PDA

View Full Version : Mystery Writers:Creative Murder Ideas



MyFirstMystery
08-17-2006, 12:53 PM
In my first mystery manuscript my victim is killed with a kitchen knife. What murder methods have you not put in a novel yet but might like to try? Here are a few that I'd like to try someday.

- Poisoning someone's Frappaccino
- "Accidentally" pushing someone off a cliff.
- Mysterious accident involving a George Foreman Grill.
- Something involving evil puppets. In party hats.
- Killed with an ornamental sword from above a fireplace.
- Thwacked with a ball peen hammer.
- The "I got a little too ambitious with my Bondage Gear" murder
- Thwacked with an industrial grade hole-punch

What evil acts are your future antagonists thinking up?

MFM

soloset
08-17-2006, 06:08 PM
Ooo.

I don't know, I'm always afraid to contribute to these sorts of lists because you all will find out what a crazed psycho I am at heart.

Poisoned marshmallows. Do you know easy it is to make homemade marshmallows? Except you have to be standing there stirring the whole time, so when would someone else (assuming the cook isn't the killer and even saturation) poison them? Or maybe fudge. Fudge...

Death by superstition; someone wants to kill a very superstitious man and arranges some 'omens' that will drive him to change his behavior just enough that he gets killed. "What? I've always owned a black cat!"

Oh, and those big, heavy photo trimmers; the handle comes off pretty easily.

My problem is that I don't have enough people I dislike to kill off mentally for practice!

JanDarby
08-17-2006, 06:56 PM
I bleached a character to death. Seemed fitting. He was a stain on the fictional community I'd created.

JD

Kate Thornton
08-17-2006, 07:01 PM
I like the Waterford crystal sailboat paperweight through the skull myself.

Also - coming up in the future - oleander poisonings, nicotine poisonings, bludgeoning with frozen food, gas leak from the water heater, decapitation via wire fencing & a motorcycle, frayed-wire & hot tub shock, gentle push from a very high balcony, rum over with a tractor while unconscious and choking on an icicle.

You don't need more than one person you'd like to kill off - in fiction, you can do the same one over and over...

Soccer Mom
08-17-2006, 07:20 PM
Stabbing with a frozen object ala Roald Dahl's classic about the lady bludgeoning her husband with frozen leg of lamb and then serving it to the police. A knife shaped popsicle maybe? What about a fountain pen to the carotid?

AceTachyon
08-17-2006, 09:32 PM
What about a fountain pen to the carotid?

That was also a great self-defense technique in Grosse Point Blank.

Pomegranate
08-17-2006, 09:57 PM
A knife shaped popsicle maybe?

I used something like this in my first published short. A woman killed her husband with a sharpened popscicle. She started feeding it to him then shoved. Ouch!

(I may look like a nice sweet middle-aged lady, but you never know what lurks inside us writer types. ;->)

MyFirstMystery
08-17-2006, 10:23 PM
I think the Lovely Bones also had an icicle murder in it. Clever in a way, the evidence melts.

This is one of the things I enjoy about the mystery genre. The idea you could be making marshmallows in the kitchen and remark "these would be sooooo easy to poison...."

:)

MFM

Mayor of Moronia
08-17-2006, 11:03 PM
A mile from here is a 700 foot deep sink. Until the state built berms around it geezers were forever driving into it with their Crown Victorias. About once every year divers would go down, and wreckers would winch the cars to the surface. Very recently a Cadillac was pulled from a retention lake adjacent to an apartment complex. The car-body had been there since 1989.

Soccer Mom
08-18-2006, 02:04 AM
Ah, yes. One musn't forget to properly dispose of the corpse.

JanDarby
08-18-2006, 04:07 AM
Hmm. Now I'm trying to figure out how I can kill a character in a sink.

Not some namby-pamby 700' hole, where anyone could manage to kill someone and have it go unnoticed until the amateur sleuth figured it out. Nope, I'm talking about a real challenge: a kitchen sink.

Couldn't be a bathroom sink. They're getting smaller and more fragile these days, but kitchen ones are getting bigger, with the pseudo-antique country-kitchen apron-front style crossed with the American "industrial/bigger is always better" style.

