Let Dame Judi be the judge: Should I frame my wife for murder?

Dame Judi Dench, award-winning actor and certified national treasure, answers your moral quandries

Dear Dame Judi,

My wife and I have been together for fifteen years and the marriage is a happy one.  Family and friends marvel at how solid our relationship is.

But a short while ago, at a loose end because my phone was charging, I began to wonder if it would be possible to frame her for a murder she hadn’t committed. I enjoyed it so much I’ve now plotted the whole thing out in full.

It was just a little amusement at first, a way to spice up our marriage without cheating on her – which I would never, ever do – but now I can’t think of anything else but watching her led away from the house in handcuffs shouting ‘But I didn’t do it!’

Should I go through with my fantasy? Obviously I can step in at the final moments of the trial with crucial evidence that would prove her completely innocent, but I’ll be honest with you, sometimes I go through scenarios where I don’t do that and she’s banged up for life.

She’s a huge true crime fan and thrill-seeker so she might love it, and for me it would be a chance to make all my ITV1 Sunday night drama dreams come true. Honestly I reckon I could pull it off. Should I?

Stephen, Lincolnshire

Dear Stephen, 

Well, this is certainly a tough one. It’s wonderful you’re so dedicated to your wife that you’d never consider becoming a filthy philanderer like the late James Bond, and that some men still have morals.

However, framing her for murder doesn’t just come with ethical issues attached. It’s never as easy as it sounds; trust a veteran of many a revenge tragedy. You likely think it’s as simple as planting DNA on a cleaver or dosing her with rohypnol to blank out that alibi.

But to do it properly – and a sloppy job will disgrace you, the investigating officers and your poor wife – requires a lot of luck, determination, and, most importantly, a slush fund for bribes. This is also what I tell any budding actors who aren’t nepo babies.

My advice? Don’t go straight for murder. Slowly introduce the idea of a long prison sentence to your wife by first framing her for more minor crimes, like arson or GBH. See how she responds to her first brushes with the law and then escalate accordingly.

This will also help tarnish her record with the local constabulary, ensuring that any future murder conviction sticks. By the time she’s sent down for life she’ll barely bat an eyelid as she spits at the judge and calls him a bewigged cunt.

And I love your idea of murdering a neighbour. Aren’t they so awful? Little tip: when the time comes, make sure you remember to login to your wife’s Facebook and post a passive-aggressive status about people who don’t bring their bins in.

Good luck, and tell me how it goes!

Dame Judi Dench, CH, DBE.

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