1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    How can I write this mafia scenario convincingly?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ryan Elder, Apr 24, 2015.

    In a lot of movies, or TV shows, like In the Line of Fire or 24, if the criminal organization suspects their new member wannabe of perhaps being an undercover cop, they will test him by giving him an empty pistol, or bullet sometimes, and have him kill a helpless person.

    However, is that realistic? I mean if you are an undercover cop, and you are giving one bullet and are forced at gunpoint to kill someone, wouldn't you do it anyway? If you don't you will die, along with the other person anyway. So it's inevitable, and there is no way you wouldn't do it, even if you were a cop. So what does this situation logically prove really?

    I was thinking of using the same thing, in order for an undercover's loyalty to be tested, so they can gain trust, quicker for the story. But is that scenario as logical or realistic as the movies would have you think?
     
  2. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    killing is more of a gang thing, for a undercover cop and mafia better to have him supply drugs or launder money.
     
  3. ZYX
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    ZYX Member

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    Depends on the organization. Is it Italian US-based mafia or something else ? What illegal activities does the organization participate in ? Are they drug smugglers, money launderers, or something else ? How large is the organization ? That will impact how much they need to trust them.
     
  4. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    It's a group of terrorists, and they go around assassinating and harming people as part of their terror acts. I haven't decided how large the group, is but probably fairly large.
     
  5. ZYX
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    ZYX Member

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    In that case, I'd say it's very likely they'd have them kill someone, but maybe someone they know ? To make sure they're really able to kill /anyone/ they're asked to. If they've got a real suspicion, I'd bet they'd either torture them to find out or just kill them and avoid future problems with them.
     
  6. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    mafia are not terrorist, as for a undercover cop infiltrating a group like that then yes a random kill is plausible.
     
  7. ZYX
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    ZYX Member

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    Agreed there, mafia is somewhat misleading.
     
  8. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Sorry I just said mafia cause in movies, it usually seems to be a mafia or a gang. Shouldn't have mislead. Well in my case it's terrorists. However, anyone can kill if they have five guys with loaded guns pointed at him saying 'shoot him or we'll kill you'. Lots of cops would pull the trigger, to avoid being killed. So how can you really trust a cop therefore?

    Also they do not ask the cop to kill someone he knows well. Their is another innocent person that knows too much, so the terrorists, kill two birds with one stone. Get rid of the guy who knows too much, and gain trust of the new guy in the process. The cop knows the guy from before in the story, but not as well, if that works.
     
  9. Grenwickle
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    Grenwickle New Member

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    Even if a cop would kill the person anyway, it's still a feasible test for a newbie to a criminal organisation. It would show the terrorist guys how the person reacts to killing someone, and how quick they are to obey a command, no matter what it is. It also gives them something to hold over the person's head, since they have now murdered an innocent person. You could also just make this an initial test, and have it so that the undercover person still needs supervision or something.
    The terrorists testing the person could also just be grunts, and not very smart ones at that. Not everyone thinks things through.
     
  10. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    Does the person want to kill, regardless if he's in the organization? If they want to test his loyalty and trust, he can be anyone if he says he's not a killer at all and refuses. Let somebody else do it. See how they respond; maybe then he'd find out they want HIM to kill because they don't trust him yet.

    Then it doesn't matter anymore if he's a killer or not; if he's a killer he shouldn't refuse, but can still be an undercover spy or agent. If he's not a killer he should come up with something else to do, for example interrogation or being the big boss' food taste man or drug quality checker.

    Is it an actor he's to kill, a target or an innocent kidnappee?

    A lot of gangs in South America initiate gang members. There's no way of getting in there without being seriously fanatic. Even cops would have nothing to gain from infiltrating if they did.

    Dependable upon the amount of doable damage to the organization, the organization should have appropriate measures to track their members.

    An initiation so severe you know there's no way back is extreme, but I'm saying even the police force is not made up out of saints and willing to sacrifice. It's not waterproof.
     
  11. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I want to write it so that they have something to hold over his head later, for when he backs out and goes against them. However, I talked to a real cop about it for research and he said that it's unlikely that a gang could hold that over a cop's head. He says that even if you kill an innocent person, if you were forced to do it at gunpoint, most juries would not convict, since you were forced, so therefore, most prosecutors would not bother to take that to trial. I want to write it so that they hold it over his head later, when he backs out of the terrorist group, but is it true, that it would legally not go to trial likely, and therefore, not work for my story?
     
  12. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    There could be other means of blackmailing, if that's what you're going for.

    An initiation such as your set-up has only a sentimental degree of being in it together. The criminals are fucked both ways in court because they're involved in the same activities.
     
