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Uncarved
07-21-2006, 04:49 PM
How are most serial killers really found out? My killer isn't leaving little clues so he can get caught if the cops decypher them in time like most books I've read. He finds his vics, slices the meat off them, turns it into jerky, disposes of the body and waits for the next vic.

I'd like different ways, scenarios, that he could get caught.

I appreciate it

Good Word
07-21-2006, 05:10 PM
<shudder>

How does he make the jerky? Did he have to buy one of those food dehydrator thingys to make it?

Perks
07-21-2006, 05:17 PM
There's always "the one that got away" - a failed abduction. Maybe he could screw up the process and get food poisoning. Bad jerky.

Everybody makes mistakes, even serial killers who don't go the "taunting" route. That scenario is exaggerated in fiction, anyway. Cases like BTK made it a tantalizing story hook, but in real life they mostly don't want to get caught.

Read Whoever Fights Monsters by Robert Ressler (one of the FBI agents, along with John Douglas who pioneered the art/science/voodoo of criminal profiling.) It's a fascinating read and might give you lots of ideas for a plot involving a thrill killer.

alleycat
07-21-2006, 05:22 PM
If it's of any interest to you, there is a book written by the former head and founder of the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Bureau. It's an interesting book about serial killers and their motives and behaviors. I can't recall the title offhand but if you're interested I'll try to look it up.

ac

Jamesaritchie
07-21-2006, 05:54 PM
How are most serial killers really found out? My killer isn't leaving little clues so he can get caught if the cops decypher them in time like most books I've read. He finds his vics, slices the meat off them, turns it into jerky, disposes of the body and waits for the next vic.

I'd like different ways, scenarios, that he could get caught.

I appreciate it

Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone leaves clues. It's your job as a writer to leave appropriate clues, and to have the authorities find them in a clever manner. There is no such thing as a perfect crime because there is no such thing as a perfect criminal.

Soccer Mom
07-21-2006, 07:12 PM
my experience has always been just as James suggests above. They screw up. There is the failed abduction, the inadvertant clue (DNA, finger print, personal item) left behind. Someone somewhere sees something. A family member or friend gets suspicious and reports something.

If you want real life inspiration, check out some books on real life cases in the true crime section or watch a little CourtTV.

The master criminals of fiction are simply that: fiction.

Plan your mystery. Place your clues where your reader and detective can locate them. You really have to think through every step of a mystery before you write--IMHO.

Happy plotting!

Gillhoughly
07-21-2006, 07:13 PM
http://www.robertkressler.com/

Founder of the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit, who first coined the term "serial killer."

Click on the "books" link.

This is scary stuff.

This is the guy who advised Thomas Harris for "Silence of the Lambs."

You can also google the BTK killer, if you've the stomach for it. I don't.


Most of these will be available in a library or through Inter-Library Loan. That's how I get to read books they don't have on the shelf.

Carlene
07-21-2006, 07:29 PM
Interesting topic.

I heard a real CSI speak a couple of months ago here in San Diego. Someone in the crowd asked if there was such a thing as the perfect crime and he laughed. He said it happens all the time - only about half the homicides are ever solved. The criminals they catch are stoooopid.

Also, there's a book out titled, "The Good, the Bad and the Innocent," written by a forensic phycologist and she said, that some people kill not because they're nuts, but because they are evil - they are born that way and because...they like it. Scary.

Carlene

Hoody
07-21-2006, 07:37 PM
I think a little more info would be best. Take us through one of his killings, how he picks the victim, how he takes the victim, kills, gets rid of said victim. Then, since these are multi-slayings, what's different between them or not different. Knowing the reason behind the killings is a good way to leave clues in your work for him getting caught.

Uncarved
07-21-2006, 08:27 PM
Thank you everyone!
Yes he does have a food dehydrator

I've read so very many serial killer cases, Gein, BTK, bundy, ramerez..



