Murder is Serious Business

I’m contemplating murder. Definitely more than one, but most likely less than three. An almost-three seems a good number.

It’s enough to say, “Hey, there’s a crazy Jack the Ripper killer on the loose. Could I be his next victim?”

Plotting a murder takes a lot of work.

First, you have to figure out who you want to kill. And there has to be a reason why you want this person dead. I mean, senseless killing is just stupid. There are really only so many motives for murder: love, money, power, revenge, and a whole host of offshoots. I’m not adding self-defense to the list because after all it’s hardly premeditated and no one would blame you. And if anyone brings up the Saw movies or I’m a Rob Zombie backwoods psycho-cannibal, I will murder you.

Secondly, it helps to know who is doing the killing. This can over-complicate things. Why stop at one killer? Let’s make a copycat killer. Or better yet, let’s have two killers with two completely different motives that somehow intertwine. But it’s best to keep things simple. Someone has something, tangible or preferably not, that someone else wants. The only logical choice is to kill them. Yes, there must be logic even in murder.

And lastly, there has to be someone who discovers the body, otherwise it would just be pointless and stupid. So word to all those unsolved murder murderers out there–leave a clue for god’s sake! You know you secretly crave fame and attention for taking another person’s life (as long as you don’t get caught). Or do you want to get caught? The only way someone will know how truly great and powerful you are is if someone says, “Damn you, John Smith! You killed my wife!” Or I suppose you might also want forgiveness. Either/or.

Seriously, how awesome would it be if we finally knew without a doubt who Jack the Ripper really was and why s/he killed all those prostitutes? I, for one, want to know what was going on inside his or her head. And I don’t buy into the old “I’m insane from syphilis” theory. It’s so pedestrian. But I suppose our not knowing has forced us to create a real person of sorts. We gave him a name (well, that one letter helped), we psychoanalyzed him, we gave him a top hat and a doctor bag and a flashing Lister blade. Yes, we, the people, created Jack the Ripper.

Why my obsession with Jack the Ripper? Why not, I say? No one can out-murder him. And it just so happens he is the inspiration for the novel I wrote for my MFA thesis, which I am now completely and utterly rewriting to get back to my original vision instead of the transparent autobiography it had become. Of course, my Ripper isn’t a man, doesn’t carry a doctor bad, and doesn’t kill hard-working prostitutes. Lazy ones, perhaps. (I do hate lazy prostitutes.)

A dead girl.



An English moor.
A mysterious killer.
And a creative writing student.
In Gaslight Alley.