Tags:
  1. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, North America

    murderer, killer, hitman

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Cdn Writer, Aug 12, 2019.

    I am very, very vaguely playing around with the concept of writing a novel about a killer. I was daydreaming how such a person might go about killing various people (this IS fiction!) such as a kindergarten student, an ex-wife or husband, a current/former co-worker, a friend (like if s/he had a terminal illness and needed to die to avoid pain), the person that molested him/her or their child, a scammer who conned him out of thousands of dollars, etc, etc.

    I know that anyone can be killed. That's not the biggest issue. The biggest issue is getting away with it. Everything else is a matter of resources. For example, if you wanted to kill a president and you had the resources, you could bomb a building s/he is visiting, cause a plane to crash into the building s/he is in or you could compromise a member of their security detail such as by kidnapping their child and threatening to kill the kid if the bodyguard did not kill the president.

    I was wondering how does John/Jane Doe average citizen get experience with weapons? I can see a pistol and a knife. I don't really see how explosives or esoteric poisons would work unless the character is current/former military or an expert in a field that comes across poisons like studying snakes or botany.

    I don't want to "cheat" and give them a convenient explanation for knowing how to build a car bomb like having a relative or friend in the military that is dishonorably discharged and sells his knowledge to the character. I don't want them to have to depend on someone else providing the bomb, for example if you work for the cartels and the kingpin wants you to take this car bomb that was assembled by person X and put it on an informer's car.

    I assume the average person who wants the car to blow up is going to have to run some type of petrol soaked bed sheet from the gas tank and set fire to the end to achieve that result when the flames each the gas tank - KABOOM!! Of course, the logistics of doing all this while the driver just sits there is a difficult barrier to overcome. Hmm....maybe the person is homeless and living in their car and the killer is pissed off at the guy hogging the best parking spot on the street? If he's sleeping when the killing occurs.....workable.

    As a child in Boy Scouts I fired a .22 caliber rifle....say 20 times each over 4 weeks. That's my only experience with guns. I don't remember ever hitting the target - I must have at some point but I don't remember it.

    How does the average person who is planning to become a criminal become proficient with weapons? You don't want to go to the gun range because you don't want people to know you have a weapon and that you know how to use it. You live in an urban setting so you don't have deserted fields to wander around in shoot at beer cans or other homemade targets. I kind of suspect a character who has no experience with weapons at all would be shocked at the recoil from the gun, probably drop it in further shock and maybe even miss the target due to distance or their hand shaking in terror as they took aim.

    I could see someone with a basic knowledge of infections and disease collecting dog poop or goose poop and then dipping a knife into the jar to coat the blade in poison. Then when the killer uses the knife to stab someone, you have a double threat - the stab wound itself and the potential for the crap on the blade to cause life threatening infections in the victim. Other types of poison....I can't really see how John or Jane Average citizens get their hands on it.

    If my character kills someone like an ex-wife/husband, they are going to be one of the top suspects when the investigation starts so this is one of the reasons why I want their proficiency with weapons to be hidden.

    Just to summarize, this is a lone wolf type of killer who will kill occasionally for enjoyment. He won't be addicted to killing. He's not crazy and running around stabbing everyone he sees. He's the *LAST* person you would ever suspect of being capable of killing someone. I don't exactly know all the people he will kill, he could go around living his life, killing once in a while because he wants to and then he goes through a divorce and he's got a mad on for the ex and he has the experience to kill the ex and get away with it.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1,995
    Likes Received:
    2,026
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Let me start by pointing out that hitmen are hired killers. Although enjoying the act may be part of why a person became one in the first place, a hitman kills because he has been paid to. Because it's his job. That doesn't seem like it fits with what you're going for.

    It depends on the exact setting, but I don't think it matters if anyone knows you have a weapon and know how to use it. There are millions of gun owners in the US, for example. Being one of them isn't, on its own, enough to warrant suspicion. So a gun range works for gaining the necessary skills.

    The average household is full of chemicals that would kill you if they ended up in your body. Access to those isn't the problem your character will be facing. The problem will be ensuring the poisoning isn't linked back to them. Poisonings require access to the victim, and most of the time there isn't a long list of people who could tamper with the victim's food and drink or get close enough to inject them with something.

    You don't need to hide the proficiency. If the death isn't from the weapon this character is proficient with, investigators probably won't latch onto it. At least not right away.

    A cause of death that appears to be an accident may be this killer's best bet of getting away with it. For example, an overdose.
     
  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    13,017
    Likes Received:
    15,023
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    when it comes to building bombs theres a wealth of info on the internet/darkweb with things like the anarchists cookbook.. a lot of it is wrong, some of it is pure fantasy and some of it is planted by the security services and deliberately designed to kill the builder.

    however a simple car bomb (to kill the driver rather than as a terrorist device) would not be beyond the wit of any half mechanical person
     
    Cdn Writer likes this.
  4. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    688
    Location:
    San Diego
    I’ve always favored the petri dish it’s not as messy and you could wipe a string of botulism inside the mark’s glass and have a nice afternoon ice tea with your victim. No ballistics, no source, and no motive would leave you clean for your next assignment.
    I just finished a novel where the antagonist had developed a way to attack the mark on a DNA level. It could be used where everyone ate and drank the same thing but the marks specific DNA would breakdown and take his life.
     