I think a little more info would be best. Take us through one of his killings, how he picks the victim, how he takes the victim, kills, gets rid of said victim. Then, since these are multi-slayings, what's different between them or not different. Knowing the reason behind the killings is a good way to leave clues in your work for him getting caught.
He kills because he mama never had an interest in him or what he did

He picks his victims at sporting events where their kids play. They drop them off and pick them back up. He makes sure they never stay to watch them, as they are too busy to do that. It infuriates him. He kidnaps the mom, thinking its for the boys best good and to get back at his own mom, and slowly fillets them. They are always soccer moms with young boys. It never alters.

His jerky is sold at a roadside cart in a small southern town

Uncarved
07-21-2006, 08:38 PM
Read Whoever Fights Monsters by Robert Ressler (one of the FBI agents, along with John Douglas who pioneered the art/science/voodoo of criminal profiling.) It's a fascinating read and might give you lots of ideas for a plot involving a thrill killer.

Thanks I just went and ordered this

writeperch
07-21-2006, 08:53 PM
Then someone gets food poisoning from the jerky and is taken to the emergency room. Or for irony, the killer gets food poisoning (as mentioned earlier in this thread) and while in the hospital, some smart doctor decides to analyze the bits of jerky pumped from his stomach....

Hoody
07-21-2006, 08:57 PM
He picks his victims at sporting events where their kids play. They drop them off and pick them back up. He makes sure they never stay to watch them, as they are too busy to do that. It infuriates him. He kidnaps the mom, thinking its for the boys best good and to get back at his own mom, and slowly fillets them. They are always soccer moms with young boys. It never alters.

His jerky is sold at a roadside cart in a small southern town


There is one clue that will lead to his arrest. At some point the investigators are going to come across the fact that each missing woman has left kids at ball fields on the day they were last seen. This could be gathered by talking to husbands (if they have one) who sort of mention in their first questioning that they got a call from another parent at the field or the coach himself that the mother didn't pick up their kid. If single parent, I would assume the coach would take the kid home. All this information can be gathered just by taking to friends and neighbors. Don't know what the story all entails but I envision, since the serial killer has a concern with attentive parents, he/she could possibly be an coach/co-coach or works with kids in some way.

My 2 cents.

alleycat
07-21-2006, 09:05 PM
His jerky is sold at a roadside cart in a small southern town
I think I've eaten there . . .

Uncarved
07-21-2006, 09:15 PM
I think I've eaten there . . .

I kept seeing a stand for jerky going to Alabama, and after a year or so, well I just had to write about it.



I like that the killer could get food poisoning.
I like that idea a bunch, lol.

sharra
07-21-2006, 09:24 PM
Quite a few of these guys are caught by accident, during things like traffic stops, or the neighbours complaining about a funny smell. If you used it as a plotline you'd probably be accused of using the "deux et machina" (not sure if I spelt that right) but in real life... Check out real-life stories - there are an incredible amount on the net.

newmod
07-21-2006, 09:38 PM
Well this is probably going to be the least productive reply you will receive but here goes anyway ...

I remember reading that a lot of serial killers have a history of animal torture/killing. Maybe you man has continued this and you could work that into the story. Myabe a neighbour sees him kidnapping little Fluffy or something. Or an animal carcass in the rubbish. As you&#180;ve probably guessed I don&#180;t write mystery/thriller!!!

Well, just thought I&#180;d throw it out there and see if it might trigger something for you or someobody else to suggest.

Also where does he live? Does he do the grisly stuff at his house or has he a rented place (garage or something)? In the city or country? People around or normally deserted? Easily accessed or not?

newmod
07-21-2006, 09:47 PM
Sharra, just curious, were you thinking of Denis Nielsen when you mentioned the smell? I used to live quite near Cricklewood. A kid at school actually lived on the street!!! Melrose Avenue wasn´t it?

Uncarved
07-21-2006, 10:02 PM
he kidnaps them and stores them in a shed by his trailer. Then the meat is prepared in his kitchen, its in a remote section of the woods, in the country. Usually very deserted.

Good Word
07-21-2006, 10:08 PM
Then someone gets food poisoning from the jerky and is taken to the emergency room. Or for irony, the killer gets food poisoning (as mentioned earlier in this thread) and while in the hospital, some smart doctor decides to analyze the bits of jerky pumped from his stomach....

They both--the killer and one of his roadside customers--get food poisoning and are in the same hospital ER.