Yeah, it could be done. I wonder what one of those suckers weighs. Enough that it would do some damage if dropped on a human being, I'm sure. I've always wanted to do a mystery involving a house renovation, and this might be my opportunity. Lotsa' people a homeowner might want to kill after being without a kitchen sink for six months and having to wash their dishes in the shower all that time.

JD, who knows whereof she speaks, about kitchen renovations and homicidal thoughts related thereto, and is feeling a little silly this evening for no apparent reason, but whose mystery stories tend to be silly rather than scary, anyway.

Mayor of Moronia
08-18-2006, 04:28 AM
People routinely dispose of bodies at the garbage incinerator. Chop up the body, mix it in with regular garbage, haul it to the incinerator.

MyFirstMystery
08-18-2006, 04:31 AM
I think being without a sink that long could easily give rise to murderous thoughts.

I have one of those spray things on a long metal hose - the sucker hasn't worked and in the 5 years since we moved in I haven't bothered to fix it. Granted it could be used to strangle someone.

Fun with kitchen implements!

A renovation murder sounds like a fun book - hope you do it!

MFM

Mayor of Moronia
08-18-2006, 04:32 AM
Oh! This was in the paper today.

A well connected girl used this as an excuse for leaving the scene of an accident where she ran over a pedestrian. The state attorney bought the excuse and dropped the charges.

"He was screaming and very angry. I felt intimidated."

So drive over the victim and have the killer claim to be a victim, too.

Robert Toy
08-18-2006, 04:41 AM
What evil acts are your future antagonists thinking up?

MFM
My Favorite.
Okay how this for an evil minded way of doing your mate off – very slowly and painfully:

The Tiger Whisker:
Obtain a few strands of whiskers from a tiger (if you have to ask how, don’t read on).
Next, using a pair of scissors cut them into the smallest pieces you can possibly make.
Next, sprinkle a small bit of the chopped tiger whiskers into your mate’s food (it is tasteless, odorless)
Next, repeat the above step for five days.
Next, take your mate to the nearest emergency room as they are doubled over and writhing in abdominal pains. The doctors will eventually (as your mate still suffers tremendously) diagnose the source of the problem, being bleeding intestinal ulcers. The doctors will then prescribe/administer massive doses of antibiotics. Which (he he he) will have no effect.
After 2-3 months of absolute constant agony it is over. The autopsy will show massive intestinal ulcers and no toxicological findings – the doctors will scratch their heads and note it as “natural causes.”
Go and collect the life insurance policy.:hooray:

Why tiger whiskers? Tiger whiskers have microscopic barbs along the entire length of the hair. Remember the small pieces you cut up and put into you mate’s food? Well, the barbs snag onto the intestinal walls and cause infections, which cannot be cured or detected. :D
__________________

Pomegranate
08-18-2006, 06:05 AM
Ew! That's clever. The killer could be a zookeeper. That would give someone reasonable access to a tiger.

Soccer Mom
08-18-2006, 06:54 AM
Sink murders: Drowning in a full sink of water? I had an ME tell me that If you put someone in a proper chokehold, they could lose consciousness in less than a minute. Once they were truly out, push them face down into the sink.

Drain the water and let the local gendarmes figure out how someone drowned in his own kitchen.

Tiger whiskers--ew.

OmenSpirits.com
08-18-2006, 07:27 AM
death by 9 iron.

death by (if you REALLY want to know I suggest you pm me because it's rated NC-17).

death by cheese grater.

death by staple gun.

death by ripping someone's throat out bare-handed.

death by backing over someone's skull with a SUV.

death by jackhammer.

death by sledge hammer.

:)

Lee_OC
08-18-2006, 07:39 AM
Fire -- afterwards the murderer sings, "Burn, baby, burn, disco inferno"
or "The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!"

Death by cheese grater sounds painful.

Soccer Mom
08-18-2006, 07:32 PM
Death by corkscrew?

Some of the oddball things I have seen in real life were bludgeoning by a log, head bashed in by a huge padlock and a woman beaten to death with a flute.

Oh, and there was a duct tape murder-suffocation.

