So I decided "Data's thought of the day" was too lame a title for anything, even a semi-sensical rant. So the title is now, "Here's the thing..." followed by the topic.

So have you ever thought about how to get away with murder? I'm not talking about, "I really hate that bitch in the next cube, I wonder where I could hide the body." I mean looked at the idea from an academic standpoint. Because here's the thing, it's basically like a really high-stakes logic puzzle, isn't it?

I admit to having contemplated this question on occasion. I mean, you watch enough TV, and they're basically trying to give you lessons. They want you thinking about this. Maybe there's a connection between prevalence/popularity of police shows and the rate of violent crimes. Hmm. But I guess that's rather beside the point. As I see it, pulling this off comes down to a few key issues. The first is the issue of emotionality (that's a word now, add it to your word-a-day calendars. You can scratch out "procumbent" and put this in instead. Procumbent is a stupid word anyway).

Most murders are emotional acts, the killer is really angry at someone, or they hate them, or the other person has something they want, which I guess would be avarice if we're matching up emotions. But when you're emotionally involved in a thing, it makes it way easier to trace back to you. If you hate the dead guy, it kind of makes you a pretty good suspect. So the best approach, from a neutral perspective, would be to kill someone you have no emotional ties with (or any connection to whatsoever, for that matter). But that means finding a total stranger, and who wants to kill a total stranger, except maybe a serial killer or just like the biggest dick ever. Maybe that's one of the main reasons some serial killers can get away with it for so long.

Then there's more practical issues. Method is a big one. If you can get a good method, you know, make it look like an accident, or use an undetectable poison that simulates natural causes or something, that's got you most of the way there on its own. The chemistry bit is rather outside my area of expertise, but presumably if there's stuff that can work like that, they probably keep a close eye on who has it for just that reason. Which brings us to another big issue, that of covering your tracks.

Here's where those cop shows really stick it to you, because most of each episode is spent coming from the other end of this. It's hard to tell what's real and what's not with this. Because they seem to want you to believe that technology is basically composed of crime-catching magical pixies. Not only is there a camera on every corner and in every building, but you can magnify a picture like 5 bajillion times and get a perfect look at anyone's face. I need one of those, "add resolution" buttons on my photo editing software. I think extensive planning is probably necessary to make sure about what is in place and what isn't. Then again, Dexter just grabs people off the street and chops them up. Dude makes it look pretty easy. So maybe I'm being unfair.

Anyway, my free-writing on this thought is beginning to meander. So I guess that's it for now. What do you guys think?