Jamesaritchie
07-21-2006, 11:09 PM
Interesting topic.

I heard a real CSI speak a couple of months ago here in San Diego. Someone in the crowd asked if there was such a thing as the perfect crime and he laughed. He said it happens all the time - only about half the homicides are ever solved. The criminals they catch are stoooopid.

Also, there's a book out titled, "The Good, the Bad and the Innocent," written by a forensic phycologist and she said, that some people kill not because they're nuts, but because they are evil - they are born that way and because...they like it. Scary.

Carlene

He must have been from Washington D.C., which is just about the only place in the country with such a low homicide clearance rate. There are no perfect crimes, but there is also no perfect police work. But it's simply not true that only half the homicides are ever solved. Throughout most of the country, homicide is the most solved of all crimes, and 70% of black murders, and 80% of white murders are solved within days. Most are solved right on the spot.

Unsolved homicides are most often committed by stupid criminals, not smart ones. They aren't planned as much as they're simply done. Drive by shootings, etc.

This makes the clearance rate unnaturally low in some big cities. But you can't call these perfect crimes, and you can't say the police only catch the stupid criminals. Unless you have a really stupid police department.

Just because the police fail to find the murderer does not mean it was aperfect crime. It usually just means it was either a random killing, or the police themselves were imperfect.

I'm awfully glad that CSI doesn't work here. The criminals our guys catch are frequently very smart. But they don't assume there is such a thiong as a perfect crime. There are only cases they have solved, and those they will solve sooner or later.

It would scare me to death to hear someone responsible for solving crimes say that any crime they can't solve is a perfect crime. Talk about a self-defeating attitude guaranteed to lower the clearance rate.

katiemac
07-21-2006, 11:47 PM
I heard a story similiar to this once.

The guy did something very similar to his victims and stored the meat in his home refridgerator. Apparently, at some point, he'd donated a good portion of his stock to an elderly home, as he frequently did. Many individuals got sick, police called to investigate, and voila. Found the rest in his fridge.

I don't remember what exactly made the police get involved, as it was a long time ago and the details are fuzzy. It very well could have been an urban legend as opposed to an actual crime, too. It sure sounds like one.

Uncarved
07-22-2006, 12:24 AM
100% Organic Jerky
Made Fresh

:)

I've heard of many things, but I thought the jerky angle was fresh and different. I'd hope the readers would think so .

writeperch
07-22-2006, 01:36 AM
I'm kinda hungry now....

Carlene
07-22-2006, 02:03 AM
"It would scare me to death to hear someone responsible for solving crimes say that any crime they can't solve is a perfect crime. Talk about a self-defeating attitude guaranteed to lower the clearance rate."

That's an interesting concept. Silly me - I always thought Law Enforcement personal solved crimes using evidence collected by CSI's. If CSI's solve crimes, what do detectives do?

Gillhoughly
07-22-2006, 02:28 AM
Simple--he gets busted by the Health Department.

You might want to google cannabilism and the dire consequences of eating human flesh. Apparently we got a lotta bad stuff inside that makes raw pork look healthy.

You get enough people turning up in the ER with some weird food poisoning that can be tracked to his stand.

Suppose a victim is taking a special medication which is toxic to others?

Or a victim was being poisoned by another killer and the toxin in her muscles poisons others.

Or the vic had some gawd-awful disease that could be spread throughout her muscle system?

Or the cops stop to scope out the stand and one of them gets a bad vibe from the guy. Cops can sense "hinky" a mile away. They can figure drug dealer, then just to be thorough run him past the HD.

Does he have a permit to sell that kind of food? Where's the paper trail of his suppliers on that jerky? There isn't one? That's illegal, here, have a search warrant. Dude--what's with all these bones in your cellar...?

Uncarved
07-22-2006, 03:16 AM
I have found how the flesh tastes and is colored both raw and during the cooking stage.

But the medication angle is a great one. One that I will delve into. I would like to work that angle more so than just it being a random bust, or "not feeling right" when a cop is around.