Kate Thornton
08-18-2006, 09:35 PM
Kitchen sink - you know you can drown someone in as little a 3 inches of water...
I like the idea of a garbage disposal accident - water, a chopper and electricity - there's something lethal there somewhere...

The tiger whiskers sounds difficult to harvest.

A simple overdose of prescription drugs is always a good one, and usually blamed on the victim.

Ordinary_Guy
08-18-2006, 10:13 PM
Make sure he's wearing a tie. Give a document to feed into the shredder. Be standing in front of him when he leans over.

Risen_Flower
08-19-2006, 02:40 AM
Wow, I'm just choked with laughter here. All these are interesting ways to die I suppose. One thing I don't ever recall reading, are the types where the victim dies slowly, like with poision and the victim doesn't die the same day--yet dying away each day.





How about
-Death by cotton candy. A stuffing of it. Yeah?
- Death by the heel of a woman's shoe
- Death by the blade of a fan


..... Can't think of anything else at the moment.

KatRiley
08-19-2006, 04:38 AM
How about
-Death by cotton candy. A stuffing of it. Yeah?


You just brought to mind that horrible scene in the movie Seven - death by Spaghetti. Which is actually what I was planning on making for dinner. Oh, well. Back to the drawing board. :)

stevejohnson
08-19-2006, 08:09 AM
I remember reading about a true 19th century detective in England where prostitutes were dying in the bathtub, but they weren't drowning and electricity wasn't in common use then.

It turns out that, in order to solve the mystery of their deaths, the detective actually had to hire prostitutes to take baths so he could figure out how the others had died.

He tried pushing them under water... Their legs prevented their heads from being pushed down, no matter how hard he pushed. And it would have left bruising the murder victims didn't have.

Finally in desparation, he went to the foot of the tub and pulled the girl's legs out of the tub. Her head hit the lip of the tub and knocked her out.

The detective pulled the girl out before she drown, but then went to examine the other corpses and found they also had bruising on the ankles... They managed to convict the killer.

stevejohnson
08-19-2006, 08:10 AM
Oh, another one used by the Nazi's... Garden hose up the rectum.

jpserra
10-09-2006, 04:18 PM
I've been indulging in mundane murder by gun. However, I did write a locked room mystery wherein the victim died of a cut throat. It ended up that he wanted the insurance money for his family and devised a way of cutting his own throat and disposing of the knife himself. I know, believability is stretched here a bit, but it flowed well.

JPS

JDCrayne
10-10-2006, 01:16 AM
Ah, yes. One musn't forget to properly dispose of the corpse.

The traditional shallow grave! And if you've ever been digging around here in our hard clay soil, you'd know why it's always shallow. I've stuffed bodies in old wells, rolled them in quilts and shoved them in next to the water heater, left them at the foot of the stairs in abandoned houses, and grew a blackberry thicket over one who was still in his car from a murder in the 'Forties.

As far as methods go, I'm a fan of the blunt instrument; it's so easy!
I did suggest to a pipe-smoker that dribbling cyanide into the bowl would probably do him in the next time that he lit it. I might work that into a book one of these days.

Kate Thornton
10-10-2006, 02:10 AM
Ah, the smell of almonds!

JDCrayne
10-10-2006, 06:20 AM
Ah, the smell of almonds!

Chinese take-out and almond cookies -- just pry up the half almond on top,
scoop out a bit of the cookie, put in a lethal dose of cyanide, and replace the almond.

This all reminds me of a 1960s humor book called "My Brother Was An Only Child," where a man comitted suicide by swallowing two Alka-Seltzer tablets, drinking a glass of water, and fizzing to death.

jpserra
10-27-2006, 08:39 AM
I've been considering writing a piece where several people die mysteriously from radiation exposure. In fact, they have been quietly irradiated by the murderer while they slept.

JPS

Soccer Mom
11-02-2006, 12:51 AM
Hmmm. I'm toying with nicotine poisoning. It's frightfully easy.

aadams73
11-02-2006, 03:03 AM
I killed an old lady in my last book with a skein of wool. Poor thing.

