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This is a hypothetical exploration into the possibility or impossibility of getting away with murder, which over four episodes covers motivation, methods, surveillance, research, eacape and clear-up, as well as the legal ramifications of planning a murder of a victim called Bob... who is fictional.
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - PART FOUR: UNEDITED TRANSCRIPT
Let’s pretend that I’ve committed a pre-meditated murder and the target was my old pal Bob. But don’t fret my friend, I’m sure you’ll get an invisible invite to the fictional funeral of this imaginary man.
Was his killing perfect? Yes. Did it look like natural? Of course. Was it a bloody death in which Bob was pumped full of helium and popped like a large lardy balloon, or fed bum-first into a wood-chipper as his minced-up entrails were spattered along a wall in Morse code which read “this was an accident, honest”? No, I killed him in the dullest way possible, by lacing his pizza with an untraceable poison which was only toxic to his body… a salad leaf. Will this murder be talked about? Will books be written about it? Will the ‘salad leaf killing’ of Bob become the latest hit podcast series which true-crime fans will endlessly drone on about even though it’s not actually that good? No, but then, that was the point.
As the hard part isn’t the murder, the real challenge is to get away with it. So, in this final part of this four-part series I shall attempt to ensure that I’m never suspected or arrested for the hypothetical murder of a fictional idiot called Bob… and soon, that cakey-Eva portrait will be all mine. Sigh!
My name is Michael, I am a murderer, and this is How To Get Away With Murder.
Part Four: Clean-Up & Escape.
Dear friends. I regret to inform you that last week, Bob died. Boo hoo! Boo hoo! He was forty years old but he didn’t look a day over sixty-eight. He leaves behind a dirty sofa, the washing up and a basket of unwashed underpants. He will be sorely missed by Iqbal ‘Luigi’ Singh, the owner of Pizza Schmucks who may have to hock his diamond encrusted pizza cutter and sell his pepperoni coloured Bentley as with Bob’s pizza app’ now silent, Luigi’s cash-cow has gone to the big abattoir in the sky… literally. Bob died “peacefully” (in inverted commas) doing what he loved best; dribbling, snoozing and slobbing about, gorping at brainless shite on his telly box, while scratching his arse, adjusting his dangle fruits and feeding an endless conveyor of pizza slices into his gob using that ‘very same hand’. Urgh! His death was quick, natural and unremarkable, so much so that when the Police, Fire or Ambulance arrive, the main thing they will do is notify the next-of-kin, and not initiate a criminal investigation.
If I’m smart, no-one should ever know that this was a murder, but sadly some killers really aren’t that smart. In fact, when they are finally caught, it’s not the diligence of a detective which leads to their arrest, often it’s their own stupidity and arrogance which trips them up first. For example:
So, what if Bob realised the Pizza Guy was me? What if he choked on the salad leaf? What if the tearing sound I heard was his sweaty blubbery bulk actually separating from the sofa, and being so shocked at the sight of him standing-upright – which was only possible as the calcified sweat down his back had formed a makeshift spinal brace and (although his leg muscles had withered like the two last chicken drumsticks in a party bucket) several decades worth of cola splashes had harden like seaside sticks of rock – as we wrestled to the death (with Bob angry but always keeping an eye on the telly as The World’s Craziest Celebrity Patio-Makeover Home-Video Accidents from Hell on Ice was on, and me, dodging drinks cups and urine pots, with one foot in an old spag’ bol’, another in a congealed bowl of custard and standing awkwardly, as being so close to my prized portrait of lovely Eva gently teasing me with a jammy mouthful of Battenberg, it is difficult to wrestle an angry sweaty man whilst you’ve got an erection), it was then that I accidentally slit his throat with a pizza cutter, and maybe kicked his bonce about the bedsit a bit, while playing keepie-uppie and using a lamp-shade as a basketball hoop?