Thank you all

davids
07-22-2006, 03:31 AM
Here's the deal-every serial killer has-to say the least-an egocentristic nature-they want to be noticed-so eventually if you want him/her to be caught you gotta have them get frustrated-the killer wants you to know about him/her-how you do it is your problem

If they are not leaving anything for the cops to help nab him-he must eventually get caught if that is a premise for the book-perhaps he is leaving to subtle a clue for the boys to figure out-I don't know your characters but perhaps you have just one very special cop or private eye-or for that matter a complete stranger takes interest-aka Agatha Christie-or even a frustrated intelligent highly motivated relative-don't know your WIP but maybe I have given you some food for thought-hope so

Good Word
07-22-2006, 07:44 AM
You guys are making me want to be a vegan.

Gillhoughly
07-22-2006, 07:52 AM
You guys are making me want to be a vegan.

I don't blame you!

In my slang dictionary they have a euphemism for EVERY kind of adult human behavior--except for cannibalism. Apparently it is just too awful to be shrugged off with an alternative phrase.

NOT my cuppa borscht, either. The only time I ever enjoyed a book dealing with the topic was Leonard Wibberly's (The Mouse that Roared) "Feast of Freedom." It's pure Wibberly, a brilliant political satire dealing with the world ramifications that take place when cannibals eat an American politician. (They had their reasons, just none that we could understand.)

Sadly out of print, but I should have a copy in my collection...

Uncarved
07-22-2006, 04:44 PM
A questions was asked about the choosing of victims, this was the reply:


He likes the ones that talk on the cell phone while little Tommy is trying to say bye, or tell them about the goal he scored etc. She goes to the cleaners or park to "have alone time" instead of to her kid's practice or game.
The victim aspect came from those stickers that are on cars. With the name and number the kid plays. He uses that to get close to them. Meets them whereever they went to get away from the sports event and says "Oh, you're tommy's mom. #23? There's been an accident you need to come with me" and POOF he has his vic.

Lloydyboy
07-22-2006, 05:54 PM
You can have him getting cocky and slip up. Perhaps he taunts the cops via communiques...trips up and inadvertantly reveals too much info.

Does one of his victims survive?

A witness to an abduction?

"We covet what we see" LOL Is there a connection/history between him and one of his victims?

Jenan Mac
07-26-2006, 08:12 PM
Maybe his jerky stand is on a corner near the ballfield, or actually at the ballfield?

Pomegranate
07-26-2006, 09:46 PM
I think you have a very cool and very scary premise!

Back in the day, when I was a nanny and my boys were on a soccer team, I saw drop-offs all the time. I'd get to the park early, before the coach, so the kids could run around. I'd bring a lawn chair and a book. People would drive up, open the van door, leave the kid(s), and take off. This was in the 80's and I was just appalled at how careless some parents were. They didn't know me and I would hope they were aware I wasn't the coach. I could have been any kind of crazy pedophile, but not one ever stopped long enough to come over and check me out.

If some of the neglectful parents stop at the killer's roadside stand, that would be one more point of connection for the police to catch up on. Maybe a bag of jerky is found in the abandoned minivan.

Uncarved
07-27-2006, 02:38 AM
I start it all out with the first kidnapping, but it leads the reader to think its the kid I want... which creeps me out.... but then by the end they realise I'm going to for the mom.

I thought it was a frightning aspect because it could so easily happen

Soccer Mom
07-27-2006, 04:12 AM
You're still creeping me out, Tina.

"Mufasa" brrrrrrrrr. "Say it again."

Kevin Yarbrough
07-27-2006, 08:43 AM
I wouldn't go with the food poisoning route if I were you, to cliche. If people eat people they can get a disease call Creutzfeldt-Jcobs disease. It is like the disease you get from mad cow. It causes rapid dementia, muscle jerking, and difficulty walking. It is fatal and there is no known cure. You can have people who bought the jerky get this disease and have a doctor figure it out and call the CDC. An investigation is started and they trace it back to the jerky.

Jenan Mac
07-28-2006, 04:32 PM
The only thing with that is that he'd have to have been at this awhile, because it can take years to develop. There are a number of other options-- hepatitis, HIV, trichinosis-- but I believe a lot of those problems would be taken care of by the thorough cooking.