I just love thinking up interesting ways to kill characters :D

Del
11-02-2006, 03:52 AM
I'd like to suck out all their blood and, after they're dead, put it all back. I wonder if anyone would notice.

aadams73
11-02-2006, 03:53 AM
Um. I wonder if the blood vessels would collapse after you drained the blood? You might not be able to pump it back in.

(of course, I am in no way connected to the medical field)

limitedtimeauthor
11-02-2006, 06:13 AM
You know, this thread in and of itself inspires an interesting plot: Which of these posters is actually a crazed serial killer, who isn't just writing about it? :eek:

I know, it's been done. (Wasn't there a movie where the guy kept the dead bodies in the lake by his cabin?) But still, this thread just lends itself to these ideas.... Who do you think is the guilty party??

ltd.

Del
11-02-2006, 06:28 AM
All those dead bodies in my back yard died of natural causes. I SWEAR!!

MarkEsq
11-05-2006, 11:22 PM
You know, this thread in and of itself inspires an interesting plot: Which of these posters is actually a crazed serial killer, who isn't just writing about it? :eek:



Here, drink this if you really want to find out...

Jongfan
11-06-2006, 12:21 AM
[quote=MyFirstMystery]In my first mystery manuscript my victim is killed with a kitchen knife. What murder methods have you not put in a novel yet but might like to try? Here are a few that I'd like to try someday.


The ultimate murder weapon: A large Icicle. The evidence melts leaving only a corpse behind.

Evaine
11-12-2006, 04:30 PM
It must be thirty years ago that I saw a TV play (they did single plays, Armchair Theatre type things, back then), with exactly that method of murder. A man was stabbed to death in a sauna. The murder weapon couldn't have been smuggled out, and everyone in there was wearing only a towel, so impossible to hide it. The icicle, I think, was not pure water, but mixed with some sort of chemical which meant it melted slowly enough for it to be taken in and used before it disappeared.

Good Word
11-13-2006, 12:41 AM
Boomerang clogs.

That's what I want.

Pink ones, silent but deadly.

dahmnait
11-13-2006, 03:30 AM
Boomerang clogs.

That's what I want.

Pink ones, silent but deadly.Well, Christmas is coming....

I really appreciate this thread. I don't feel quite so twisted now.

veinglory
11-13-2006, 03:39 AM
Injection of potassium solution through the sole of the foot (no chemical trace, no needle mark). Not that I've though about it.

A.M. Wildman
01-27-2007, 12:16 AM
The bandana/silk scarf- Not only a fashion accessory, but a handy garrotte for strangulation, and with some creative sewing to create a pocket, insertion of a chunk of lead, roll of quarters, etc. it makes a handy dandy sap/blackjack that fits in your back pocket. A belt could be used in similar ways.

Radiator hose, duct tape and sand- cap one end, fill with sand, cap other end. Effective tool for breaking bones, could easily be used to bludgeon someone to death.

Good old fashoined rat poison.

Miracle Gro not just for tomatos and other plants.

Ground glass with afternoon tea. A specialty drink brought to you by the inmates of your nearest correctional facility

ice pick to the kidney- creates a wound that pretty much self seals, causes death in approximately 90 seconds or so, and symptoms may resemble a heart attack to any bystanders. Hard to detect without an autopsy.

ye olde gunshot- simple but effective.

;)

I have the mind of a criminal genius... I keep it in the freezer next to mother.:D

Del
01-27-2007, 03:39 AM
I have the mind of a criminal genius... I keep it in the freezer next to mother.:D

Oh no. Another one. How many of these criminal genius mother freezers are we supposed to endure?

We have mother freezing writers everywhere.



Oh, and welcome to AW, Wildman.

:D

A.M. Wildman
01-27-2007, 08:52 AM
lol Thanks for the welcome delarge. Now back to your regularly scheduled murder and mayhem. :D

kikazaru
01-27-2007, 10:51 PM
I know people who lived next door to the neighbour from hell - a woman who was certifiable - and unbelievably nasty with it. She looked like a sweet old thing, but had a file at the local police dept as thick as the NY phone book from all the complaints from everyone, who had the misfortune to have her for a neighbour. These friends moved, because the husband said that he would lie in bed at night and plot this woman's demise - and he was starting to scare himself.

