PDA

View Full Version : unrealistic or far-fetched?



rosebud84
02-17-2011, 04:21 AM
If a person was innocent, would they run away from a crime scene and go into hiding?

Here's some backstory to give you an idea of how my story starts: a young man finds his mother beat up on the floor and the mother's boyfriend dead, but runs and hides from police because he is afraid because he's been in trouble with the law before and doesn't have the best rap in town.

Does that seem too unrealistic or far-fetched?

alleycat
02-17-2011, 04:32 AM
Well, that plot element is used a lot, especially in movies and TV cops shows; in actuality, it's probably not that realistic, but usable in a story. It certainly could happen (if the guy is stupid enough; otherwise he'd realize that there is little or no actual evidence that he committed the crime).

MissMacchiato
02-17-2011, 04:34 AM
I'd say it depends how beat-up the mother is, and his relationship with her. It doesn't say much that rather than helping her, he ran away.

As to whether it's believable, I think it depends on those aspects I just mentioned, maybe.

BRDurkin
02-17-2011, 05:09 AM
As alleycat said, it is used a lot. Also as MissMacchiato said, regarding his relationship with her.

A lot of it would also depend on him. Does he think things through, or does he go with his first impulse? Is he generally a good person, or is he a not-so-nice person that automatically assumes the worst will happen? Things like that all need to be taken into consideration. I hate it when I see a perfectly sensible, smart, law-abiding character in a show run from a crime scene when they have absolutely no reason to. But a shady, guilt-ridden, or unscrupulous character, well I can see that happening.

jaksen
02-17-2011, 05:56 AM
Add a few elements to it...

Kid comes in, sees his mother all bloodied on floor, kneels down beside her in a panic, maybe touches her...she moans. She's alive. He jumps up to call for help and then sees...

Dead boyfriend across the floor, maybe behind a closet door that's open. Oh, no, now what? At same time, some one is knocking on the door. Can be anyone. Neighbor calling out for the mother, "Hey, Nell, you home? Got that chili recipe you were looking for and -"

Kid looks at his hands. Mom's blood on them. He's been in trouble before, has a record a mile long for petty theft, getting into barfights, is known to have a short temper and the cops def. know his name. So...

He bolts. Either out a back door, or dives past the little old lady, recipe in hand, standing in horror in the open door.

Yeah. Works for me. :)

jclarkdawe
02-17-2011, 07:34 AM
Well, that plot element is used a lot, especially in movies and TV cops shows; in actuality, it's probably not that realistic, but usable in a story. It certainly could happen (if the guy is stupid enough; otherwise he'd realize that there is little or no actual evidence that he committed the crime).

It is used a lot, but probably because it is realistic. Criminals are that dumb. They don't connect the fact that the police hate them because of their activities. Many of them do life in prison on the installment plan. Instead of being smart enough and bold enough to do a big crime, they muck around with a bunch of stupid shit, getting short sentences until it seems like their entire life is spent behind bars.

I can think of way too many people that would be dumb enough to do this. I've represented a couple that did do stuff this dumb. I had one case in which the cop who responded started talking to the police dispatcher that was on the phone with the victim in a domestic violence case. Both the dispatcher and officer start accusing the other one of being a fake, before they realized that somehow or other the victim in Newport, NH had somehow or other connected with the Newport, RI dispatch office. People who knew this couple could never explain how she managed to do this, but everyone who knew this couple believes this story.

Out of the fifty or so times I represented him, this case the police decided not to prosecute (for some reason they didn't want to have to explain to a jury how their victim got a hold of the Newport, Rhode Island police). I think over the years that I represented him I pled him to about half the cases against him. But the prosecutor and I had a lot of fun with his cases. So many of them were just unbelievably stupid.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

PinkAmy
02-17-2011, 08:28 PM
If a person was innocent, would they run away from a crime scene and go into hiding?

Here's some backstory to give you an idea of how my story starts: a young man finds his mother beat up on the floor and the mother's boyfriend dead, but runs and hides from police because he is afraid because he's been in trouble with the law before and doesn't have the best rap in town.

Does that seem too unrealistic or far-fetched?

Realistic. If the person is young and/or has poor reasoning or impulse control, running would be a probable reaction. In fact, running might be a visceral reaction.

DavidZahir
02-17-2011, 08:43 PM
I think the crucial factor is this person's perception of the criminal justice system. I know someone whose best friend was convicted of a crime he did not commit (she knew this because she was his alibi). She simply does not trust police or judges or the courts even a little bit. Nor is she alone. Others I know flatly distrust the police period, to a degree that is almost shocking--as in simply assuming anyone arrested is innocent.

shaldna
02-17-2011, 11:03 PM
It happens. It would be especially plausible if the boy had a previous record - even for something minor like shoplifting, he might think that he'd automatically be a suspect.

Fear can be a massive motivating factor, and people don't always think straight in those sort of situations

Buffysquirrel
02-17-2011, 11:44 PM
I find it believable. I have a vague memory of a case here in the UK where the judge made a point of telling the jury that running from the crime scene was not evidence of guilt.

RJK
02-18-2011, 01:27 AM
We had a case that went the other way. The son, the valedictorian of his class, on the night before high school graduation, beat his mother to death with a Louisville Slugger. He stayed at the crime scene and told the investigating officer that an intruder did it and he scared the man away. An analysis of the blood splatter and an hour's questioning got him to admit he was the one who bludgeoned his mother to death.

The boy was very smart, and thought he was smarter than the cops investigating the crime. He thought he could BS his way through with a made-up story. When that didn't work, he changed it to self defense. He was convicted of murder, but due to his mental state, only served 8 years. Shortly after he was freed, he raped and assaulted a young woman and was convicted of that crime. I think he's still in jail for that.

Sorry for the derail - Yes it is very reasonable for an innocent person to run from a crime scene. If he is an African-American, it's more likely and more reasonable.

rosebud84
02-18-2011, 05:51 AM
We had a case that went the other way. The son, the valedictorian of his class, on the night before high school graduation, beat his mother to death with a Louisville Slugger. He stayed at the crime scene and told the investigating officer that an intruder did it and he scared the man away. An analysis of the blood splatter and an hour's questioning got him to admit he was the one who bludgeoned his mother to death.

The boy was very smart, and thought he was smarter than the cops investigating the crime. He thought he could BS his way through with a made-up story. When that didn't work, he changed it to self defense. He was convicted of murder, but due to his mental state, only served 8 years. Shortly after he was freed, he raped and assaulted a young woman and was convicted of that crime. I think he's still in jail for that.

Sorry for the derail - Yes it is very reasonable for an innocent person to run from a crime scene. If he is an African-American, it's more likely and more reasonable.

That sounds pretty crazy. If only he was put away longer he wouldn't have assaulted that woman. Are you an attorney or something, as you refer to as "we had a case..."?

Becky Black
02-18-2011, 10:47 PM
And don't discount the effects of shock and panic. People can do very irrational things in the heat of the moment and later think "why the hell did I do something that stupid?" By then it's too late to mend it.