Kevin Yarbrough
07-28-2006, 06:23 PM
CJD can have a long incubation time but there were 18 year olds who dies in the UK from it. I think it can vary especially if the meat was from someone who was in the active phase of CJD and not in the incubation. Plus, in fiction, we can change things if we want.

I would have the killer grab someone who was dying from CJD and uses their meat for the jerky and then uses their brain, where CJD is most active, and grind it up to make his special seasoning.

Doing it this way will throw off the investigation because they will think it was from mad cow disease and will be checking out those avenues first. This will give the kiler time to keeping doing his thing before some wise CDC person finds out that one of the missing girls was dying from CJD and follow her trail.

Soccer Mom
07-28-2006, 06:52 PM
Sorry to break this to y'all, but X-files already beat you to the people getting CJD from eating other people. Bodies were being disposed of by grinding them up in a meat packing plant. I can't remember the episode's name.

nevada
07-28-2006, 10:09 PM
Soccermom beat me to the punch. That X-files episode was great. I too can't remember the name and if i were just a little less lazy I would google it. lol

Kate Thornton
07-28-2006, 11:49 PM
Well, how about some other perfectly plausible but fictional disease? Make it as rare as you need (!) and research some good symptoms. Human jerky sounds just pukalicious to me - but I know guys who watch football and will eat *anything* served to them in the football-watching state. Even their kids...

Uncarved
07-29-2006, 02:43 AM
Well, how about some other perfectly plausible but fictional disease? Make it as rare as you need (!) and research some good symptoms. Human jerky sounds just pukalicious to me - but I know guys who watch football and will eat *anything* served to them in the football-watching state. Even their kids...


pukalicious.... I just love it! lol


I've just about settled on them connecting the dots with the field he gets the moms from, and finding a lone survivor that can lead them to where his shack is.

Jenan Mac
07-29-2006, 04:52 AM
Sorry to break this to y'all, but X-files already beat you to the people getting CJD from eating other people. Bodies were being disposed of by grinding them up in a meat packing plant. I can't remember the episode's name.

I don't remember the episode title, either. But I remember it was a factory farm and they were farming chickens-- and during commercial break KFC was one of the ads. :eek:

nevada
07-29-2006, 05:36 AM
Because I have nothing to do on a Friday night, ( I know, I have a sad life) I googled X-files to find the name of the episode. It was called Our Town and it aired in Season 2. Because I hate not knowing something.:tongue

TesubCalle
07-29-2006, 10:51 AM
Well, just how many soccer moms and dads get to be jerkified? And is this sicko actually doing all the chowing down, or are you truly planning on having him share his home-made fare?

If authorities do eventually get on to the fact that he stalks his prey at soccer fields, and they know he must have transportation ready to follow these people around, maybe they even get lucky with traffic cameras. A particular make and model car that always seems to be in the vicinity where a missing person was last known to have been seen. Because obviously this case must start as a missing-persons epidemic - unless the bones of his victims are left to be found - then for sure it's a murder investigation.

And that X-Files ep that featured CJD - majorly creepy. Whole town of cannibals ate the wrong guy. Poetic justice, one might say.

Uncarved
07-29-2006, 04:51 PM
I'm thinking 3 dead, 4 taken to account for the one that got away (disfigured but alive). And yes, he sells this jerky by a roadside stand on a long stretch of road in seemingly the middle of nowhere. I would think that after the 4th goes to the police, it would switch from a missing person case to a homicide investigation and attempt to catch him.

Carlene
07-29-2006, 06:56 PM
There's no such thing as a perfect crime???? Please tell me when they solved: The Black Dahlia, the Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa? Jon Benet Ramsey?

Uncarved
07-30-2006, 12:39 AM
I think they mean that no crime is perfect, however mankind is fallible and can mess it up to where they aren't caught. They may miss clues, etc. All crimes could be solved, somehow , someway

nevada
07-30-2006, 01:10 AM
i dont know anything about the black dahlia (there's a movie coming out abut that by the way, with Josh Harnett) or jimmy hoffa, but I sure as heck know that with jonbenet the crime scene was destroyed by the father when he carried her upstairs before the police saw the scene. I know that the police treated the parents with kid gloves, not questioning them for days and then allowing them to be questioned together. Neighbours weren't canvassed right away. Some things weren't looked at for over a year. Hardly the perfect crime. More like the perfect cock-up. The police completely dropped the ball.