These two are from him and are contingent on being near the water, and since this was a neighbourhood on a lake it was applicable for his purposes. One scenerio was him waiting under her dock until she went for her morning swim and just pulling her under. The other scenerio was waiting til she was on her dock and beaning her with a block of ice shot from a sling shot from his deck - and having her fall in and drown. Both would do the trick.

Btw she's dead now - and the causes were entirely natural (or so it would seem...;))

Anthony Ravenscroft
01-27-2007, 11:23 PM
The ultimate murder weapon: A large Icicle. The evidence melts leaving only a corpse behind.
*>-sigh-<*

I truly hoped this thread had died. Or that the people contributing it weren't interested in writing mystery.

The above is a nice example of why people really need to read great heaping tons of the stuff they want to write:

A man is apparently murdered (...) killed by a falling icicle (...) In some versions, the victim is apparently stabbed!
That'd be #53, in James Young's 101 Plots Used and Abused, first published 1945, a collection of "really great ideas" that most editors were thoroughly sick of hearing.

The "coolest" gimmick in the world won't save a half-arsed piece of writing. I expect that CSI: Crime Scene Investigation will be cancelled after its 2007-2008 season because it's become more interested in gimmicky gosh-wow stuff than in developing fascinating cast or properly using some very talented actors.

Great writing surpasses its plot-holes.

What if the killer were to do something, but the method fails... except that the intended victim soon turns up dead? Feeling guilty, the failed killer tries to clean up &/or hide evidence. The poor cops have to go back & figure out who did what, & who the actual killer was -- much more entertaining.

Methods? Pah; cheap. Anyone can find the chemical that, blown in a victim's face, will have even them convinced s/he's having a heart attack, & by the time the corpse gets to the morgue the stuff's gone.

But where's the story?

picsbypat
04-08-2007, 04:40 AM
How about training an animal to do the dirty deed? I'm planning on using this one someday, but I know it's been done before, including a very clever episode of Monk, when a radio personality trained a dog to respond to his voice and turn on the gas in his wife's fireplace. She died of the fumes while he was at work, with an audience of thousands listening to him. Pretty clever, I think.

JDCrayne
04-08-2007, 05:46 AM
How about training an animal to do the dirty deed?

I read one like that. I don't remember the details, but it involved the killer's standard poodle and a trip wire that fired a gun while the killer was establishing an alibi. Of course, one would have to go back and dismantle the apparatus or someone would be bound to have suspicions.

Joe270
04-08-2007, 07:34 AM
The icicle bit is old hat. Edgar Allen Poe (or was it Doyle?) came up with that a century ago.

What about those silica gel packs that come in everything these days?

We can put our heads together and come up with a way to bump off someone with a sat dish.

I guess we could have politicians bore someone to death, sorta a take on "Clockwork Orange", the victim must watch endless campaign (cam-pain?) speaches. No, wait, that's happening to all of us. Murderers!

Kentuk
04-08-2007, 08:53 AM
I've been accused of boring people to death but they've never found any bodies so I don't have to worry about clean up.

BardSkye
04-08-2007, 09:40 AM
I used to have aconite and horseradish in the same garden. Apparently the roots can be mistakenly switched. One is heaven with roast beef and the other will send you to heaven while eating your roast beef.

I've always wanted to impale someone with a forklift.

Kentuk
04-08-2007, 10:25 AM
I used to have aconite and horseradish in the same garden. Apparently the roots can be mistakenly switched. One is heaven with roast beef and the other will send you to heaven while eating your roast beef.

I've always wanted to impale someone with a forklift.

Aconite can leave you howling at the moon with hairy fingers. Didn't someone say you had hairy fingers and tended to howl alot?

It is more fun to squash people with a forklift. The squeal and scream and then blood splatters everywhere. Plus you can make it look accidental by screwing with the hydrolic valves afterwards. The coronor will chalk it up as dealth due to stupidity. Death by forklift has the virtue of not having to clean up afterwards.

BardSkye
04-08-2007, 07:07 PM
The last manuscript didn't have anything imaginative in the trying-to-kill-the-hero area, but the villain wasn't an imaginative man. This time I'm thinking of setting the climactic scene in a gravel pit. Lots of interesting things to do in a gravel pit. And they have forklifts around.

