1. esshesse

    esshesse Member

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    Why a mobster would kill an innocent in cold blood

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by esshesse, Dec 7, 2017 at 1:09 AM.

    Help. I need to find a compelling reason why a mobster would tie up and kill an innocent man. He usually only kills men in the mob. But this time he has to for a reason.

    All I have so far: he saw something he shouldn't have.
     
  2. Laurus

    Laurus Disappointed Idealist

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    Do you have any additional context?
     
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  3. izzybot

    izzybot Oportet Vivere Contributor

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    "He saw something he shouldn't have" seems like a compelling reason. Do you need more detail on that? Maybe the innocent man saw a drug deal or a mob hit.
     
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  4. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Active Member

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    Mistaken Identity? The mobster thought the guy he was killing was someone else until it was too late?
     
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  5. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    From a purely in-character perspective: mobsters generally are the kind of people who need a reason not to kill someone. Is there something that makes your mobster different?

    From a plotting perspective: what else is already happening? Is this an up-and-coming soldier, a trusted lieutenant, an established Don? Is there trouble with another mob? Power struggles on the inside? Infiltration by the FBI?
     
  6. esshesse

    esshesse Member

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    It's a short movie scene. The mobster is killing him. He is going to give a speech first, where he talks about honor, code, and how this man wasn't really innocent because he broke an unspoken code that outlaws live by. In other words, that this man is "innocent" in the eyes of the law, but he is still a false person, not being honest to deal with, and that that's why he has to die.
     
  7. esshesse

    esshesse Member

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    I want something a little meatier. Where it doesn't make the mobster out to be such a bad guy. i want the audience to be a little torn.

    edit: meant to reply to the post above this
     
  8. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Depends on who he is. A high level mob boss would absolutely shy away from that because they have a high profile with the police and will always want plausible deniability.
     
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  9. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Active Member

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    I may be wrong, but I've always viewed mobsters as more like business people that have little compunction about operating a business that runs Terpsichore over legal boundaries. Murdering someone, or violence of any kind is a business tactic, and, like all business tactics, has both advantages and disadvantages. Murder is both high profile and high risk and subsequently would have to have some pretty serious benefits to it. Even if the guy is a cold blooded killer, killing a random innocent that has no ties to him for no reason is just bad business. More likely he would have to kill this person for some reason he was strong armed into (hired assassination, initiation, or something) or it was an accident (bullets don't always stop in their intended target) and he couldn't really report it because it would be bad business and kinda dumb.
     
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  10. MilatheRose

    MilatheRose New Member

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    Many organized gangs do this to determine if someone is a cop if something suspicious happens and they suspect infiltration. Le M (pronounced Le eme, Spanish Mob from down south) are relatively notorious for this practice.

    When in doubt, draw from our history I say.
     
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  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Because the guy was a paedophile ? (ordinary criminals aren't big on sex offenders)
     
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  12. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Active Member

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    Kinda precludes him from being an innocent man, though.
     
  13. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Innocent as in not someone who's living 'the life' but who has a dirty secret. EOTD if you don't want the mobster to look bad, the victim can't be sympathetic ... so a kiddie fiddler, wife basher etc fits the bill
     
  14. surrealscenes

    surrealscenes Active Member

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    The easiest thing would be to make the mobster a real person that feels there are no innocents.
     
  15. MilatheRose

    MilatheRose New Member

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    That's so emo though. Its not very relatable. Shoot this rando, or I will shoot you in the face is relatable. Even just wanting to prove you are gangster is more relatable. I feel like you can't be all "uhg darkness" and a mobster at the same time. Too much introspection. And I don't introspect, cause introspection is the cousin of death.
     
  16. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Active Member

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    A dirty secret is having an unplanned affair on a business trip or a cocaine habit, wife beating and child molestation are more like abominations to humanity. A person can still do bad things and still be relatable. How they react post factum should be more of a humanizing factor than whether or not the person had it coming. Which is more sympathetic: a man beats a pedophile until his face looks like ketchup mashed potatoes, washes his hands then goes for a cup of coffee and a round of golf; or, man shoots a hungry dog in a fit of rage because it was bothering him, then cries for three days about it, goes into a deep depression and has an existential crisis and seeks counseling?
     
  17. surrealscenes

    surrealscenes Active Member

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    I often forget that others do not have the same experiences as me.

    When you choose to live your life by violence, there are no innocents. There is also very little thinking about it (introspection). It is your job and what you do. In order to keep the demons at bay, life becomes simple- everyone is guilty of something. A newborn child? According to most belief systems it needs to do something before it is 'good'.

    There is a world of difference between someone killing for money, drugs, power, etc vs. killing to kill.

    Can't be emo and get away with killing people over the long haul; all that navel gazing will do you in. Hitman with a conscience doesn't exist in the real world for those that have taken the job of killing for sake of killing.
     
  18. MilatheRose

    MilatheRose New Member

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    Your not really telling me what this "experience" is, but its really not that important.

    Relatabuility in writing is not about Accuracy. Its about connecting to the nonspecialist reader I think. Look at anything based on medieval Europe for example. Its actually modern people wearing leather fetish pseudo armor swinging swords who they misname and treating women and foreigners like they are real people. Nothing medieval about it.

    I feel like killers are the same, in terms of realism. Actually, I guess its a bit worse because most killers are absolutely boring when you look at them closely. You don't get a lot of Tony Montanas and Buffalo Bill types irl. Plus, all the real ones have super anti-social tendencies and that's hard to work with.
     
  19. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Active Member

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    Most of the people I met that murdered someone were more the needy, approval seeking, low self esteem types. Which, is probably why they got caught. They really couldn't shut up about it because it's probably the only thing they've done that they felt people took them seriously for.
     
  20. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I don't think I've ever met a murderer, but I know a lot of people who've killed (actually that's not a bad first line for a novel - I digress) My friends are soldiers, but its plausible that a career mobster could think of it in the same way, i.e. it's not murder when it's sanctioned
     
  21. Alphonse Capone

    Alphonse Capone Member

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    Seeing something they shouldn't have is the explanation, no?

    It is a big myth that the mob doesn't kill innocent people and it lives by some code of honour to only harm each other, a Holywood creation. Even a basic search of the mafia in Italy will show many innocents have been killed.

    Also, a lot of people in the mafia are sociopaths and maybe they just get a kick out of killing while off the clock.
     
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  22. MilatheRose

    MilatheRose New Member

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    I know right. Real killers are overcompensating. Notice me senpai. So lame...
     
  23. surrealscenes

    surrealscenes Active Member

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    Exactly. These are people that killed, not people that kill. Most that kill and get caught want to be caught for some reason. There are many that have taken it upon themselves to kill for a job. You will never meet them because they will not tell their tales.

    I spent most of my life immersed in real world violence unfortunately, and it is what I know the best. I have never been arrested, nor am I expecting to be. I now spend my days locked in a house protecting and keeping alive an elderly woman, penance of sorts for me. I bowed out of that life, for the most part, when mobile phones & cameras started becoming commonly used, and the changing legal landscape became a minefield.
     
  24. esshesse

    esshesse Member

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    Thanks for the replies. As this is fiction I'm taking some poetic license. I think the Godfather does romanticize the mob but it's still one of the best movies ever made
     
  25. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Good fellas is probably more accurate tbh
     
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