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  1. Wes
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    Wes Member

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    Killing off a character...

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Wes, Dec 29, 2010.

    I need a good way to kill a supporting antagonists (not he main antagonist) father. A little backstory to help.

    (The names have been changed to protect the innocent)
    Steve's father, Jack, is a multi-millionaire. He has had some tax evasion problems, and they are looking to shut down his business. but thanks to a few government forms he filled out years ago when his business was small, in case of his death, his son inherits the business and some investments. Also, the gov can't take anything from Steve. Jack found a loophole, but the only catch is he has to die. Naturally. Accidentally. Suicide would only cause more problems for Steve and the family business.

    What I'm leaning toward is a private jet crash "suicide" that looks like an "accident." And somewhere left only for Steve to see, is a letter in which Jack explains everything.

    I've been stuck on this one idea because I don't want anything too lame. I really want it to be a strong part of the story.

    Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Falling off the platform in front of a moving train.
    Driving straight ahead where the road makes a turn.

    Simple stuff like that? Crashing a jet seems unnecessarily complex and would involve killing the pilot too.
     
  3. nettkkr
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    nettkkr Member

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    have him get mugged, and when he refuses he gets shot :p
     
  4. Wes
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    Wes Member

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    I like the simplisity. I was gonna do just a one manned private jet with him as pilot. Like he has a business meeting in Asia or somewhere. But I'm open to any and all ideas if I can get them to fit. Thanks a lot.
     
  5. Clumsywordsmith
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    Clumsywordsmith Active Member

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    Well... I'm assuming here that the guy isn't actually committing suicide just for the sake of his son and the business -- it seems a rather altruistic venture for an antagonist -- but still, there's plenty of interesting ways you might incorporate this in the plot of your story. I obviously haven't got a clue as to what the actual plot is, but perhaps the whole offing of the father could actually be an elaborate ruse to make it appear as though some rival entity actually killed him. I mean, it's a win-win sort of situation there: he could set himself up as the martyr slain for a just cause, his son will still inherit the business and investments (and is viewed in a generally more sympathetic light, considering the fact that his father was just murdered), and meanwhile the father can spend the rest of his days relaxing somewhere in the caribbean.

    Unless the guy is already on death's door to begin with, it seems inconceivable to me that any self-made entrepreneur -- and not just any such person, but one who apparently has got a "badguy" complex -- would actually end their own life just for the sake of allowing their business to live on through their son. He's obviously rather intelligent, and motivated to boot; suicide is for the unmotivated who've lost their purpose in life. Your antagonist still has a purpose -- keeping his business alive -- and death is a rather drastic option when he could do without, isn't it?

    Of course, maybe the extenuating circumstances cause this drastic option to make more sense, but without knowing what they might be, this is how I see it.
     
  6. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    Make him fall down an elevator shaft on to some bullets.
     
  7. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I'm afraid I'm going to have to quibble with some of the details of your backstory, because as presented below, it isn't credible. My comments assume that your story is set in the USA.

    Tax evasion is a crime. In cases of tax evasion, the government doesn't look to shut businesses down, they look to prosecute and collect the back taxes. Businesses that get shut down due to tax evasion either did not have enough money to pay the taxes or no one to run them when the owners went to jail, or both.

    Inheritence is not determined by government forms, few or many. It is determined by a will, which is a privately drafted legal document that the courts must respect.

    In the case of tax evasion, yes it can. If the person or business can't pay the taxes it owes, the government has the right to seize assets to satisfy the debt. Technically, that's not taking anything from Steve, it's taking it from the estate.

    The only thing I can think of where someone has to die in order to resolve a financial issue is when there is a significant amount of life insurance at stake. It's been done many times before (you may want to see the film Double Indemnity) but it is a fruitful area for fiction.

    Just my two cents.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Or via intestate succession, which varies from state to state.

    I think you make some good points about the backstory here, Ed.
     
  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    @Steepike - Thanks. I didn't want to get into the whole issue of intestate succession, but of course you're right.
     
  10. Florent150
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    Florent150 Member

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    I think the small-aircraft crash/death would be a good way of killing of a rich person accidentally or as some kind of homicide, but yeah suicide seems a bit unnecessary; why would he take an expensive plane down with him and potentially cause problems for others when it crashes?

    Unless, you can get some kind of twist on the story that he's in love with flying and that's how he "wants to go", doing what he loves, or on top of that, there's some kind of insurance benefit for his son from the destruction of the plane.

    Those are the best I could come up with. It sounds like Jack is doing this for his son/family and that he isn't depressed or insane or doing this suicide because he wants to end his life. Therefore, I don't know if it would be fitting to have him kill himself in some morbid or gruesome or painful way. A plane crash could be/seem fairly elegant. It's up to you really.
     
  11. Wes
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    Wes Member

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    Really appreciate the responses. It's a character that's not really needed for future stuff, but is at the beginning. And without killing him off, really holds the story back. You can't just have him move away, or just not mention him again. A plane crash is really just an "easy way" out of making a big to do over the whole insurance, business, and son carrying on without too many bugs.

    BTW, yes he loved to fly. One small part of his business was delivery. Overnight, air, etc and he was just a delivery boy when he started. It made things personal that way. Really getting to know your customer.
     
  12. sereda008
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    sereda008 Senior Member

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    Pay an assassin to kill him in an "accidental" way.

    The assassin drives over Jack in a truck, then supposedly (From the police view) escapes from fear.
     
  13. The Sealed Knot
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    The Sealed Knot New Member

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    Have him go missing and the family go through the courts to declare him dead, you've then got the option of bringing him back or at least someone who claims to be him
     

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