The Murder Person Redux

by Janis Patterson

We’ve talked a lot about the myriad murder weapons present in the average home, and a little about what deadly things a murderer can carry on his person, on which I intend to expand a little after this warning.

If your murderer is going to use something clever (i.e., more than a rock or a gun or a knife) that he carries on his person he not only needs to be extremely smart but very careful. especially if the murder method results in instantaneous death. Then everyone who was with the victim is likely to be carefully scrutinized. We cannot rely on the police overlooking anything suspicious.

So with that caveat in mind, let’s talk about the actual killing. If your villain is going to be gone before death occurs there’s a lot more leeway in method.

How will your murderer handle such risk of exposure? Usually it will involve some specialized equipment,  barring the expected – and lamentably common – belts and scarves, etc. Here is where the ingenuity – and the sneakiness – of the murderer becomes paramount. If specialized equipment is necessary and the murderer can’t manufacture it himself, he must find a safe and secret way of obtaining it. Remember, the more people who know a secret the less of a secret it becomes and the more of a risk exists for the murderer.

If your killer is a woman, jewelry is a good choice. An earring with an edge sharpened so fine it can slice arteries. A garotte wire woven through a chunky metal necklace, though with this method you must be sure that it leaves no identifiable imprint in flesh as chain patterns are very recognizable. There is also the question of disposability. You don’t want to be caught wearing the murder weapon.

One way of murder requires a very daring and brave – if not downright foolhardy – killer. This would not work where there is a possibility of a body search of witnesses and would probably work best in a crowded venue. The murderer secretes a thin needle to the inside of a finger, with thin surgical tubing running up his arm to a bladder secreted somewhere on his person. Under the clothes under the arm to a pocket where it could be manipulated with the free hand would be the best choices. Fill the bladder with the poison of choice – a very fast acting one would be my preference, as you don’t want your victim to remember he felt a sharp prick or that your murderer was standing very close by at the time!

Personally, my choice would be curare, the South American neurotoxin. Fill the bladder, grasp the hand or arm or neck of your victim, make sure the needle enters the skin, squeeze the bladder… almost instantaneous death. And most likely untraceable if you did your sourcing cleverly, as one of the benefits of curare is that it dissipates almost instantly and leaves no trace in the body, which makes finding ‘cause of death’ almost impossible. Of course, your murderer would need superb neuromuscular skills in order to make sure he didn’t jab himself. I’m too much of a klutz to even think of trying this method. I would probably end up being my first victim! And if you worry about supply sourcing, you can order curare over the internet. It’s amazing what you can find out there if you just search creatively.

So – if you want a memorable murder, if you want something different, just let your imagination roam. While it’s terrifying, it’s also true that almost every object in this world can be used as a murder weapon in the hands of a clever villain. Your murderer is limited only by your imagination… and his conscience.

9 thoughts on “The Murder Person Redux

  1. Having been a private investigator for a decade, I’ve been involved in a couple of cases where murder cannot be proved, so it always seems a good bet to use a method that can look like an accident. Running someone off the road, shoving them down the stairs or off a cliff, etc. Of course, it’s best to employ those methods when nobody is observing. And yes, we are a bloodthirsty bunch, aren’t we?


  2. As a gardener I’m partial to all the lovely lethal plants surrounding the average home or filling pots in the apartment or condo. The idea of a button with occasional sharp points that can carry poison always intrigued me. Everywhere you look is a murder weapon. Good post.


  3. We mystery writers have such devious minds! LOL My husband has joked with friends that he shouldn’t have taught me how to shoot a pistol and work the backhoe. Hehe. The book I’m writing now, has a backhoe involved in the murder…. Great post Janis!


  4. Lordy. I’ve used a hammer in one book and a lethal drug combo in another. When a plot friend got on a plane after 9/11, he said he saw a plane load of murder weapons. Pens, pencils, knitting needles, belts…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As I sit here having my morning coffee, I wonder how the rest of the world views us and our minds. i know if they went by the URLs on my computer, I would be locked up for sure. That stated, a wonderful blog, Janis.


Comments are closed.