1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Would this type of climax be plausible?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ryan Elder, Feb 1, 2016.

    I am writing a thriller, where the MC, who is a cop, is trying to put a gang of crooks in jail, and I have written several outlines, where he and other police use sting operations to lure the villains into traps and trick them into incriminating themselves.

    But I was told before by others that the felt that the villains were too smart to fall for the sting operations that I came up with, and they would see them as traps.

    I was wondering, what if the MC took it to much more of an extreme, and kidnapped the gang leader's loved ones, such as siblings or parents... He then held them ransom and told the gang leader, that he has 36 hours to turn himself into the police with enough evidence, to get him and his gang members charged on all counts, for their crimes. Whatever evidence he turns in, it has to be enough for a prosecutor to press charges on all the counts listed in the ransom demand. If he doesn't do it in 36 hours or some other time limit, his family dies.

    It's an extreme measure on the MC's part, but since the villain is so smart and cannot be caught by other means, the MC figures that extreme measures are called for in this case. However, there is always the risk that the villain would go to the police and report the ransom. He could act totally innocent and pretend that he does not have evidence to support such crimes, that the kidnapper is demanding.

    There is always that risk of the villain doing that, but since this is the end of the story, I want the MC's plan to work, with no more rebuttals from the villain. The villain has to be accept defeat at this point. If the villain is afraid that the family will be killed from the prosecutor not laying charges in a certain amount of time though, and he turns himself in with the evidence, the family will have to be released, once the charges are filed. So the family will probably then go to the police, and once the gang leader hears that his family is safe, he will then tell the police that he only turned in evidence and gave himself up cause someone kidnapped his family, and he most likely knows who, since he has had problems with that cop in the past.

    However, the prosecutor or judge in the case, can look at this two ways. Either they will buy the family and him saying he was turned in to save his family, and feel that the evidence is tainted as a result of his claim. Or he will still try the case, and just think of the villain and his family as trying to come up with the story as an excuse to renege on him turning himself in. The judge might just say it's a renege, and their is no substantial proof of a kidnapping, and he cannot drop the charges, just by taking someone's word over it who is most likely trying to renege and cover his arse.

    What do you think? Is this ending more plausible, for the villain to be brought down and defeated rather than falling for stings?
     
  2. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe it could work. I think you'd need to think of a better reason for the villain not going to the police, than you wanting the story to end.
    Otherwise it seems too obvious a plot hole to me.
     
  3. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Lone cop captures the family of a ruthless gang leader? One man takes several captives, despite the gang leader's security? This is implausible enough, without the risk that the gang leader will call the cop's bluff (if he knows he's getting away with it, he'll know the police are after him and getting increasingly desperate, so he'll guess who's behind it...especially when the ransom demand is "confess or else"!), or that he will report the kidnap to the police. Let alone whether evidence obtained by the threat succeeding would stand up in court.
     
  4. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    Do I have any reason to believe MC is capable of killing the family? Is there a descent to madness angle? It feels gimmicky, going from sting operations to kidnapping and assault, but I know I'm only getting a piece of the story.
     
  5. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Well basically earlier on in the story, the cops set a sting for the villain and it fails. But I don't think that the villain would be smart enough to fall for a second sting, cause I was told by others that he wouldn't be? Once the first sting fails, and he knows the cops are onto him, he is not going to fall for a second one, so the MC needs to take things up a notch since the villains's guard is up too much by the third act.

    Basically yes, the MC is bluffing, and he would have to count on the villain believing that he COULD do it, and therefore not go to the police about it. He would also have to count on the judge, accepting the evidence, in spite of the fact that the family CLAIMS that they were kidnapped, and the judge would have to see it as a renege on their part, to the get defendant off, without accepting that the kidnapping might have really happened.

    But I have seen this before in stories, where after the villain is caught, he will have some excuse as to why the evidence doesn't count as admissible, and the judge will rule against the defendant's reasons, thinking he is just reneging, without really investigating any of what he says.
     
  6. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd say "Absolutely not!" Any evidence produced that way would be thrown right out of court and would land the whole police department, maybe even the municipality, with a lawsuit for major damages. Not to mention the cop involved and all his superiors being packed off to jail. Meanwhile, your crook goes free.

    Nope. Unless someone can produce an instance from modern history where that has worked, I'd come up with something else.
     
  7. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. Well the main character would not go to jail cause he would definitely be sure to wear a mask, and remove all the physical evidence from the scene. But yes, they would still go free, by merely accusing SOMEONE of kidnapping them.
     
  8. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Sure. I can come up with something else. What if I wrote it so that they made the same demand and the villain gets all the evidence ready to save his family, and worries about getting off the hook later, after his family is released.

    So he gets all the evidence ready, but the MC was tailing him and snatches the evidence from him, before releasing the family... then after a few months and the kidnapping case has cooled off, no one can prove it was the MC who did it, since he wore a mask, gloves and was sure to clean up the crime scene, but also sure to blindfold the family members, so they would not be able to trace back where they were.

    So after a few months pass and the case has cooled, the MC then decides to arrange for the police to find the evidence on everyone, by other means, that looks a lot more legitimate? Would that be better?
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  9. Holden LaPadula
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    Holden LaPadula Member

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    I like it. The violence against the villian's family can raise ethical and thematic questions.... Who the "bad guys" really are, what justice truly is, how much incrimination is really worth, when to let the bad guys go...

    I'd say go for it!
     
  10. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Well I am kind of thinking I should drop the idea now, cause I think it would cause too many complications, such as the prosecutor or judge throwing it out, once the family is released, and says that they were kidnapped as part of the plan.

    Plus I don't know what evidence the villain would have on everyone, since he has no reason to keep that stuff around, if they are caught.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016

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