Joe270
04-08-2007, 10:11 PM
And rock-crushers, Bardskye, gravel pits have rock crushers.

And clamshell buckets.

How many people do we get to kill in this novel?

BardSkye
04-09-2007, 03:00 AM
And rock-crushers, Bardskye, gravel pits have rock crushers.

And clamshell buckets.

How many people do we get to kill in this novel?

... and miles of conveyor belts, and big freakin' trucks, and bulldozers (which I've never been able to pass by without a wary look since I saw Killdozer as a kid) and chains, and...:banana:

What was the question?

Oh, yeah. I don't know yet. The last novel only had one, off-screen and before the story began. My villain wasn't very good at killing, but at least he tried.

Should we try for a whole hockey team?

Joe270
04-09-2007, 10:15 PM
"The New Hampshire Rock Crusher Massacre"

Stainless steel hockey stick blades honed to a razor-sharp edge.

55 gallon drums filled with victims.

Man, we're gonna have to set this story in China, it's the only place with a population large enough for our body count.

Gillhoughly
04-10-2007, 12:17 AM
Location is important. I researched this a few years back, so the stastics may have changed, but...

In cases where the death was in a house,

Men tended to kill women in the bedroom,

Women tended to kill men in the kitchen.

As I've stated before, only pick a fight in neutral territory like a shopping mall; you've a better chance of surviving it!

BardSkye
04-10-2007, 01:31 AM
"The New Hampshire Rock Crusher Massacre"

Stainless steel hockey stick blades honed to a razor-sharp edge.

55 gallon drums filled with victims.

Man, we're gonna have to set this story in China, it's the only place with a population large enough for our body count.


"Revenge of the Refs!" Deke will have you on the edge of your seat as he comes up with novel places to stash a whistle and gives 'slashing' a different meaning!

MarkEsq
04-10-2007, 08:15 PM
In my WIP, the first victim is punched in the face then pushed into a coffin made of ice (the murderer is an ice sculptor). The coffin is then quickly sealed, suffocating the victim, and pushed into a lake where it takes two days to melt.
The end result is a body with no obvious cause of death, and with a misleading time of death, too (ice slowing down rigor/decomposition).

Joe270
04-10-2007, 09:04 PM
Pretty cool, Mark.

There's still evidence of trauma, a busted nose.

And if the vic wasn't unconcious, then there'd be all sorts of injuries suffered from trying to escape the ice vault.

Pretty neat idea. The cops are gonna talk to you.

Anthony Ravenscroft
04-11-2007, 09:14 AM
The end result is a body with no obvious cause of death, and with a misleading time of death, too (ice slowing down rigor/decomposition).
Um... then the COD will be "suffocation," & the coroner will note signs of skin freezing that couldn't have been produced by the water.

Hm, lack of air, direct contact with ice... maybe should ask some questions of that guy who has big chunks of ice in his studio, just to get his opinion on how someone could have suffocated in a big ice-lined box....

Joe270
04-11-2007, 10:04 AM
Anthony, certainly the ice casket is thickly lined with newsprint, which will also become an unidentifiable gooey mass on the lake bed. Newsprint's a wonderful insulator.

I don't know if this ice coffin would fool real investigators in a real murder, but this is a novel. We are supposed to believe. Sci-fi goes nowhere quickly without the big lie--faster than light travel.

I'm still laughing at your last line. Hmmm. Evidence of ice preservation, ice sculptor, I think someone needs to lawyer up.

DeadlyAccurate
04-11-2007, 07:29 PM
I'm so boring. My heroine just shoots, stabs, or garrotes her targets. Barry Eisler's had some interesting ways his hero has killed his targets, though.

MarkEsq
04-11-2007, 09:00 PM
Um... then the COD will be "suffocation," & the coroner will note signs of skin freezing that couldn't have been produced by the water.[/quote]

Joe is right, there is a certain amount of suspension of disbelief, as there is in any fiction work. My ME is not the most competent...! Plus I'm not sure there would be signs of freeze burn on the skin - he is on his back, wearing clothes. Maybe I'll stick some newspaper in there to be sure.


