THE true crime genre has exploded recently, but in these shows dense criminals always make the same mistakes to help the police out. Here are the things they can’t stop doing.
Googling your exact crime beforehand
You’d have to be pretty stupid to leave a digital footprint of your crime, so the average true crime criminal will Google ‘how to commit murder?’ immediately followed by ‘how to dismember a body’. Then it’s a quick look on the Mrs Hinch website for a page about cleaning up blood and Google Maps to scout for quiet places to bury a corpse. They could just hand themselves in to the police and cut out the middleman.
Murdering someone you know
Every cop show from Columbo to Rosemary & Thyme goes on about the fact that you’re most likely to be murdered by someone you know. So the mysterious death of your partner is getting solved in ten seconds flat. Plus, even if you get away with it, it’s going to make family gatherings a bit awkward from now on: ‘Steve, could you pass the gravy, you f**king monster?’
Forgetting CCTV exists
So you’ve just shot your entire family over breakfast. What you should do next is drive to a massive hardware shop on a busy retail park and be seen, clear as a bell, on 40 CCTV cameras. Obviously you later tell the judge and jury you were just popping in for a few regular household supplies: a rotary saw, 40 metres of plastic sheeting and 15 gallons of bleach. It’s not the 50s, you know. You could have got away with loads of murders then.
Helping with the search
If you want to look deeply suspicious, throw yourself wholeheartedly into the police search for the person you bludgeoned to death with a hammer a few days before. To really raise eyebrows, loiter around the lead investigators asking questions. To speed up the process of your arrest, give an emotional but badly-acted interview to the local TV news where you accidentally talk about the missing person in the past tense.
If you’re from a hick town in rural Arkansas, let’s face it, you’re going down for this crime whether you did it or not. You’ll immediately confess to any old shit because you’re thick, and only try to recant when your solicitor arrives. Because you’re not a 19-year-old rich kid, you can’t hire top-dollar lawyers who’ll get you off even if everyone knows you killed that hooker and you regularly tell people you threw the body down a mineshaft. And give them guided tours.
Keeping the same MO
One for the serial killers. A great way to get put away forever is to keep doing the same thing so the cops can link your crimes. Did you learn nothing from the Wet Bandits at the end of Home Alone? The same goes for keeping mementoes. Sure, a driver’s licence or pair of frilly knickers might seem like a good thing to pinch at the time, but it’s not exactly smart, is it? Still, at least you disposed of the knife you used, so when the police search your home they find a block of IKEA knives with the very massive one conspicuously missing. Genius.