Sunday, 10 July 2011

Paranoid much?

I need to know how to kill someone without it becoming immediately apparent.

There, I’ve said it.

Eventually, suspicions will be raised and the police called to investigate. You can relax, people this is a plot device and not something more nefarious. But how do I find this kind of stuff out? You try an internet search with the words – killing methods.  Or, making enquiries at the local cop shop or library while using a sentence like the one I began this post with.

And don’t they keep an eye on these kinds of things? Isn’t there a team of eager beavers employed by M15/ FBI/ Mossad/ CIA/ News International  trawling search engines for just this kind of dangerous enquiry?
And what if I wanted to research terrorist stuff, or paedophilia?

They’d be knocking on my door quicker than you could say News of the World Phone Hackers. And I’d be in hand-cuffs and hauled off to the local council run underground bunker for a spot of water-boarding.

I’m remembering news headlines from a few years back (2003?)when Pete Townshend of The Who was brought before the beaks when his name was found on a list of people using their credit card details to download pornographic images of children. 

He was cleared but put on the child offenders’ registry for 5 years.
Townshend later explained he was sexually abused as a child and, in preparation of a possible autobiography, he was researching how easily child pornography can be accessed online, in order to argue that Internet service providers need to become more vigilant. “It must be time to do something more concrete to stop the proliferation of questionable pornography that seems so readily and openly facilitated by the Internet,” he later wrote about the experience.

He’s since been reviled across the globe but continues to protest his innocence. I’m content to go with the authorities on this one given that they presumably have all the facts, but my thought was - all that heartache in the name of research?

Incredibly naive, don’tcha think?

So good people, what research projects have you embarked on that has you looking over your shoulders?


  1. You are so right about this. I've done a lot of research about poison and weapons online. If anything ever happens to someone close to me, I'll be the prime suspect. Sadly, I don't think novelist is a good enough defense.

    And, uh, carbon monoxide buildups in houses are always good for "accidental" deaths. Not that I would know. :P

  2. There was another writer I heard about who actually robbed a bank to live the experience. Sadly, he robbed it with a firearm and was shot and killed by the police - so, novelist didn't work much as a defence for him.

    Carbon monoxide? Mmmmm ...

  3. ah, you should ask Clarissa from LISTEN TO THE VOICES blog, you have it in my blogroll, she is a genius in this kind of criminal/forensic/killing stuff! :)

  4. and you can ask my dear LG above too, she was once a deputy sheriff :)

  5. Yep, you live in a murky world Michael.

  6. will do, Dez.

    Ricky, but it's only in my head.

  7. i was just watching the WHO from a long time ago when they were young and gorgeous (around pinball wizard time). they played every song they ever produced. their music is played on pop radio ALLLLL the time.
    Anyway, it was hard to believe how old Pete T has aged. That was a very wierd story, so wierd i almost believe it. As to your question, no i never research questionable stuff online. I don't wish to know. I think it's too easy for me to go to the dark side...

  8. Oooo, Thea. Now you're scaring me.

  9. don't be afraid, my pretty boy...just take a bite of this apple...

  10. Isulin is good - not painful, and not immediately apparent. And suffocation? I researched the latter for a novel before my agent told me, gently but firmlly, that I am not a crime writer. (It was a bit disappointing and I still hanker after crime.)

    I love the idea of trying out a crime before writing the novel. That in itself would make a good plot!

  11. Hi Michael. Long-time reader, first-time commenter :-) There is definitely a novel in the story of that poor misfortunate novelist who tried to rob the bank. Keep up the great blog posts!

  12. Hi Frances, and thanks. I was reading about that very thing in a newspaper this morning. Seems there's a batch of saline solution that has been infected by insulin in a hospital - I think it was England somewhere.

    Good man, Derek. I've been a wee bit distracted of late and not blogging as much as I would like, but getting back to it.