Hm, lack of air, direct contact with ice... maybe should ask some questions of that guy who has big chunks of ice in his studio, just to get his opinion on how someone could have suffocated in a big ice-lined box....

But the ice sculptor is not a suspect because, of course, no-one suspects the involvement of ice, and he is in jail on a DWI charge the night the cops think the murder happened.

Kate Thornton
04-11-2007, 10:07 PM
An ice-sculptor driving drunk. Jeeze, just the image gives me some good ideas for stories!

Anthony Ravenscroft
04-12-2007, 09:52 AM
Among other points, "suspension of disbelief" relies upon credibility. If you can't make the latter, the former doesn't have a chance.

Gods know it's true that many (maybe most) works of fiction depend upon a chain of events that could only charitably be described as "highly unlikely." But as anyone who's been or listened to an old-time storyteller knows, the fact that something's a tall tale is perfectly acceptable if the teller is good enough to make it acceptable.

If so, then gimmicks are redundant.

Nobody -- seriously, nobody -- is gonna say, "Yeah, s/he can't tell a story fer crap, but boy was the murder cool -- I'm glad I paid $7.99!!"

Case
04-29-2007, 09:12 PM
For the first victim among a gory slew of them in a bucolic whodunit whose sleuth is an FBI (fumbling, bumbling, idiot) local sheriff, in whose county the major payrolls derive from cows, hay and meth labs, I'm vacillating between a nail gun and log splitter, neither of which should leave much in the way of ballistics evidence (at least after a good hosing of the latter).

I'm leaning heavily toward the log splitter, but I haven't entirely dismissed a third possibility, the pectoral barb of a seven-pound channel cat.

The owner of that piscatorial pig-sticker would be retrieved, cleaned and frozen, then later battered, fried and served to townsfolk at the regular Friday night church fish-fry social -- always the pride of the sheriff, who considered himself the county's premier catfish chef.

http://www.10xshooters.com/images/casecap_sm.gif

Anthony Ravenscroft
04-29-2007, 11:39 PM
(Do you fish for cat? C'mon up to Crookston, MN -- we get twenties often, & the water's so pure that they make great eating.)

Roll out the logic. Assuming the target gets dead, & the CSA says, "Hmm -- the catfish did it!" the story kinda stops there. What they gon' do, put a cordon of cop cars in the river & frisk all the fish???

Now, if you write it as a bit of literary irony, then it's good schtick. As a "murder gimmick" it'd provoke snickering.

Case
04-30-2007, 04:00 AM
Roll out the logic.
Scientists insist on the logical; writers can settle for the merely plausible, made so through cleverly convincing writing and characterization.

Since you're obviously familiar with the anatomy of a catfish, I'm sure you'll agree it's quite plausible that someone slapped smartly upside the temple with the extended barb of a seven-pounder could easily perish from the event.

And since I'm fairly familiar with the motley population of minimally educated, violent bumpkins who inhabit the hilly badlands of Eastern Oklahoma, I can assure you killing someone with a catfish could easily be rendered believable, either accidentally or intentionally. In fact, such might evoke little more than a chuckle from the locals. Life's cheap and tempers are quick in these mountains.

I'm still leaning toward the log splitter but I plan on a high body count, which leaves ample room for that and also an amusing death by catfish -- and any number of other unique means to someone's end.

Think gallows comedy, with moments of serious relief.

gp101
05-02-2007, 02:12 PM
I've noticed that it's getting tougher to come up with different/exotic places to have your character killed off. In real life there are cameras seemingly everywhere, so unless you kill off your character in the home, you have to make sure it's a place where (in real life) we as readers wouldn't say "but wouldn't there be a camera nearby?" Either the murder or the murder's escape can be so easily detected by the onslaught of security cameras.

So, no death near the ATM, in the office building, in the parking lot. What's a murderer to do?

dub
05-07-2007, 04:48 PM
CSI TV has really stolen many of the great murder ideas. Even one I used - I had a priest drown in a bathtub - carbon dioxide. I also had a man run over by a mule - this was my favorite - the twist in proving a murder was wonderful. I used cheesecake in another - lol - won't give that one away.

