1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Does this ending have to be explained to the reader in order to be understood?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ryan Elder, Jul 28, 2016.

    For my story it's about a cop who wants to bring down a gang of criminals, even breaking the law and do it on his own himself, to try to do it successfully.

    However, when writing it, I kept facing too problems. If he is acting on his own, how is he suppose to be bring in any evidence, without it becoming fruit of the poisonous tree? Since he is acting on his own, without search or wire tap warrants, he cannot bring any evidence, that would be admissible in court.

    Another problem I had is that I wanted the MC to bring the villains down all at once, without having to one, than the other, than the other, etc. Cause then it would look too suspicious and get too complicated, to the police, cause there is only so much he can get away with, and the villains would be less able to be taken by surprise at that point. It just creates more complications.

    Basically I did some research and sat down with a real police officer, and came up with an ending that I think would work, at least well enough, but I am not sure if the reader will understand it.

    Basically in order for evidence to be accepted without being fruit of the poisonous tree, there is one thing that the MC could do. He can tail and spy on the villains until he sees one of the villains go to a certain place. After the villain leaves, the MC then breaks into that place and finds incriminating evidence on all the villains.

    Basically the main leader of the gang of villains has collateral on each of the members by video-recording each one of their blood ins. A blood in, is when a gang recruits a new member, that member has to spill the blood of another person, to prove they are reliable, but also to prove that they are not undercover cops.

    He then takes all of the videorecordings on all of them, with him. He then arranges for the villains to all be in the same place at the same time, through baiting and manipulating them with his own little sting operation. He then goes to where they are and breaks into the building, but without making much noise, so they won't notice.

    He then leaves the video recordings in plain view, where he broke in. He gets an ally of his to make an anonymous call to the police. The caller then tips the police by reporting a break in that just happened, and that there are video recordings in plain view at the entrance of the place, that was broken into. The caller tells the police that on these recordings are the blood ins of all the gang members, that were recorded for having collateral on each one of them.

    The police then go to the scene, find the break in, and sees the recordings in plain view. They call their superiors, who then call the prosecutor and a judge to get a warrant to obtain them, based on the callers specifics.

    The caller then calls back and tells the police that the gang members who are on that video are also close by in the same building. The gang members shortly later begin to leave, only to discover that the place has been broken into, with the blood in recordings right there, and the police right there waiting for a warrant as well. So this is what the MC was hoping for, to get evidence on them that will not be fruit of the poisonous tree, but also to get all the villains discovered by the police all at once.

    However, do I need to explain to the reader why the MC decides to catch the villains this specific way, with the legal technicalities, of the evidence needing to be reported by someone, other than a cop, or someone related to a cop that is on the case, which is why it has to be anonymous...or that it has to be in plain view, etc.

    Or do most readers understand the how the fruit of the poisonous tree thing works, and they will understand why the MC chooses this specific plan?
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  2. Sal Boxford
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    Sal Boxford Active Member

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    Great idea to go and speak to an actual police officer. I've never done that kind of research myself (but my stories tend to be pretty silly).

    I didn't even know the phrase 'fruit of the poisonous tree' - had to google it. Apparently it's a US term so maybe me being British is the problem there. Also, I don't read a lot of crime writing so it could be reasonable to assume that someone who did would be aware of this rule. To me though, you would definitely need to sneak an explanation in somehow.

    More than anything I'm curious to know why the cop acting on his own? Is there some personal connection whereby he feels the criminals' downfall has to be entirely his work?
     
  3. laurasiren12
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    laurasiren12 Member

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    First of all why doesn't he just go and get a warrant once he knows their secret place? That be the easiest way around the bush.
     
  4. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    The cop is acting on his own out of personal revenge, because of all the damage the gang has done earlier in the story.

    There wasn't enough evidence to bring one of the gang members to trial earlier, so he got off free, but because he is not guilty, the police cannot get search warrants or wire tap orders to investigate further. So the MC acts on his own as a result,

    He can't get a warrant just because he knows their secret place. He is following and spying on them without authorization and I was told by a cop, that a cop could not get a warrant under those circumstances. The only way he can get one is if someone other than a cop, leads the police to previous evidence, hence the anonymous tipper. If the tipper calls and says I know where these murder suspects are, that is also not enough, and the police cannot arrest someone based on anonymous tips, if the tipper just says this is where the murder suspects are.

    The tipper needs to provide proof first, then lead the police to the suspects.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016

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