Lessons from True Crime Television
Even though I can no longer teach in the traditional university context, I still see myself as pedagogue, someone whose life’s work it is to help others navigate the intellectual complexities of day-to-day life. In that spirit, I have decided to share some knowledge I have gained from watching true crime television. I promise to build on this list as I develop my syllabus. In the meantime, please send healing energy to my partner, who is made just a little nervous by my growing fascination with and knowledge of murder.
For now, here are some basic lessons:
- I’m pretty sure that there is no such thing as a hitman; there are only hitcops. If you think you are hiring a hitman, you should know that as soon as you get in the car with the person you plan to employ your every move is being recorded. When you say that you just want the subject of your ire dead and that you really mean it and that you’re not going to back out and that you don’t care how brutal the murder is or whether the victim’s children are present you should be aware that someday you will be famous – or more accurately, infamous. Trust me, this is gonna be ugly and you’re gonna look like an ass—on national television.
- If you’ve taken the lesson about hitmen seriously and decided to commit the murder yourself, I strongly suggest that you don’t Google “How to kill someone” on your home computer before you commit the deed. They now have techno-cops whose only job is to search the computers of suspected murderers. Other phrases you should not Google just before you commit a murder include “best poisons,” “arsenic poisoning,” and “death by antifreeze.” Basically, if you plan to commit a murder you should simply avoid doing any related computer on your home computer.
- If you are a medical professional you might want to avoid stealing your murder weapon from the inventoried medication at the hospital where you work. Add to that: most of us who are not medical professionals have absolutely no access to drugs like Succinylcholine. If you aren’t inclined to avoid the use of that drug simply because it’s about the cruelest way to kill someone, then perhaps you can avoid it so that you – the only medical professional in the murdered person’s life – won’t be the first and only suspect.
- If you do decide to kill someone, you should really never get drunk again; however, if you must get drunk, I strongly suggest that you don’t try to impress your friends with a drunken soliloquy about how you committed the perfect crime. It’s not a perfect crime if a bar full of your best buddies knows about it. Same goes for sex; attempts to impress your sexual partners with stories of the murders you have committed—bad idea. Remember the old adage, “Loose lips sink ships.”