The best are the really odd accidents that happen. Like a spring that pierces the back of victim (taxi cab). Read the obits - some great stuff there.

Eudaemonic
05-23-2007, 03:26 AM
Yeah, and the 'Darwin Awards' - has anyone seen that? 'How Dumb Humans Have met their Maker' is the tagline.

I like the old empty syringe thing, stops the heart and leaves no trace? Correct me if I'm wrong about this.

Mostly when I kill a character off, the death isn't the mysterious part. Whoodunnit rather than Howdunnit.

daemon

Anthony Ravenscroft
05-23-2007, 09:10 AM
Empty syringe? As in, inject a bubble of air? Old hat in the 1950s, & not all that difficult to discover -- what, you think the air just leaks out the dead guy?

scarletpeaches
05-23-2007, 07:25 PM
- Thwacked with a ball peen hammer.

Sorry, the Yorkshire Ripper's already beaten you to it. If you'll pardon the pun.

Sassee
05-23-2007, 07:29 PM
Death by nature is always fun...

http://www.insecta-inspecta.com/ants/army/index.html

Army ants kill and eat up to 100,000 animals in a day. Together they can kill lizards, snakes, chickens, pigs, goats, scorpions, and many other animals. They also climb trees and eat birds plus insects that may live in trees.

http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Eciton_burchelli.html

Eciton burchelli are swarm raiders, foraging in a dense fan shaped swarms that can span several meters across, attached to the temporary nest (bivouac) by a single column that can itself extend over 200 meters. Their large colony size of 100,000 to 2,000,000 adult individuals (Gotwald, 1995) make their foraging swarms especially intimidating.

1. Tie up/sedate victim in or near projected path of ants.
2. Cover victim in something the ants will consider yummy and/or inflict small cuts to put the smell of blood in the air.
3. Wait. If the ants don't get the victim, other scavenger animals will.

This could be extended to any animal/insect in the victim's native area. Also, it makes it more fun if the victim has a phobia of insects. What a way to go, eh?


Although I personally prefer death by supernatural methods in my WIPs. I'm an avid reader of cross-genre mysteries and it's so much fun to pull things out of my arse and make 'em believable.

catethegreat
06-09-2008, 04:09 AM
Bump.

This is an awesome thread. The Mystery/Thriller/Suspense board has been a little too quiet. Quieter than I would have expected. Sad. :-(

sheadakota
06-09-2008, 05:04 AM
perhaps everyone has been killed?

Appalachian Writer
06-09-2008, 05:07 AM
In my WIP, the first victim is punched in the face then pushed into a coffin made of ice (the murderer is an ice sculptor). The coffin is then quickly sealed, suffocating the victim, and pushed into a lake where it takes two days to melt.
The end result is a body with no obvious cause of death, and with a misleading time of death, too (ice slowing down rigor/decomposition).

How very clever you are. Are family members wary? LOL

catethegreat
06-09-2008, 06:31 AM
My poor victims die in the standard fashion: strangulation, gunshot wounds, knives to the chests, etc.

But, I did kill a guy once with a pencil to the eye--schoolgirl gone bad. *wink*

Dommo
06-09-2008, 06:35 AM
Myself, I'd force a person to ingest a neodymium magnet. Then after about an hour, I'd get out an electro magnet with adjustable strength, and start tearing through their internal organs by dragging the small magnet around. Then I'd finish the job by doing an Aliens style stomach burst scene, where I rip the magnet through their body.

RJK
06-09-2008, 06:40 PM
Here's one for you: Death by Salt Potatoes. For the unfamiliar, these are potatoes boiled in a heavy concentration of salt water (about a cup and a half of salt for ten pounds of potatoes). They are deliscious. Overdosing on these will make you VERY thirsty. The death comes from drinking so much water that you unbalance the victim's electrolytes and he dies.

Joycecwilliams
06-09-2008, 07:00 PM
I saw an Alfred Hitchcock show where a woman killed her husband by wacking him over the head with a frozen leg of lamb. The police never found the murder weapon and the wife had the police department over for a leg of lamb dinner... I was only 8 years old when I saw it.. but never forgot it. :)

Joycecwilliams
06-09-2008, 07:02 PM
I always thought anti freeze would be good.