye on him! :-")

ac

DaveKuzminski
10-04-2005, 07:36 PM
I recall encountering a web site a few years ago that featured different ways to kill someone. I think it also described how the body would appear after death. Sorry I can't remember the site name or URL, but it might still be out there.


As to that CSI episode, the suicide victim used a bungee cord or something similar to retract the gun once he fired it so that it disappeared into the chimney of a nearby fireplace.

As to your victim whose murder is supposed to resemble a suicide, your assailant could jump him and beat him senseless before driving him to a remote location where he can be thrown off a high cliff or building, assuming the assailant is strong enough to physically overwhelm the victim. The fall should cover most of the beating. Of course, there is the problem of getting the victim's vehicle to that same site without leaving any evidence in the car that might reveal the victim was already injured and restrained. Another problem for the assailant is his own departure from that site without a vehicle. I suppose he could put a portable bicycle in the vehicle, toss the victim over, unfold the portable bicycle, leave the scene, make his way to the body from a different location to make sure the victim is dead, and then finally depart.

Personally, I'd opt for a tall bridge over a deep water river and try to hit one of the supports with the body on the way down. Dropping it just as a ship approaches could only make it less likely that it would be seen as a murder instead of a suicide since the propellers could further mask the beating if the body is pulled under the ship. Also, you've have reduced the chances that the victim might actually survive since he'd have been beaten, thrown from a high bridge, hit part of the bridge support, then hit the water, and then been run over by a ship, not to mention the risk of drowning. Odds of success for the killer are about 99% unless the intended victim is played by Bruce Willis. ;)

smallthunder
10-05-2005, 08:43 AM
Personally, I'd opt for a tall bridge over a deep water river and try to hit one of the supports with the body on the way down. Dropping it just as a ship approaches could only make it less likely that it would be seen as a murder instead of a suicide since the propellers could further mask the beating if the body is pulled under the ship. Also, you've have reduced the chances that the victim might actually survive since he'd have been beaten, thrown from a high bridge, hit part of the bridge support, then hit the water, and then been run over by a ship, not to mention the risk of drowning. Odds of success for the killer are about 99% unless the intended victim is played by Bruce Willis. ;)

unless the intended victim is played by Bruce Willis ...

:ROFL:

Rabe
10-05-2005, 08:46 AM
I recall encountering a web site a few years ago that featured different ways to kill someone. I think it also described how the body would appear after death. Sorry I can't remember the site name or URL, but it might still be out there.

I'm sure we'd all be interested in this website should you find it again.




Medical tubing, actually. It was a very clever trap and almost worked. Except that the forensics were inconsistent with that of a murder.

[QUOTE=DaveKuzminski As to your victim whose murder is supposed to resemble a suicide, your assailant could jump him and beat him senseless before driving him to a remote location where he can be thrown off a high cliff or building, assuming the assailant is strong enough to physically overwhelm the victim. The fall should cover most of the beating.

Actually, there are problems with this scenario. First, the injuries sustained from the fall would not cover the injuries sustained in the beating as the bruising would be inconsistent with that of a fall. Plus, the angle from where the body landed would indicate that the person didn't jump, as well as the position of the wounds sustained from the fall. The bruising would then indicate that there was some form of struggle/altercation while the angle from the fall would indicate that he was pushed/shoved/thrown rather than propelled under his own power.

As for the ship idea, I would wonder about any place that is large enough to have bridges over rivers large enough to have such large scale boat traffic would also be large enough to have some heavy traffic on the bridge, making it difficult for the villian to just sit and wait while a convenient boat would come so pleasingly underneath.

Rabe...

smallthunder
10-05-2005, 08:47 AM
Maybe this is like some kind of Agatha Christie story where you're husband is supposedly writing the "perfect murder" mystery novel, while all the time he's planning on using it as a blueprint for his own devious plot! Yikes!

Just kidding, of course....but I would keep an eye on him! :-")

ac

Talk about diabolical! Getting me to help him plan my own murder -- worse, getting me to enlist all of you as accessories to my own murder!

Clever, verrrrrrry clever, that man I married ...

DaveKuzminski
10-05-2005, 09:20 PM
I'm assuming that this is a planned murder and not one that occurred on the spur of the moment. Therefore, our murderer would have checked the traffic patterns and shipping schedules in advance. I've already crossed some bridges that could qualify quite nicely for the deed, three in Virginia alone. I've crossed some in other states that also appeared suitable for the task.Of course, you could also tow him out into the river in a small rowboat at night, anchor it beneath the bridge or in the channel leading to the bridge, and leave knowing that there won't be enough time to stop the ship before it collides with the boat he's lying within. However, I don't have the slightest idea how you're going to keep him from jumping out and swimming away unless you can restrain him in a manner that won't be obvious when the body is found. It would be nice to have water soluble bonds to restrain him. Anyone know of anything that could fit that bill since it has to look like a suicide?

rtilryarms
10-05-2005, 11:54 PM
Carbon monoxide poisoning is the perfect crime. Various ways to entice the victim in a garage, car, little hose through a window. A car emits enough to kill a normal man in 1/2 hour through a garden hose.

Even if found before dead, it is nearly impossible to rescusitate due to the concentration ratio is 16-1 air to CO. Which means it take 16 breaths to one to undo the damage.

smallthunder
10-11-2005, 04:38 AM
Thanks, everybody!

:Hail:

Sunrise2Fantasy
10-11-2005, 10:04 AM
All I can say is visit www.courttv.com (http://www.courttv.com) And watch court tv for information. They have awesome shows and crime cases {unfortunately only at night} and are very useful for those writing any type of murder mystery.
Good luck!