Welcome to Murder 101: PG Halloween Edition

With Halloween arriving next week, murder is in the air. It might be the only time of year when “normal” people can fully relate to crime writers and readers. So, ladies and gents, grab your favorite beverage and kick back for a little Murder 101, complete with visual aids.

Let’s say your male character is cheating on your protagonist.

During the confrontation — we can’t ignore that type of behavior, now can we? — take the homewrecker by surprise with one well-placed stab to the carotid artery. Don’t forget to withdraw the hunting knife! We wouldn’t want it to act as a plug.

Notice how the kitty is priming the carotid artery? The subject is nice and relaxed. More importantly, he doesn’t suspect a thing.

There are two carotid arteries in the neck, one on the left side and one on the right. Each carotid artery branches into two divisions:
• Internal carotid artery supplies blood to the brain
• External carotid artery supplies blood to the face and neck

If it were me, I’d aim for the internal carotid, but it’s a personal preference. If you’d rather watch the blood drain from the subject’s face and neck, then shoot for the external. Both will get the job done.

A quiet execution is an effective way to murder…

If you choose this murder method, be sure to use a fast-acting poison. No need to act psychopathic by dragging out your subject’s agony. Unless, of course, that’s what you’re into. No judgments!

May I make a suggestion? Try using Tetrodotoxin, which is a complex biochemical found in two marine creatures, the blue-ringed octopus and the puffer fish. It’s also in slugs, but on a much smaller scale. Garry Rodgers wrote a fantastic article about this deadly poison.

Whether Tetrodotoxin is injected via octopus bite — how might you explain a pet octopus? — or ingested by way of food or drink, the poison will kill the subject within a few minutes, depending on the character’s size vs. the amount of poison administered. Tetrodotoxin first blocks nerve responses and then paralyzes the victim, which prevents the victim from breathing. Finally, it stops the heart. As little as 1 milligram is all you need to accomplish your goal.

Some people prefer a good ol’ fashioned murder method, complete with sound effects.

Ladies, please don’t close your eyes while firing a weapon. I know murder isn’t easy, but if you’re determined to see this through, you may as well do it right. For information on the correct ammunition to use, John Gilstrap, wrote a post about what works best. Hint: hollow points are your friend.

Manual suffocation adds an up-close-and-personal touch.

This method is fairly straightforward. Notice how the sloth covers the kitty’s nose and mouth with one smooth motion? Perfect execution! Only use this murder method on humans please. We’re not savages, after all. ?

Sometimes, you just gotta let loose — and that’s okay.

Nothing screams you’re on the edge of sanity quite like an ax. Don’t you agree? You may want to act this one out at his place to avoid a lengthy crime scene clean up. Notice the plastic coveralls? Get yourself an identical suit but wear the hood. You wouldn’t want to leave hairs behind for the crime scene unit.

I swear, Your Honor, I had nothing to do with it. He tripped.

Do NOT harm the family dog. Please note how Miss White effortlessly pushes her lover down the stairs. So graceful, so ladylike, a little flick of the wrist and her problem is resolved.

Unless, of course, his neck doesn’t snap. Yeah, that could happen. Then what do you do? No problem. Finish him off with a quick slash to the neck like this …

Time is running out, folks. By November 1st some people may not “appreciate” a crime writer/reader’s passion to help others. Before then, it’s perfectly acceptable to say…

I’ll leave you with one final word of wisdom…

For those participating in NaNoWriMo this year, remember that. Happy hunting! I mean… writing. 😉


This entry was posted in #writers, #writerslife, Writing and tagged , , , by Sue Coletta. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sue Coletta

Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer and an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Feedspot and Expertido.org named her Murder Blog as “Best 100 Crime Blogs on the Net.” She also blogs at the Kill Zone (Writer's Digest "101 Best Websites for Writers") and Writers Helping Writers. Sue lives with her husband in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Her backlist includes psychological thrillers, the Mayhem Series (books 1-3) and Grafton County Series, and true crime/narrative nonfiction. Now, she exclusively writes eco-thrillers, Mayhem Series (books 4-7 and continuing). Sue's appeared on the Emmy award-winning true crime series, Storm of Suspicion, and three episodes of A Time to Kill on Investigation Discovery. Learn more about Sue and her books at https://suecoletta.com

24 thoughts on “Welcome to Murder 101: PG Halloween Edition

  1. OMG The sloth and the kitty!

    I don’t know where you found all the videos and memes, but I bet you had fun searching! Thanks for a great beginning to my week of revisions.

