Since the birth of my son at the tail end of last year, I have been recording lots of episodes of TruTV’s Forensic Files and watching them during nighttime feedings.  In the past three months, I have watched literally dozens of episodes.  During this time, I’m learned lots of lessons from some of the killers who are, well, not so smart.

Note: we don’t condone any sort of criminal activities.

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice …

Everyone knows that you shouldn’t mess with success.  If something works the first time, you should try it again, right?  Not always.

A recurring theme are men who kill their wives.  Sometimes, after a suspicious – but apparently accidental – death, an anonymous caller will notify the police that the man’s first wife died in similar circumstances.  If the women died in car accidents, you can make the argument that it’s simply coincidence.  Car accidents are fairly common.

If the women both drowned in the bath tub, this is a bit harder to explain away as a coincidence.  This isn’t a particularly common way to die, so the odds of it happening to two of your spouses is pretty unlikely.

Moral of the story: mix it up a little bit.  If you’re going to kill multiple spouses, you need to use different methods.  Or, of course, you could simply refrain from killing people.

Failure to observer a proper mourning period

Everyone has a different length of time for mourning.  Some people never get over the death of a spouse.  Others are able to move past the tragedy and eventually find love again.

But if you return from Vegas with a new wife a couple of weeks after your first wife died, police are probably going to take a second look at you as a suspect.

In one particularly notable case, the husband and his fiancée actually sent out wedding invitations (just to HER family and friends, apparently) BEFORE the first wife was dead.  I guess this is somewhat understandable, since people need to be able to save the date on their calendar.

Moral: Thirty days hath September, April, June, and minimum mourning periods.

Gotta give them credit

Every once in a while, the cops are able to determined that a killer purchased poison (or other items involved in the crime) by examining credit card receipts.  Apparently, the term “paper trail” means nothing to these people.

Moral: Cash is king!

Not what it’s cracked up to be

When examining broken windows at a crime scene, the cops check to see if the window was broken from the outside or the inside.  If the window was broken from the outside, most of the glass will fall inward.  If it is broken from the inside, most of the glass will fall on the outside.

Since the vast majority of criminals break into houses rather than out of them,  when there are indications that a window was broken from the inside, it typically means that the scene was staged.

Moral: Take a moment and actually step through the crime scene, starting at the point of entry.  If you’re going to kill someone, you needn’t be lazy with the details.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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