Now, that didn’t happen, but if it did? How do you dispose of a brutally massacred corpse in a regular domestic house? If you listen to too much true-crime, you may think “oh that’s easy”, but it isn’t. The average house isn’t equipped with the tools for a full body disposal; we don’t all own axes, chainsaws, flame throwers, wood chippers and two hundred gallons of sulphuric acid, and if we did, the Police would see that as pre-meditation. So, let’s get realistic. Can you dispose of a body in a house? No.
As planned, Bob’s death looks natural; he will be found slumped on his sofa, in front of his telly, with an endless conveyor-belt of food being fed into the huge chomping hole in his face. There are no signs of injury, assault, interference or poison, so they will assume that he choked. But how do I ensure that his death definitely looks natural, and that the Police don’t suspect that someone else was involved?
Here’s a few possible suggestions which may work a treat:
To be honest, courtesy of some seriously (if entirely fictional) research and surveillance by himself, Bob’s ordinary clothing, his homelife and his lifestyle perfectly match his method of death, so nothing needs to be added… unless I wanted to dob someone else in for my crime. So, I could:
Think about this; The Golden State Killer was arrested using the DNA on a single disposable coffee cup, so I could easily scatter a half-eaten sandwich found in a bin, a smelly old sock left in a laundry or a manky ear-wax coated cotton bud at the scene to implicate someone else, but I won’t, as that would cause the police to investigate this as a murder, which is exactly what I don’t want them to do.
But what if I have left some DNA behind; maybe a hair, a print, or a long line of frothy dribble and a splatter of love-hummus by the cakey Eva porn? What should I do to hide my filthy Mickey man-muck?
These are all terrible ideas, but they are the most obvious ways that murderers try to clean-up a crime scene. Each one could erase the evidence but they all point to the involvement of a third-party. But there are a few ways to eradicate any viable DNA at a crime scene without you even being there, or anywhere near, and they all involve time, air and – inevitably – the human-factor:
Right! Bob is dead, his death looks natural and his bedsit doesn’t look like a crime-scene. Yay! Well done me. So, now that all done-and-dusted, when should I call the Police? When?! Never! Here is a simple list of idiotic things which trip up almost every serial killer and murderer all the bloody time.
That means no heads, no hands, no teeth and no trinkets. Don’t nick a celebratory cheese sarnie from the fridge if I feel a bit peckish or try on his Batman underpants (as where-as once they seemed cheesy, now they’ve got a kitsch value), as everything I steal will lead directly back to me, as the culprit.
So, as much as I want to, need to, and every ounce of my soul wants me to steal it, I have to leave behind the sultry cakey fresco of the lovely Hollywood siren Eva Green devouring a mini Battenberg in a way which makes me wish I had died and was reincarnated as a cake. Sigh! This is a waiting game, but if I’m patient, it may pay-off. My hope is that his legal guardians will either sell off, auction or bin his personal possessions, and then ‘cakey-Eva’ is legally mine. ALL MINE! But until then, I must weep.
But what if I am suspect number one? What should I do? Here’s my top tips for when Police Constable Arsenal Guinness drains the last can, finishes his hand-shandy and gets down to some work… for once:
If I am arrested and charged with Bob’s murder, luckily the conviction rate for murder in England and Wales is pretty low. According to the Office of National Statistics, of the 712 homicides in 2018, only 163 suspects were charged, with an average conviction rate of between 17 and 33%, and even before the cases went to court, 3% of all suspects had either died or committed suicide, and post-trial, 79% of suspects were found guilty, 14% were acquitted and 4% were convicted of a lesser offence.
But how many of these were well-researched pre-meditated murders for very worthwhile cause like some cakey-Eva porn, rather than some bloke gave me a bit of a funny look? Probably none.
So, let us return to where we began, with one big question - how possible or impossible is it to commit and get away with perfect murder? We all assume (having consumed one too many true-crime shows which cherry-pick a few scant details of a six-year investigation and boil them down into a handy-half-hour chunk) that killing is a bit of a doddle. But for the average person like me or you, it wouldn’t be.
Mentally we’d be a mess, physically we’d shake like a leaf and psychologically we’d be broken for life. Throughout every step of the planning, the research and the execution, we would stall, fumble, panic and even though I have the perfect alibi to aid my escape – that being a fat bald man in his mid-forties, I’m entirely invisible to women, most men but thankfully not dogs– I’d either have given-up, got bored, handed myself in, or been arrested for looking suspicious before I’ve even entered Bob’s bedsit.
So, to conclude, unless you are a criminal mastermind, a remorseless killer, a fictional character, or the kind of arrogant self-obsessed douch-bag who doesn’t understand that every problem is solvable, every solution is negotiable and every positive action takes vastly more effort than a negative action - if you’re willing to put in the time to try and make it work - it’ll be better for everyone.
Getting away with anything illegal (let alone a murder) is next-to-impossible, so why bother? Why waste the few years or decades you have left on this Earth fuming over something unimportant, when you could savour a simple life, being happy with what you do have, content with what you don’t have, and – best of all – that no-one (including myself, yourself or Bob) will end up dead. (Bob) “Hello, my name is Bob, I am Mike’s fictional friend who is ‘very-much-alive’, and I approve this message”.
Oh, and if anyone is on the look-out for a rather lovely, non-dribble coated, man-hummus-free, cakey portrait of Hollywood sex-bomb Eva Green clutching a range of Mr Kipling’s finest cakes (swoon), then apparently they sell them on eBay for £10. I know! Who knew? Next time, I’ll do my research first.
Thanks for listening folks. Tatty-bye.
OUTRO: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for listening to Part Four and the final part of How To get Away With Murder. Next week, your regular Murder Mile episodes will return.
A big thank you to my new Patreon Supporters who are Tony Inglis, Sarah London and Kicha Blackstone, I thank you all muchly. I hope you entered the very exclusive competition on Patreon and they you are now the proud owners of a very exclusive Murder Mile key-ring. Ooh. Plus a thank you to everyone who leaves lovely comments when you download the freebies (like ringtones, quizzes and ebooks) in the Murder Mile merch shop – there’s a link in the show notes. I read them all and they are all very much appreciated. Up next is Extra Mile.
Murder Mile was researched, written & performed by myself, with the main musical themes written and performed by Erik Stein & Jon Boux of Cult With No Name.
Thank you for listening and sleep well.
*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER
The Murder Mile UK True Crime Podcast has been researched using the original declassified police investigation files, court records, press reports and as many authentic sources as possible, which are freely available in the public domain, including eye-witness testimony, confessions, autopsy reports, first-hand accounts and independent investigation, where possible. But these documents are only as accurate as those recounting them and recording them, and are always incomplete or full of opinion rather than fact, therefore mistakes and misrepresentations can be made. As stated at the beginning of each episode (and as is clear by the way it is presented) Murder Mile UK True Crime Podcast is a 'dramatisation' of the events and not a documentary, therefore a certain amount of dramatic licence, selective characterisation and story-telling (within logical reason and based on extensive research) has been taken to create a fuller picture. It is not a full and complete representation of the case, the people or the investigation, and therefore should not be taken as such. It is also often (for the sake of clarity, speed and the drama) presented from a single person's perspective, usually (but not exclusively) the victim's, and therefore it will contain a certain level of bias and opinion to get across this single perspective, which may not be the overall opinion of those involved or associated. Murder Mile is just one possible retelling of each case. Murder Mile does not set out to cause any harm or distress to those involved, and those who listen to the podcast or read the transcripts provided should be aware that by accessing anything created by Murder Mile (or any source related to any each) that they may discover some details about a person, an incident or the police investigation itself, that they were unaware of.
*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a writer, crime historian, podcaster and tour-guide who runs Murder Mile Walks, a guided tour of Soho’s most notorious murder cases, hailed as “one of the top ten curious, quirky, unusual and different things to do in London”, nominated "one of the best true-crime podcasts at the British Podcast Awards", one of The Telegraph's top five true-crime podcasts and featuring 12 murderers, including 3 serial killers, across 15 locations, totaling 50 deaths, over just a one mile walk.
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a crime writer, podcaster & tour guide of Murder Mile Walks, hailed as one of the best "quirky curious & unusual things to do in London".
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