5 Stupid Mistakes The Killers On Investigation Discovery Always Make

I watch a lot of true crime shows. Wait, let me get more specific so you know the level of crazy I’m talking about. I watch at least one true crime mystery documentary every single day and have for the past three or four years. Sometimes it’s Homicide Hunter. Sometimes it’s Cold Case Files. Sometimes it’s 48 Hours Mysteries. I’m really not very picky. It just needs to involve a real murder, an investigation, a conclusion and preferably, some filmed reenactments. Some people in my position would probably feel some personal shame related to these thousands of hours sunk into informative murder porn, but I really don’t regret any of it. In fact, all the hours have taught me quite a bit about murder, though one hot fact is more apparent than any other. As a general rule, people suck at killing people.

That’s right. An overwhelming majority of murderers are positively horrible at murdering. They make the same mistakes over and over again, and they completely lose all common sense in the heat of the moment. They practically beg to get caught, and while that’s really, really good for the police officers trying to catch these bozos, it’s really frustrating as a viewer to see the same story played out over and over again.

So, over the past few weeks, I’ve started to jot down these common fuck-ups, and now, I’m assembling them into one list--- not to help others murder people but to commiserate with other Stolen Voices viewers who are sick and tired of seeing idiots follow the exact same script.

So, without further ado, here are 5 of the most common stupid mistakes the killers on Investigation Discovery always seem to make…


They Transport Bodies In Their Trunks

A truly stupid number of killers throw their murder victims into the trunk before driving to the disposal site, and every single time they hit a pot hole, hair falls out, blood flies in weird directions and skin cells rub all over the carpet. Try explaining that in court because it’s damn near impossible.

Never, ever under any circumstances put a human being in your trunk. Even if someone is very much alive and willingly volunteers to ride in the trunk because there are too many people in the backseat, immediately veto the idea and come up with another way. If you do and the police ever search your trunk for any reason, they will find random hairs that don’t belong to you in it and then you will have to prove the person is still alive.


They Use The Exact Same Weird M.O.

Remember that scene in Home Alone when the cops tell Harry and Marv they can track every single house they ever robbed because of the water being left on? That’s a comedic plot point in a movie with an eight-year-old protagonist, and yet, it’s also a plot point in practically every single serial killer investigation ever conducted. The police are always able to figure out the murders are connected because the killer sprinkled glitter on the body or painted one of the ears red or strangled each victim with a piano key necktie. Why not change things up a bit?

I get that serial killers have some inherent urge to do things a certain way, but even so, they should at least consider planting some weird fake evidence to throw people off the trail. By doing things the same exact way, they’re only sealing their fate with the jury down the road and making it easier for the police.


They Lie About Knowing The Victim

This is probably the mistake that pisses me off the most. The police will knock on someone’s door, ask if he knows a “Janet” and the murderer will say “no”. Then after the shortest of investigations, the police will discover random dude and Janet were actually ex-lovers. Only a murderer or a nervous, frightened moron would lie about something like that. Innocent people typically just come out with the story, even if it’s a little incriminating. Consequently, there’s no faster way to get the police focused only on you than to blatantly lie about some stupid detail they’re going to find out anyway.

Murderers do this all the time when it comes to the basic nature of their relationship with the victim. They’ll admit they know her, but they’ll say they got along great. Later, every single person the police interview will divulge the true hatred that was there and then all the sudden the police have a new prime suspect. Just lay it all out there. “Yeah, she didn’t like me because she caught me stealing money from the Coke machine once. It was really embarrassing, but I would never kill her.” That’s the right tactic.


They Murder Their Wives

Husbands, don’t ever murder your wives. Ever. You know why? Because way too many other husbands murder their wives. An overwhelming majority of wife murders are committed by their husbands. So, even if said husband is the sweetest, most gentle guy in the neighborhood, the police are always going to tear apart said guy’s life and alibi in order to figure out whether he actually did it. All of the percentages say it’s probably the husband, and that just can’t be ignored.

Half the time when they interview these husband murderers, they freak out about getting asked their whereabouts and refuse to answer any questions too. Do you know what grieving husbands do? They answer every damn question the police ask in an effort to get themselves ruled out as a suspect as quickly as possible. They understand how investigations work, and they don’t freak out on the police for doing their jobs.


They Leave A Stupid Amount Of DNA Behind

It’s like every single killer feels the need to rub their hands all over their scalp and repeatedly scratch until eighty hairs fall out and land directly on top of the murderer’s body. Why is wearing a hat so difficult? And don’t even get me started on semen evidence. Jesus. This isn’t 1950. If you leave semen behind at a crime scene, you will get caught, and you will lose your trial. These days, prosecutors don’t even really need to say anything in such cases. They can just walk up to a jury with a big folder, say DNA semen evidence and drop it right in front of the jury like a microphone. There’s just no way to explain that away. It’s more damning than hairs inside the trunk.

Dexter had the right idea. He completely DNA proofed his kill rooms. That way, no weird fibers or hairs were ever left behind, and since he wasn’t a disgusting human being with immoral sexual urges, he never needed to worry about semen evidence. Most other criminals, however, aren’t anywhere close to that level of sane or careful.

Editor In Chief

Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.