Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Trials Of A Crime Writer: Search History



The Trials Of A Crime Writer: Search History

I often wonder what would happen if I were to be suspected of a crime, and the police were to seize my computer and check what I'd been looking at. Is the fact that
I'm a crime writer really going to answer to their queries as to why I was wondering how much damage industrial strength bleach could do to a person? What about when they discover the pages I looked at telling me what happens in the moments after death? Or the ones about how much acid would be needing to dissolve a body? Or even the ones looking for answers as to whether there is such as thing as a perfect murder?

Sure, I write YA fiction, but that doesn't mean the facts have to be any less accurate! I do wonder though, if I became famous, would I get away with killing a few people and claiming my search history was research? I'm not a psychopath, officer, I was just checking for my latest novel! I also wonder about the times that I've tested a theory. I'm sure those who have written their own crime novels have done something similar. They've handcuffed themselves and worked out how easy it would be to pick the lock, or they've put a tight zip tie binding their wrists and have to stay sat down whilst they slowly saw their way out with a pen knife...or is that just me?

It's all part of the learning curve and while it does take some time, you eventually start to realise that if you were to go on a murder spree, you would probably have a better idea about what to do with the body or bodies than the average person. I won't give you my perfect murder because I might need to use it one day and I find that putting these things online make the lawyers start the throw around the word "premeditated"!

Then again, it's not just the grisly crime stuff that litters my bookmarked pages and recently viewed history. I also have a pretty good idea about how an autopsy is performed, the manner of a corner's inquest in the UK and the pecking order in the CID branch of a police station. I also know, after years of wondering, what CID actually stands for: Criminal Investigative Division, though technically, isn't that the job of every police
officer?

I know where to hide a body to aid decomp, I know how to estimate time of death and I know various other tests to work out drug levels and other interesting facts once someone has died. I know how to hide the taste of certain poisons, or how to make a murder look accidental and I also know that if I keep going, then one day I may end up regretting posting this piece on the internet for all the world to see.

So, let's be honest. I could probably pick my way out of handcuffs and I know how a lock works, but at the same time, it's purely research. I don't intend to break into someone's house and commit the perfect crime. For one, I think it would be a lot more effort than just writing about it. I've seen a lot of quotes about crime writers and their search histories. One that springs to mind is this: "I became a writer because kidnapping people and forcing them to act out your plots is technically illegal". Only technically because if done right, no one would ever have to know!

I've killed a lot of people, all in print, all in various different ways. I have another piece planned about how many different ways you can kill someone. It's rather interesting when I'm writing the case details for Tara in the DYING THOUGHTS series because I don't like to repeat too many scenarios, I like to keep people guessing, which means that I have to go on the internet and search - or at least I do for the ones I haven't already thought of. Be warned though, I may not be a danger in person, but in print? My keyboard is loaded
and I'm not afraid to use it.

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