  13. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    That's true, but the criminals could have a mentally where they think 'if we go down, you go down too'. Just so long as the cop is legally blackmailed and will legally be in serious trouble, and it's logical. But I thought that having him kill someone would be good, cause there is another character I need to die to lead to other consequences for the villains later. So I wanted to combine both needs for the story, in one scenario. Does this scenario work and it's logical, or do I need to come up with something else?
     
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  14. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    Does it matter to the bad guys if he's a cop at all, as long as he's in full support of their cause and cooperates? Even if they knew? Does the cop have a moment of weakness, thinking he'd gain something from proving his worth? I imagine he has goals once he's in. He's already in theory legally immune for being forced to kill. Just how forced is it in theory, and how honest is the cop in court, is all very obscure.

    And if they knew, you seem to question whether it's possible to make sure he doesn't switch teams after surely getting on theirs. They want him on their side. Consider the possibilities having a crooked cop working for you.

    It's already an interesting plot you've put the character in. It raises some questions you shouldn't worry about being a nuisance. Just work them out writing, don't see why it should be all that difficult. Don't change your ideas, they're original. And I think they're good.
     
  15. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. The cop is not corrupt or wanting to work for them. The cop wants to stop them, but I want to write it that he is having trouble stopping them, because he now legally blackmailable. I want to write it so that he cannot stop them without getting the cops after him for what he did, but if he is immune, what can I do to change that?

    The bad guys know he is a cop, and that's why they want him. Having a cop on their side, can be used to their advantage. They want a mole in the police department, but need to know if they can trust that mole.

    Basically, I know how I want to end the premise, but I need two things to happen in the story to get the ending.

    1. The cop cannot stop them without going to jail himself for a long time, because they made him blackmailable.

    2. I need the innocent person who gets killed to still be killed by the organization, in order for twists and turns to happen to also, get to the ending.

    If I can use these two things to get to the ending, then the story will work. But if the cop would legally be immune from prosecution, then the idea does not work, and I will probably have to think of something else, to make him blackmailable, right?
     
  16. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    Criminals take risks. It's part of the job. Understand that, and don't worry about taking too much a distance from your creation. It sounds like you need to do some thinking. Good luck.
     
  17. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. But is it true, that the cop would be immune, and that him being forced to kill the person, would not get him into trouble at all?
     
  18. ZYX
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    ZYX Member

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    Yikes ! This question is a lot tougher than I thought ...

    Killing the innocent person should be really simple if they're a terrorist organization, and I'd say you can still have your cop kill them ( this will also help with number 1 because it adds to the stuff they could prosecute him for ).

    As far as how to blackmail him, is he working with the police ? As like a double mole ? Because in that case he could do something his superiors had forbid him from doing or just anything extra ( like he killed someone the org. wasn't making him kill to build trust but if he'd let the guy live it wouldn't have put him in extra danger ).

    If the police /aren't/ working with him, you have it a lot easier, as you can have him just throw himself so far in that it wouldn't be clear to law enforcement whether he started out as a terrorist fanatic and then decided to turn everyone in or it was his plan for the beginning, plus he'd also probably get in trouble for being a mole.

    He would probably have to go to trial over killing the innocent but it wouldn't be hard to convince the jury it was essentially self-defense.
    Not sure if you're able to do any off this in your story or if I phrased things so that they're understandable to you but I can elaborate on ideas or whatever if you need ... Good luck !
     
  19. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. Sorry I should have explained more. He is ultimately, not evil, and morally wants to stop the terrorism. He just killed the innocent person so they wouldn't kill him, as well as the innocent. Even though the terrorists want him to be a mole, he decides to not be, and just pretends to be to survive, and still be undercover to stop them.

    However, since it may not be hard to convince a jury it was self defense, would it even go to trial, logically? As long as the audience buys it, the story works. But I want to have it so that he is charged with the person's death, after not giving into blackmail (and can no longer pretend to be a mole when that happens), and therefore, he is on his own, and both sides are working against him. As long as I can have him be charged and going to trial, then the idea will work, but would they take it trial, if it's likely easy to convince a jury otherwise?
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  20. ZYX
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    ZYX Member

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    Ah, sorry, I just meant whether or not the police would interpret him as a terrorist or an undercover agent if he isn't officially working with the police.

    I can't say too much about how the trial would go over or if they would even press charges, I'm not very good at law ! All I know is so long as he had a fairly decent lawyer, the jury would probably listen and be like " yeah, he didn't have a choice. "
     
  21. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I already got how the police would interpret it, because his two superiors are characters with specific opinions about him. Basically they think as high of him cause something that happened earlier. I am just wondering if I should go ahead and write it this way, or no, if it does not work, and would not go to trial, cause the DA would know that it is a likely loose? Or would the DA even bother? I asked other people and everyone seems to be 50/50 on whether or not it would work. So I am not sure if I should use this plot device or not, but on the otherhand would like to get the script, finished, but still want it to work of course.
     

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