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MysteryRiter
11-08-2011, 06:01 AM
Hey and welcome to my madness. I'm writing a short true crime story (my first) and wanted to do it about the first murder because I thought that would be fun. Just one problem. I know nothing about what the first murder is and how it happened. I know that there is the first murder in the Bible (sorry, don't recall the names) and earlier but that's not really what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a more modern murder. Not where someone pelts someone else to death with stones but maybe a stabbing or shooting with purpose other than becoming emperor or king behind it. So pretty much the first notable, modern-ish murder. Anyone suggestions, ideas, knowledge? If I'm unclear which I may be, please let me know. Thanks guys and you rock (in advance :D)

Snick
11-08-2011, 06:30 AM
I wrote something long those lines when I was even younger than I am now. The problem is that chimps sometimes kill other chimps; from that we can infer that the common ancestors of humans and chimps sometimes mirdered others of their kind. Therefore, there was no first murder.

Don't let that stop you from writing your story. If I were to write such a story now, then I would set it much earlier, and there might be stoned for weapons.

Drachen Jager
11-08-2011, 07:21 AM
There were murders at all points through human history. Pick any era and there will be notable murders.

Perhaps Jack the Ripper is along the lines you're looking for?

MysteryRiter
11-08-2011, 07:38 AM
Thanks, Snick. I see what you're saying, but I am still looking for a modern-ish murder to use. I know it won't be the "first" ever so to speak, but the first modern murder. I could write about someone getting stoned to death, but it's supossed to be crime and in my opinion, crime implies something slightly more modern. I appreciate your advice, though! :D I guess what I'm hoping for is a murder that takes place in the 15th century where some psycho killer kills maybe some notable figure.. I don't know. If I requested info for the first serial killer, would that help?
ETA: Drachen, I was thinking him... What century was he, again? Sorry, I'm not too familiar with this topic.

L.C. Blackwell
11-08-2011, 07:58 AM
If I requested info for the first serial killer, would that help?


Not really. Though at that point, I'd advise you to look for the more notorious royalty and nobility as some made quite a practice of it.

It's possible you're looking for something along the lines of The Countess--the story of Erzsébet Báthory, who seems to have been a vicious and prolific female serial murderer. You can find a review here. (http://readingthepast.blogspot.com/2010/11/short-look-at-rebecca-johns-countess.html) And no, I have not read the book. Nor, may I add, am I tempted to.

Shakesbear
11-08-2011, 11:25 AM
Oedipus - see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oedipus

Oedipus conducts a murder investigation in which, unknown to him, he is the murderer. Nice twist.

Charles Farley
11-08-2011, 11:35 AM
In the fifteenth century murder wasn't even frowned upon. Modern murder in your sense . .only started happening when ther were laws against it . . I have to agree with jack the ripper ..

Shakesbear
11-08-2011, 12:35 PM
Been thinking that maybe the Duke of Buckingham's murder by John Felton in 1627 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Villiers,_1st_Duke_of_Buckingham#Death

Mac H.
11-08-2011, 01:07 PM
If you are looking for a modern example - what about an American congressman who murdered someone in broad daylight in front of the White House?

It was over a love rival and it was the most blatant murder in history. The congressman literally walked up to his victim and said "You have dishonored my bed and family, you scoundrel - prepare to die!" and shot him.

And then, while the victim was pleading for his life, the congressman shot him again and again until he was dead.

Here's the NY Times account: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9E04EFDA1E31EE34BC4051DFB4668382649FDE

What makes this interesting (apart from the fact that he was a congressman who murdered someone .. and then was re-elected) is that he pretty much invented the fantasy response to a murder .. he pleaded insanity and got away with it.

Yep - even though today the strategy (even if it works) just gives you a longer sentence - back then it actually worked. He walked away a free man, just by saying he was mad enough to kill his wife's lover.

That's a nice modern murder.

Not exactly a mystery ... but then most murders aren't!

Mac
(If you want to see the Cracked version of the story - try this: http://www.cracked.com/article_19028_the-6-most-childish-things-ever-done-in-congress_p2.html )

mirandashell
11-08-2011, 05:16 PM
In the fifteenth century murder wasn't even frowned upon. Modern murder in your sense . .only started happening when ther were laws against it . . I have to agree with jack the ripper ..


You are kidding, right? Not frowned upon? HA! A murder could start a feud between two families that could run on for generations.

