One of hte fun things about writing is that you have a gold-plated excuse to buy books like: Poisons – A Comprehensive List; Guns and Knives – Classifications, Use and Care; Serial Murders – A Profilers Manual. You also get to binge watch criminal process shows like Forensics Files or The First 48 and so forth under the heading of “research” (I wonder if you can use binge watching documentaries on Netflix as a tax deduction?).
But the other day I had a crushing realization –
I would totally suck at being a murderer.
Not because I can’t think of horrible ways to kill someone or because I can’t take apart a random situation in a cafe from a tactical viewpoint (this is what happens when you read those books – you become hyper-aware of things like security cameras, peak hours and so on), it’s because things are getting so ridiculously complicated for hiding evidence.
I discovered that they were able to trace firewood taken from a stack for a party bonfire and used 2 miles away for a body disposal based on the chemical signature of the wood – not cut marks or tree rings – in order to determine a suspect’s presence at both locations and justify a warrant to get a DNA sample to determine whether or not he committed crime X.
The study of forensics has extended out to the point that most laymen would call the examination of the clues to be so friggin’ stretched that they’re anorexically thin.
And this is why I would suck at being a murderer.
I would turn into one of those OCD types that would go through so many hoops and gyrations of trying to destroy the evidence in every way I could imagine, that every cop in the area would look at me and say “Yeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhhh… you’re guilty. We don’t even need to test those results. Seriously lady… You took a bath in 12 gallons of bleach before and after burning “yard waste” for 15 hours solid. Then you shovel up the entire firepit, dump it all in an HCL container before taking a wire brush and RO water to scrub all the rocks, trees, an abandoned outhouse and the clouds passing overhead in the area clean. After which, you let the fire remains soak in the HCL for a week before drying it out and burning it again in a different location, then going on a road trip randomly dumping and burying 1 measuring cup of soot and ashes at various rest stops. Then you scrubbed the interior of your car clean before ripping out the upholstery in your car, burnt it separately from the car, chopped the car into parts that were taken to 35 different scrap metal buyers in 12 states. Then you bought an all new wardrobe, shoes and house furnishings from Goodwill because you had a midnight fit of remorse after watching one of those sad commercials and shipped everything you owned to a third world country via 4 different charities whose receipts you did not keep. And yet, despite all your precautions, we discovered a tiny bit of bone sliver from your victim wedged between the teeth of a racoon brought to a random ranger by a hiker who thought “the critter looked sick,” thereby positively identifying victim Bob Shovimpltaz, last seen in the same McDonald’s parking lot as you 3 years ago.
And if you didn’t kill him, then you’re some kind of messed up tweaker and need to go in anyway.”