I recently read a fascinating book, written by none other than a favorite celebrity detective, Ichabod Crane. Without a doubt, since he wrote this book, he knows the ins and outs of the material, and knows how to detect the opposite of what he describes. He broke this book down in six chapters. I will examine each of the chapters with a summation of the contents of each chapter.
I also find it fascinating that an investigator would write a book on how to get away with murder – when his job and duty is to make sure people don’t get away with it. Why would a professional such as he do such a thing? It would be considered unethical for a toxicologist like me to write a book on how to poison people without detection.
I have never been one to be hung up what someone does. I have, however, been hung up on why someone does it. That is always the important thing to know. After all, what’s done is done, am I wrong? What motivated that action is what people really learn from. Identifying the causal mechanisms is how we prevent… I will come back to that thought.
Some of this is pure common sense. Some of this is pure nonsense. A person could kill anyone, anywhere. It is all about the tell. Gamblers are able to lie, cheat and steal right in front of the person they are swindling – and get away with it. The most successful are able to even convince their victim they made it out ahead. It’s all about the tells. Gamblers, in particular card players, call it the Poker Face. Poker, being a particular, yet highly popular card game. Actors call it the pantomime. Being able to convince someone else that something else is happening, than what really is. How “fake” would watching a dramatic opera, if none of the actors could act dramatic? They would not be very successful, now would they? Why is any of that relevant? Someone that goes way out of their way to do exactly what he just said you need to do, would be obvious. That is a tell.
Chapter 1: Your Location
|OK, before we start all this, let me declare that you must wear gloves before committing murder. A ring you are wearing could fall off, you could cut yourself when striking with a weapon, and etc. Open wounds and fallen jewelry can be incriminating against you. Do not choose a location that can be readily linked to you or your victim. Consider a rarely frequented location, such as an abandoned warehouse. Do not message your victim or send a letter inviting them to meet you there. You are not asking this person for a date, and you certainly do not want to leave any evidence of your being there. Most successful murderers operate in areas far from their home. When traveling to this location, alternate your route and avoid retaining evidence of your travels – such as itinerary and souvenirs. Pay with coins, avoid credit schemes.|
Location, location, location. That is always the key isn’t it? No. This is strictly a case of do it where you are most comfortable with. A foreign area or an area you are not familiar with, will lead to things being overlooked. Overlooking things will lead to mistakes. Mistakes… That is a tell.
Chapter 2: Your Weapon
|There are literally thousands of weapons available to you. Be careful to choose one appropriate to the setting, and one that you are comfortable using. The weapons used to put-down a slave revolt or a zombie attack aren’t necessarily appropriate for a discrete murder at the opera. Consider these advanced techniques relating to specific weapons:|
|Knife: Apply the knife to the victim’s neck, wrist, chest, or back of the legs. These are the location of major arteries and veins. However, this spills blood, try making the victim stand on a large piece of plastic sheeting that covers your location’s room.|
|Heavy Object: Whack your victim until their screams end.|
|Fire: Burn them to death by trapping them in a small room. This is risky, since fire may be difficult to control.|
Weapon doesn’t mean a thing. Someone could die from choking on a fingernail flung in their food just as easily as being beheaded by an orc with an axe. Who really gives a shit? If you are going to kill, you are going to kill. Weapons are just a means to an end. They are not related to the end. Use what you are most comfortable with. Using what may be the most effective weapon that you are not comfortable with would be obvious. That is a tell.
Chapter 3: The Murder
|Try to make the murder look like suicide. This is achieved by rubbing the weapon on your victim when you are finished. Note that this strategy will prove ineffective if you killed the person by stabbing them in the back. You must quickly dispose of your clothing and anything else that could link you to the crime. Far too many murderers have been caught when a random peace officer stopped them for petty infractions and noticed a severed head in their possession. If you intend to make a career of murder, you should consider establishing multiple identities, and you must always have a clear escape plan for each location in which you live.|
This is pure nonsense. People can tell when a suicide is really a suicide. When rigor mortis starts to set in, the muscles start to lock up in the position that they were in at the time of death. Suicide victims have completely natural muscle positioning. Someone that is killed will not. Simple as that. Crime scene investigators will be able to tell if the body has been molested in any way after death. In order to make the murder look like a suicide, the muscles and limbs would be unnatural. That is a tell.
Chapter 4: Removing the Evidence
|If you follow this simple guide you will carefully and systematically remove all evidence. Do not miss out any stages – it will result in an Imperfect Murder. If using a weapon that draws blood, ensure that you clean the murder scene or otherwise destroy it with fire. Note that excessive tidiness is in itself suspicious, so avoid getting blood on anything that will be seen by others. If you intend to murder the person in a property owned by you, prepare beforehand.|
This is actually pretty accurate. There is a saying, “Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence,” however. One of the best methods is to have the evidence in a position to be intentionally tampered with. Insects, animals, and even foot traffic can ruin clues. Use your environment, don’t try to control it. Trying to control your environment would be obvious. That is a tell.
Chapter 5: Dispose of the Corpse
|A simple and easy way to deal with the corpse is to burn it. However, burning rarely destroys all evidence. A remote body of water is an ideal choice. Dumping the body into the sea is also very effective… just don’t be that quick to dump them near the shore. Plan carefully and dump it way out there; international you could say. Tip cut the body up first. Remove the important organs like fingers, teeth, feet and ears. It is better to commit your murder in summer. Remember that the body would decompose easily when there is a high temperature. If you plan to hide your evidences properly, don’t ever do it. This may be unnecessary if you tend to leave the corpse behind to mislead the police.|
Water can be an amazing way of concealment, but unless you own your own boat, it is very risky. You could borrow a boat, but that would leave a trail. If you work on a boat, there will be someone else on it. Cutting the body apart can lead to mistakes. Plus, the carcass of any animal, including humans, is very tough. Unless you know what you are doing, it could take a very long time and be very tiring. Pigs, however, will eat anything. Find a pig farm. Otherwise, trying to dispose of a body without knowing exactly how to do it is very risky. It could also lead to paranoia of the body forever being found. That is a tell.
Chapter 6: Blame Someone Else
|The classic lesson of politicians and business leaders alike will serve you well. As well as keeping yourself free from blame, you may intent to frame someone else for the murder. Perhaps this is to aid your evasion of the authorities, or maybe it’s linked to your motive for the murder. In the unlikely event that the police suspect your involvement, the following approaches may be used in order to make you confess:|
|Guilt Trap – They will tell you about the family’s anguish, and how the victim suffered. They will make you want to make yourself suffer as a penance. Avoid guilt, kill someone without family, who cannot feel pain. Or, you can do the opposite – kill his whole family. It’ll be harder, but you must do it or else you’re in trouble. You’ve already murdered a person. That proves that you’re cold blooded. It doesn’t hurt to kill more people, right?|
|The Bad Detective Routine – One detective will be sweet and civil. Then a different detective will ask the nice one to leave the room. He will beat the confession out of you. But this is very unlikely to happen. They don’t want to kill you, just remain silent. Blurt out absurdities if the pain becomes too much.|
|Lie Detection – these can be beaten by making your responses erratic. When asked questions, lie about everything, even the control questions. When asked what day it is, lie. When asked about what you are wearing, lie. That sort of lying will undoubtedly be considered some type of insanity, and you will be given up on.|
|The police can do nothing about you if you don’t have enough evidence. So remember – don’t leave any evidence behind. If you manage to get past Chapter 6, then you have completed your murder successfully. Now, be calm and stop murdering people for a while, okay?|
This section is purely avoidable if you never let the evidence catch up to you. However, this is where your inter-personal skills will be at the utmost test. You need to learn how to not give yourself away. Hang out with actors and gamblers. Learning how to lie without lying is the key. If someone figures out you are dishonest in the slightest you are in trouble. That is a tell.
Don’t kill unless you can. Simple as that. It is a hell of a thing to take a person’s life. This world is filled with predators and prey. What are you? Some people kill because they have to. Some people kill because they want to. Even fewer people kill because they need to. Giving the appearance of absolute normalcy is the key to everything. Business as usual is your credo. Also, why is an investigator teaching people how to kill? Is he trying to lower crime rates by creating undetectable criminals?
Absolutely not. He knows people are going to try to follow the advice in this book. He knows what to look for, step by step. By providing a “checklist” he is setting up his future crime scenes in advance. No wonder this investigator is so successful. He helps create his murderers beforehand. He knows exactly how to catch them prior to them even producing their first victim.
The Westcrown Ripper, or “Jack the Ripper,” Jack being a common dockside nickname of people, doesn’t fit his guidelines on the perfect murder. That is why he has described the murderer as intelligent and persuasive. The Ripper is actually giving him pause. It is making him think. And he loves it. He gets very bored at the same old same old. Catching murderers is just as much a need for him, as a murder is as much a need for the murderer.
Mr. Crane needs to catch me. I need Mr. Crane to try.