The Balck Dahlia was no doubt hampered by lack of true forensic sciences. So I dont think it's a case of perfect crimes.

Getting back to your killer, the survivor is the perfect vehicle to give clues to the police. HOw was she kidnapped? Perhaps she remembers a particularly bumpy road, or crossing a bridge? Or a certain smell of Canola or some other crop in the fields. There's always something, and it's your job as author to plant that something. Remember, this is your world and you have completely created it, every blade of grass, every person in it. Therefore, you also control the clues. You're not solving an actual crime remember? You're not dependant on someone else remembering something. YOu decide what they remember.

TesubCalle
07-30-2006, 07:09 AM
If the killer in this horrifying tale truly has issues with neglectful parents, I really hope the 'survivor' parent is one who was perhaps able to convince the killer that he/she is not neglectful, but maybe a single parent working the two jobs and really can't devotetime to the kid's soccer game.
I'm not saying pyscho killers have a shred of sympathy, but I have read accounts where victims have gotten to their killers in small ways.
(One abductee once got a sympathetic reaction from her abductor when she told him she never knew her real parents since she'd been adopted).

Just my two cents...

Uncarved
07-31-2006, 12:26 AM
yes the survivor does indeed have a valid reason for skipping the practices, one that he finds out during her captivity.

DeborahM
08-01-2006, 03:49 AM
Your idea is interesting and good luck with it, however I won't pass a roadside jerky vendor without thinking of this conversation!

I'll stick to ribs! (newbie forum)

Thanks for the visual...:e2faint:

CaitlinK18
08-01-2006, 06:23 AM
I would recommend you read "Evil Minds", Tina, which is a textbook for criminal profilers and is not, I repeat NOT for the faint of heart but has some GREAT info if you're creating a fictional serial killer. I think it runs about $20 on amazon.com

I second what everyone else says about a small, insignificant detail bringing the killer down. Richard Ramirez (the Night Stalker) was busted for driving a stolen car, and while the police had suspicions about his identity it was only after he was in custody for the theft that they realized who they had on their hands.

So yeah. Everyone makes mistakes. Even the perfect killer.

Uncarved
08-01-2006, 04:48 PM
thanks for that help.
I did manage to get and read this week "Whoever Fights Monsters" and "The Writers Complete Crime Reference Book" So I will get "Evil Minds" ASAP.
I don't mind gore. It will go nicely with the nonfictional serial killer reference books I have.

Mod35tBabe
09-19-2006, 06:00 PM
Read about the murderer in Sydney, who would've gotten away with murder because they thought he was dead, but he went back to Sydney to kill again and ran into an ex-workmate - catch being that he didnt know everyone thought he was dead. If he had known, he would've gone on killing. Look under the Mutilator - He's probably the only one I know of who didn't try TOO hard to cover it up and got away with it for so long, and wouldve kept getting away with it - and lucky you don't mind gore. He was nicknamed The Mutilator for a reason.

Fried From Dixie
09-30-2006, 06:36 PM
Jeffery Dommer (may have spelled the name wrong) kept the 'meat' from his victims in the freezer and burried the rest of the remains in his back yard. Gross! He like young men-boys. What a creep. I'll remember not to buy any road-side-stand jerky when we travel. I'll make my own and take it. Don't forget to add the liquid smoke to the marinade if your using a food dehydrator as opposed to a smoker, which will infuse the smokey taste for you. I have both. No- it never occurred to me to smoke a person though.

Ordinary_Guy
09-30-2006, 11:35 PM
The original "finger food"...

Good Word
09-30-2006, 11:43 PM
Ordinary Guy: Ew...

I've read in this thread about roadside jerky, but really I've never seen such a thing. I'm in New England, though. Maybe it's a southern thing?

When was the last time anyone bought beef or other jerky at a roadside stand? It actually sounds rather disgusting.

Consider this an informal poll, if you will.