The Place for Mystery Since 1995
MysteryNet Home
TV Movies

Buy through our affiliates:
•  Mystery Guild Book Club
•  Buy Books
•  Buy Games

Using Discussion

Registering (FREE—required to post)

• Subscribe   • Edit Posts   • Personal Profile

Customization & Tools (For Members)

 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  / Generally Speaking...  /

Fake Deaths
Lucky Ladybug - 04:58pm Mar 24, 2000 PST
Guest User

Hi, my handle used to be "Daphne" . . . I'm writing a mystery story where the girl's boyfriend suddenly shows up after he's been thought dead for years. He had to fake his death because the criminals were after him . . . What way do you think he should "die" from? . . . Should he have staged a fake explosion, or drowning, or what?

Previous MessagesEarliest MessagesOutlineRecent Messages (7 previous messages)
Juanita Rose Violini - 06:07pm Jun 12, 2000 PST(#8 of 16)

now i'm confused. for some reason i thought that in paternity cases the DNA could be used to determine who the father was. who knows where i got this idea - not me - so i'm not really attached to keeping it but i should find out for sure before using that vague knowledge in a story.

what's the scoop Hugh?

Hugh Drummond - 06:20am Jun 13, 2000 PST(#9 of 16)
" I have a criminal mind... I see bad in everyone," (Mr. J.G. Reeder)

I had an athsma attack that week, so I may not have read up correctly (that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it). Basically, one inherits half one's DNA from each parent. I imagine that a method exists for discovering which half and matching it. But like I said, such methods would only be used if there were suspicion concerning the identity of the corpse.


Juanita Rose Violini - 02:30pm Jun 13, 2000 PST(#10 of 16)

thanks hugh

would your dna show that you have athsma?

Hugh Drummond - 04:40am Jun 15, 2000 PST(#11 of 16)
" I have a criminal mind... I see bad in everyone," (Mr. J.G. Reeder)

I don't know. I've never looked at it.


Åsa Kwarnmark - 04:23pm Aug 9, 2000 PST(#12 of 16)
...or lobster thermador ecrovets with a bournaise sause, served in the purple salm manor with chalots and overshies, garnashed with truffle pate, brandy, a fried egg on top and spam.

one way to fake your death is to be in a drowning accident or other accident where they don't find your body. that was the way maria "died" in sunset beach. that way, you don't have to think about DNA.

Molly O. - 11:15am Mar 20, 2002 PST(#13 of 16)

You have to be careful when it comes to faking deaths. The mention of a body that is unrecognizable, or the person being presumed dead with no body don't really work anymore, because readers are starting to catch on to that. That doesn't mean we can't still use them, we just need to get more creative with how we do it.

One thing I find that works extremely well is to have someone who is extremely close to the 'victim' appear to believe the person is dead. The rationale is that if the person was alive, they would confide in their closest friend so as to spare them the heartache. (And they do confide in them, you just don't mention that until the end of the book.) This especially works if you put this scene a substantial period after the 'murder.' (Any time after 24 hours should do the trick.) I was tricked by this method first hand with the Diagnosis Murder episode "Murder of Mark Sloan." There was a scene in which the main character, Mark Sloan, appears to have been killed in a car bomb. I didn't believe it until the next scene which takes place the next day, and in which his two closest friends are discussing the murder. They imply that Mark is dead. If anybody would know otherwise, they would have, especially by then, so I figured that they killed Mark off. I found out in one of the last scenes that the friends in fact DID know Mark was alive, they were just talking like they didn't to fool the suspects. Very effective.

Another tip as far as death faking is concerned, there is a drug out that slows your heart rate down enough to make it appear as though you're dead. I can't remember what it's called though. Anybody have the answer?

PoisonGuy - 02:37am Oct 31, 2002 PST(#14 of 16)
I got my Nemesis pregnant!

HUD...their are only two things in life one shouldn't say. The first is believe me...which we all know what it really means.

I'm fairly positive with today's technology all you need is one strand of hair and you can do DNA matching. I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to find one hair from the victim's home to match with DNA of the dead body. Anyway, minimal amount of tissue is needed.

I agree with Molly that you have to become increasingly more creative.

Another good way may be for the fake victim to exchange his dental records with that of the real victim. Once the identity is confirmed then there is no reason for DNA testing.

Oh, the second thing one should never say is 'trust me', trust me. ;-)

Nemesis - 04:56am Oct 31, 2002 PST(#15 of 16)
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

Oh hubby - one hair, provided you can get the follicle ;) The hair itself does not contain DNA, but the follicle does.

Mary Strong - 12:59pm Oct 11, 2005 PST(#16 of 16)

If you have it so that the main person THINKS that so-in-so is dead and you have him thinking it a lots in the story. Like say he/she was in a boat and the boat sunk and the person was in it somehow saved himself and never got around to telling the main person that they were alive. Or you could have it that he/she was kiddnapped after keeping himself from drowning so that they could never tell anyone that they were alive. As you can tell I like things to be not ttttttttoooooo gross! In a story I'm trying to write I have it so He thinks She's dead and She thinks He's Dead. And its got name changes and the whole nine yards! -Mary

 Read Subscriptions  Search  New User Registration  Login

 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  / Generally Speaking...  / Fake Deaths

In Association with

Support MysteryNet

Start Your Amazon
Shopping Here: