So I watch a lot of Investigation Discovery. A shitton. It’s the only thing I turn my TV on for. And I have noticed a pattern of frankly dumb behavior among people suspected (and probably guilty of) killing their relatives. So, while I don’t condone murdering your “loved” ones, if you’re gonna, follow these guidelines make so you don’t rookie mistakes:
1. Look upset when the police interview you. If you’re the spouse, you’ll probably be the one to report the death or disappearance and will therefore be the first person the police interview. Sound distraught and upset when you make the 911 call and look distressed when you do the interview. Appearing calm, cool, and collected when your husband who you love and is your whole world was dead when you got home from work makes you look like you did it.
2. Don’t overthink your alibi. If you’re able to state exactly to the minute what you were doing the whole day, it looks like you specifically kept track so that you could recite it later.
3. If this is a case of disappearance, participate in the search. You would think this would be common fucking sense, but nine times out of ten, the husband of a missing wife is out gallivanting around and not looking overly concerned if his wife ever comes home.
4. And usually, it’s because he’s busy having good times with his mistress. Don’t do this. This behavior indicates motive and will skyrocket you straight to the top of the suspect list. If you’re gonna get caught with your lover, you want it to look like a Run to You situation, not like your spouse was in the way.
5. When you make public appeals and character speeches, make sure to refer to the victim in the present tense. Slipping up and saying your children “were” wonderful kids implies that you know they’re dead.
6. Always answer your phone. Even if you are in the middle of a television interview. ESPECIALLY if you are in the middle of a television interview. Scott Peterson famously made this fuck-up when he was trying to look like he didn’t know his family was dead and that he gave a fuck about that fact. And he’s in prison.
Actually, this whole list could alternatively be called the Scott Peterson Guide to How I Did it Wrong and How I Should Have Done It Right. He was worst at looking innocent. Well, maybe O. J. Simpson.
If there was a yearly award for Least Convincing Murderer, Peterson would have gotten ’02’s. It might be a toss up between Simpson and Susan Smith in ’94 though because while Simpson looked guilty as fuck, the forensic evidence was handled poorly and he was not convicted whereas Smith was.
But anyway, this is not a guide for getting away with murder because forensic science is fucking boss and your odds are pretty shit these days. If you’re gonna roll the dice, though, you may as well increase your chances.