    Cdn Writer likes this.
  5. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    12,243
    Likes Received:
    23,848
    Location:
    Seat 29e, Air Gradia 452
    So anyone from a five-year-old child to the president, by any means at all, that Joe or Josephine Blow could pull off with no training?

    Yeah, not touching that one.
     
    Alan Aspie likes this.
  6. LazyBear

    LazyBear Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2017
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    164
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Spreading a false rumor seems to be the simplest form of murder these days when people rage and share without checking the facts. Hard to prove intent.

    The book's message could then be a healthy warning to readers about remaining calm and checking the source when they see possibly fake news, even if it supports their own bias.
     
  7. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    570
    Location:
    The middle of the UK
    I mean maybe but that's neither actual murder nor what the OP is writing so
     
  8. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    13,017
    Likes Received:
    15,023
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    also most people don't plan to become criminals , it just happens - couple arguing in the kitchen, husband hits her, she picks up a paring knife and stabs him... then assuming she doesn't immediately call the emergency services shes got to work out how to get rid of the body.

    (then in fiction but generally not in real life) Having killed once and got away with it, the second time is easier and more premeditated, and so on.

    In terms of specific methods you just need something plausible rather than realistic... like for example the idea of taping a gas lighter to the exhaust (per Harold Strong - this angry land) the idea being that the hot exhaust ignites the lighter which burns merrily and explodes the gas tank... sounds plausible, worked in the book (He says that it was developed by 14 int in Ulster - this is also fiction.)

    The reality is that the heat from the exhaust would probably melt the tape before it ignited the lighter fluid, and if the lighter fluid did ignite it would then fall onto the road below rather than staying in place long enough to heat the petrol tank to an ignition temperature, unless the tank was virtually empty and thus full of vapour - thus in reality it wouldnt work, but the reader doesnt care, and it also prevents Mr Strong getting sued.

    In terms of learning close combat - theres a lot on the internet, and then theres perfectly legal books like Fight Dirty and Win by WE Fairbarn (the guy who invented the british army commando fighting knife) - but again most people learn to fight by fighting, and its far more goodfellas than the godfather
     
    Iain Aschendale likes this.
  9. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, North America
    Just to clarify, in my original example of the potential victims the killer is going after the kindergarten student.

    Why? Who knows. It's fiction. Maybe he's pissed at the kid cutting through his yard. Maybe his parents threw a loud party and he wants to hurt them. I don't exactly think of killers as being the most rational people around.

    I hadn't thought of the possibly of people suing the writer. From all the mystery books on the shelves at my local library there seems to be a *LOT* of material out there.
     
  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    13,017
    Likes Received:
    15,023
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    I can't imagine a kindergartener being hard to kill - I also can't imagine anyone sympathising with an MC who kills little kids

    Also with my mod hat on we arent going to allow a discussion of the best way to kill little kids, for obvious reasons
     
    Katibel, X Equestris, jannert and 2 others like this.
  11. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, North America
    @big, soft moose - sorry! Won't happen again.
     
  12. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, North America
    Thanks all!

    I admit to being surprised that a car bomb is "easy" to make. I don't really see a lot of murders in the news with this device. Last time was the Montreal biker wars in the 90s in Canada. Most murders seem to be stabbings, assaults, and shootings.

    I envision this character someone who's been laid off, bitching about his lot in life at the local bar and overseas someone saying he wants his wife dead so he looks at it as a challenge at first and....turns out he's able to do it and get away with it.....hello, new career! Or he's raised in the trade by being around criminals in his neighbourhood and the opportunity pops up. Bang! Hello, new career!

    Anyways, thanks again! I'm off to work on it now!
     
  13. Gallogladh

    Gallogladh Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2019
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    19
    In real life, they don't. With the exception of really F.U.B.A.R. zones, 'hitmen' tend to be one-time amateurs. Sometimes they've led a life of petty crime. Sometimes they're given freedom from drug debts. But they're not good.

    Humans are much tougher than that. Plenty of toddlers have eaten poop and turned out fine.

    Oh, poison is easy. You can find plenty of poisonous things on a woodland walk, or in your medicine cabinet, or in your lunch. The trick is knowing how to refine or administer them. In my story (which is full of wacky Renaissance murder plots), one ranger is assassinated with toxic smoke of a certain plant which has been put in peat blocks for him to put on the fire.

    It's not just one device: it's any mechanism rigged to blow. Years ago near me, some guy set up a grenade so that its pin would be pulled when his wife pressed down on the accelerator. He blew up the car, but failed to kill her.
     
  14. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    570
    Location:
    The middle of the UK
    Car bombs might be easy, but they're premeditated by necessity and most murders are spur of the moment. Plus, I imagine that most would be killers, like you didn't, don't realise how easy it is
     

Share This Page