  2. I never knew murder could be so danged entertaining. Would you please put all of these methods into one tidy little novel? Please and thank you…

  3. I’ve got a question, Sue. If you make your throat slash low enough–say, below the larynx, don’t you sever the carotids below their internal/external branch? I mean . . . efficiency, right?

    • I would think you’d have to slice from left to right (or right to left for lefties) in order to sever both carotids, but don’t quote me. I’ve been wrong once or twice before. 😉

  4. Thank goodness I’d already finished my coffee or I’d have snorted all over the screen! What a fun post, Sue! Love the mouse bench-pressing the trap.

  5. Children, I’ve told you time and time again. Don’t pull that knife out of the carotid unless you have a way to keep that nasty staining blood off yourself or have a way to remove it! Sure, the blood won’t be as dramatic a fountain, but escape time is improved.

    Truth be told, simple is always best. A gun that won’t be tied to you that will disappear forever, and a simple alibi is always best.

    I agree. Great .gifs.

    • Oh, and gently squeeze the trigger. Don’t jerk, or the shot will go high. My dad, the fire arms instructor, told me that people unfamiliar with guns are the most deadly. They will aim for the feet to scare the attacker away, the gun will jerk upward, and get them in the gut. A nasty way to die. I was taught to gently squeeze, not shut my eyes, and aim toward the center of the body so I’ll hit something vital.

  6. I have watched the pushing puppy very closely. After he does the foul deed, he stares at the camera–it is not a cute stare. It is aggressive and hateful.

    Be careful–the Book of Revelation says that, in the true End-of-Days, the danger will not be a zombie apocalypse. When the Four Horsemen are released in the time of Death followed by Hades, “[Four Horsemen] were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

    Do not let your puppy linger behind you. If you feel him grab at your pants leg, kick away and run for the door, screaming, “HELP! PUPPY!” And do not use the stairway.

    Perhaps the evil snarls and growls you hear at night are not the evil things. Perhaps it is Spot making plans for you.

    And what are Alexa and Siri replying to when they respond to something unknown at 3 a.m.? Listen closely. If either of them says, “Careful, Spot. They know. They know,” then you should arm yourself.

    Take time to be afraid of the kibble-eating creature you thought was your friend, your beloved pet. He may consider himself a wild beast.

    Remember. The cry is, “HELP! PUPPY!”

    Do not forget it in the moments of hysterical panic.

      • And, furthermore, don’t discount the danger posed by your writerly best friend…your computer.

        When you attempt to disable those pesky Windows notifications, alerts, and pleas to “sync all your devices now” and you suddenly hear, in that low, soothing digital voice, “What are you doing, Deb?” … flee for your life. The end is near.

        Oh, this was fun! What a great comic break from slaying the 1300+ adverbs in my MS…

  7. It’s the puppy’s tail wag that kills me. Look, Mom!

    Last night I watched an episode of the Russian series, The Method. The detective stabbed the bad guy in the neck and then gave a soliloquy about the guy’s crimes. He only pulled the knife out when he was finished. Nice timing.

    Really, people should either dress up like Hobbits and princesses, or stay home reading, leaving Halloween–and all the candy– to us professionals.

    Fun post!

  8. Great post and discussion, as always. My non-writer friends just don’t get it and so it is pleasant to join in a discussion with those who know more than I about writing. I glean lots of great advice and get some entertainment too. 😀

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