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Author Promo > Damning Evidence

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message 1: by Mary (new)

Theobald Mary Hel-l-l-l-l-p! I am starting work on a new murder mystery need some examples of damning evidence, you know, the sort that makes an innocent person look very guilty, but that can be explained away. Such as: the police find Joe standing over the body holding a bloody knife. Looks bad, right? BUT Joe had actually just found the body and pulled out the knife. I need some other ideas that will send one of my characters to jail when she isn't guilty, and I can't come up with anything original. Can you?

message 2: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 41 comments Try the crimescenewriters yahoo listserv, always a great place for ideas.

message 3: by Darcia (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) How is your victim murdered? You can use that. Such as, if he/she is poisoned, maybe the character arrested has access to that poison or has it in her house. Or it could be a medication she takes regularly that was used to kill the victim.

Is someone deliberately setting her up? The murder weapon could be planted at her house.

She could have been seen arguing with the victim moments before he/she dies.

Maybe it's her pool the victim drowns in.

How the victim dies and the circumstances surrounding that murder play a huge role in setting your character up for the fall.

message 4: by Mary (new)

Theobald Mary The victim, a woman, is killed in her own apartment by a man who just left. Stabbed? Drowned in the bathtub? Bludgeoned? Smothered in bed? Her acquaintence, also female, arrives right after the killer leaves, finds the body, and screams. (Or maybe the victim lives long enough to gasp out something that is misunderstood, something that makes it seem the new arrival is guilty when she's not). Anyway, the noise prompts the landlady to come upstairs where she finds the young female guest in a totally compromising situation. Landlady calls police. Everyone concludes the woman is guilty because she's found holding the bloody knife and standing over the body. Only that seems so trite. I was hoping to come up with some other bit of damning evidence and am drawing a total blank.

message 5: by Darcia (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) Having your character standing there with the bloody knife (or smoking gun) will definitely make readers' eyes roll.

Eye witnesses are notoriously wrong. So what if your character isn't at the victim's house at all. What if your killer is a guy with long blonde hair and your character has long blonde hair as well. (Or dark hair, short curly hair, same build, same raincoat, etc.) The old lady across the hall (or the guy who is always looking out the window, or the soccer mom with three bratty kids, or the couple who are always arguing...) sees someone fleeing the house with long blonde hair. Your character also has long blonde hair and was seen arguing with her friend (over something silly but no one knows that) the day before. The "eye witness" points to this character because of the hair and he or she is familiar with the woman - an assumption often made with eye witnesses. The character has no alibi because she was home alone at the time.

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