As for no laws in the 15th century.... you need to do some research. I mean, which country are you talking about? Which area? Not all the world was the same back then, you know!

Shakesbear
11-08-2011, 05:31 PM
I missed the post mirahdashell quoted - and have to say I agree! Europe in the fifteenth century was predominantly Christian and they would have followed the Ten Commandments one of which, I think it is the sixth one, is 'Thou shalt not kill'.

Zelenka
11-08-2011, 05:51 PM
It's 16th C rather than 15th but you could look into Tycho Brahe's death. He was an astronomer / astrologer at the court of Rudolf II in Prague. According to his assistant, Johannes Kepler, he died because he refused to go to the bathroom during a banquet as it would be a breach of etiquette, and so got some sort of stomach complaint and died later, though there were also suspicions that he was poisoned, possibly by Kepler, as there was a rivalry between them. Last year I think it was, some Danish archaeologists exhumed Brahe's body from the Tyn Church in Prague and tested the remains, and they did find traces of mercury (I believe it was), although it was only a trace amount, and since Brahe was also an alchemist it is possible he absorbed it elsewhere, but it also doesn't argue against the poisoning theory.

It has been written about in fiction and non fiction already but that doesn't stop anyone!

Charles Farley
11-08-2011, 05:58 PM
You are kidding, right? Not frowned upon? HA! A murder could start a feud between two families that could run on for generations.

So what? . . they would keep killing each other . . and no one would frown upon it . . .or maybe it would be stopped . . .ya think?

DeleyanLee
11-08-2011, 06:09 PM
The challenge with writing about Jack the Ripper is doing the research to confirm whoever your new suspect is (and Ripperologists get into years of research just for fun to write a two page article) or finding digging deep enough to find new information on established suspects. It's a very research intensive topic.

I was thinking of the Pazzi Conspiracy in Florence during the Renaissance, where Lorenzo and Guiliano de Medici were the targets. Interesting stuff.

Thing is, in order to do any historical murder justice, you've got to commit to doing serious research and realize that it might take years to get everything you actually need. True crime writers often have to take the time to dig through court records, set up and do interviews with witnesses and victims (if any survived) and families, law enforcement people, court people, even the convicted to get a full story. If you're doing this for a historical event, then that's more digging and cross-checking translations (if originals are in another language you don't speak), etc. Not necessarily easy minimums, but if it's up your alley (like it is mine), it's great fun and to have a book at the end of it can be very satisfying.

Zelenka
11-08-2011, 06:12 PM
Just another thought, not sure how helpful it'd be, but if you have access at all to an academic library, you could see if they have any records from the Selden Society, which give accounts of the cases heard at the assizes and courts in medieval England. Since there were indeed laws against murder at that time you'd probably find a good few cases in there. Otherwise I found this site with a list of links to other online sources on medieval law that might prove useful.

http://www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/guide/leg.shtml

ETA: Oh and on serial killers - try Scottish history! We had Sawnie Bean and Burke and Hare when Jack the Ripper was still in nappies. ;) There's a book called The Newgate Calendar that has a lot of 'horror stories' of true crime, most from around the 17-early 1800s but some before that. Also, you could check out the Old Bailey's records online, although that'll give you 19th rather than 15th century, but still could give you some inspiration.

mirandashell
11-08-2011, 08:18 PM
So what? . . they would keep killing each other . . and no one would frown upon it . . .or maybe it would be stopped . . .ya think?


Of course it was illegal! But like in any murder case, it was proving it.

Research the story of Caravaggio. See what he had to do for killing someone in a brawl. And see what happened to him afterwards.


Seriously.... no laws in the 15th century...... Pfft!

Buffysquirrel
11-08-2011, 10:53 PM
For the first 'modern' murder you need to decide when you consider modern. C20th? C19th?

Kitti
11-09-2011, 03:30 AM
I know that there is the first murder in the Bible (sorry, don't recall the names)

Cain and Abel


I guess what I'm hoping for is a murder that takes place in the 15th century where some psycho killer kills maybe some notable figure


If you want some notable figure, how about this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Stewart,_1st_Earl_of_Moray), the (alleged) first assassination with a firearm?

MysteryRiter
11-09-2011, 04:03 AM
Thank you SOOOO much to everyone that commented! There is a lot of useful info here and I will definitely be able to choose a murder to use from all of these suggestions. Thank you!!!
Now if I could put a 'CLOSED' sign on this thread...

:sword