How to get away with murder
How can we kill someone without breaking any laws?
Imagine you’re an aspiring murderer. I assume you are not actually aspiring to become a murderer, but if you are, you will find this particularly useful.
If you’re going to murder someone, one of your highest priorities must be to not get caught. Getting caught sucks. They will have a trial, put you in prison, and it’s a stain on your career as a up and coming serial killer.
So how do you not get caught?
Firstly, don’t murder someone you know. Most victims are killed by people they know, so anyone close to the victim will automatically receive more scrutiny.
Secondly, you don’t want to leave evidence. This one seems simple. If there’s no evidence, how can they get you? However, it is difficult to pull off. The police is getting smarter, and have access to ever more sophisticated technology to trace the murder back to you.
That’s not good enough. It’s too difficult to leave no evidence, and even if you don’t know the person you kill, you will still have some connection to them by virtue of killing them. We don't want to have to be a genius to kill someone.
No, we want something better.
We want it to be untraceable. No-one should know who we killed, not even us. Even better, we want to kill someone without even breaking the law. Making it the perfect murder since it can’t be prosecuted.
I imagine some keen eyed readers will suggest killing someone in the Zone of Death in Yellowstone. An area where, due to a legal loophole, there is no jurisdiction applicable thus it is unclear who would prosecute a potential murder. However, that’s not good enough for us either. Firstly, a murder in Yellowstone is not untraceable, and secondly, if someone was murdered I suspect someone might swoop in and patch the legal loophole with retroactive effect.
Instead, I suggest that we look at pollution. If we pollute enough, we can be statistically sure that someone died from it, but we have no way of knowing who, and indeed, we have no way of showing that anyone in particular specifically killed the person. Yet we can be sure that we must have killed someone.
So what do we have to do in order to kill someone? Well not much in most of the developed world. For example, if you live like an average person in the US, you can sit back and relax, and know that after 80 years, you have statistically killed 1.3 people. Of course, a bodycount of 1.3 doesn’t give a lot of notoriety as a serial killer. If you want to increase your notoriety, you should do everything you can to be as little green as possible. Drive a big truck, eat lots of meat. It helps if you are also rich. For example, if you can get your hands on a superyact, you can kill between 6 and 24 people per year from just keeping it going.
You can learn more about what to do in order to become a successful serial killer by reading Statistical Murders: The Victims of the Climate Crisis.
But wait! Don’t we run the risk of being prosecuted retroactively? Believe it or not. There have been pollution based lawsuits against the companies that pollute the most, and they have been dismissed precisely because of the statistical aspects of the murders. Since we cannot show a specific person who has been killed by us, or the company in this case, the justice system is not set up to handle these kinds of damages. Any charges end up dismissed. We are safe from prosecution.
We have committed the perfect murder.