1. LMThomas
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    LMThomas Member

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    Murder disguised as a suicide

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by LMThomas, Mar 24, 2011.

    I'm writing a story about an FBI agent investigating a wealthy man's apparent suicide. He's asked to look into the death by an old friend, and not as an official investigator, as the death is ruled as a suicide by local police. I would like the FBI agent to be a Sherlock Holmes type, and I need some clues for him to find that make him begin to think that the wealthy man was murdered, rather than killed himself. I'm not really sure how the man commits suicide yet (i.e. hanging, gun shot, etc.) Any thoughts?
     
  2. AngelOfHarlem
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    AngelOfHarlem New Member

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    If it's a gunshot, you could maybe research blood splatter and look into that.
     
  3. Ion
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    Ion Senior Member

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    Why would a wealthy man kill himself? If your main character is smart, he should look into the dead guy's life. Maybe he had a favorite niece that he spoiled every chance he got. Maybe he was really into high class golf, and had a trip to some prestigious golf tournament overseas planned and booked.

    Sure, maybe it looks like the guy committed suicide, and maybe the local police assumed the guy was lonely or into drugs or maybe his company went under, but if your dead guy had called his brother the day before and made plans to come back home for the holidays, that doesn't fit.

    People that are suicidal don't have things they look forward to doing. If you feel that the things you have to live for are more important than the pain you have to go through, you're not going to kill yourself. It's that plain and simple.
     
  4. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Ion. If his death needs to look like a convincing suicide, investigators will need more than a dead body and a suicide note saying, "Goodbye cruel world..."

    Although there have been some really suspicious deaths ruled as suicides, such a man cutting off both his hands with a band saw.
     
  5. LMThomas
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    LMThomas Member

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    I thought about that, but I also want it to be a clue no one else on the official investigating team would discover normally. Something really subtle. Also, the protagonist won't have access to a forensics lab in the course of this investigation at first, so that's another thing to keep in mind.

    For a little more background on my story idea, the wealthy dead man is also a banker, and he lives in Greenwich, CT. He's an older man, in his mid-to-late fifties and he's married to a much younger women (who had nothing to do with his death). In fact, she's the one who most adamantly believes he didn't kill himself.
     
  6. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    When a gun is shot, gunpowder residue will cover the hand holding the gun and sometimes the shooter's clothing. They have portable chemical kits that will reveal gunpowder residue to the naked eye.
     
  7. jelinekjava415
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    jelinekjava415 Member

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    I would say that the FBI has a different method of doing things than most agents. If you ever watch shows on tv know a days where they do research, tests, and just look deep into a certain matter. Than that is what he should do, but have it where he uses his insticts and wit along with the science. Like he has a sixth sense and knows what happens before the science tells him. Something along those lines.

    So I would say that he looks into the weathy mans history and finds out that he has been doing some sort of dealing behind the familys back...which leads the FBI agent to a clue with the wife of the man, where she has been doing some selling of a certain merchandise of her own......idk....just some ideas. Sorry that they are bad. hahaha....trying to help the writer in need. :D
     
  8. Mewditto
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    Mewditto Member

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    Well it seems easy to submit as a suicide, since he lived a supposedly good life, then all the sudden he dies, I could have figured it out, maybe...
     
  9. Darkhunter
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    Darkhunter New Member

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    Off the top of my head I came up with this:

    If you want it to look like a suicide that could be strewn as a murder have the man ingest some sleeping pills. Just have him drink some liquor that was tanked with ground up sleeping pills (Don't know if this is possible but I've heard its bad to mix booze and pills and I think this is the reason)

    Later on in the plot another character could get deathly ill when they drink some of the liquor and would help piece things together. Sub-plot or a way to show off his unorthodox detective work could be is where is the drinking glass or why when they find it are there no prints on it? Build off from there.
     
  10. AxleMAshcraft
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    AxleMAshcraft Member

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    You would have to research it more, but I've heard that overdosing with certain drugs (maybe taking more and more each day or something, again research is key) then it looks as if someone died of natural causes. Hoist him up into a noose and there you have a suicide.
    This may sound cheesy but have you ever heard of Criminal Minds? On one of the episodes, a man is making it look like these people are committing suicide but it's actually homicide. The episode is called A Higher Power. (watch Dr. Reid, the awkward young guys with long hair, for some statistics).
    If hes a Holmes(ish) character then maybe look into the wounds of a gunshot. They are different standing up versus sitting down/leaning over.
    then there is always the pushed vs. Jumped thing (I've written that once before, but that was set in the past without DNA and hard evidence ect.)
    Lead could be injected into their skull, which would kill their brain. I think...You would have to look that one up. Then cover something like that up with suicidal stuff.
    These basically all depend on who is doing the killing and why. Keep in mind the difference between random acts of murder and rage killing, which is often connected with association.
    Did this help at all or confuse you more :p GOOD LUCK!
     

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