Who murdered Miss Scarlet?
If you were a police officer investigating the incident, your first presumption might be that it was Colonel Green did it with the knife in the drawing room.
Statistically, that is the most likely outcome according to the recently published statistics for Homicide ( murder or culpable homicide ) in Scotland for 2014/5.
The demographic published above on the Office For National Statistics is very powerful and gets the message across effectively.
Most victims are female, the vast majority of accused are male, most men are killed by other male acquaintances, were most women are killed by their partner.
For male and female most are killed with a sharp instrument in a dwelling with a staggering 93% of the case of women.
I like to read crime stories, Rankin, Brookmyre, Billingham, Mina, Gray, Harris, all the usual murder mystery stuff. Either a who-dunnit or a we-know-who-dunnit-how-do-get-caught?
I’ve never read an Agatha Christie but I enjoy any of the movies, then there the Prime Suspect set of dramas featuring Helen Mirren, the list is endless.
There’s no end of Steven Seagal, Vim Diesel, Arnold Swartzeneger, Sylvester Stallone movies being the maverick hero, the wronged person who inflict justice on the perpetrators in often as nasty a method as possible.
Is there ever a movie or book where the bad guy gets away with the crime? And not just in movie/book 1 of the series were the producers/publishers prolong the franchise to keep the bucks rolling in.
Is there something in our deep-seated internal morality that tells us that bad guys need to be sorted out and that justice has to be seen to be served?
Are there really serial killers out there in the dark woods waiting for us and our friends to go camping and kill and torture us?
Or waiting in dark alleyways to randomly abduct and murder us?
I think not.
Well certainly not in the UK and in Scotland in particular were the number of homicides has been consistently falling.
I had a quick look on wiki, the number of serial killers to overall world wide murder rates is small, the frequency of serial killers is becoming rarer as I expect that better technology CCTV, DNA testing.
Most of these cases are historic with very few in recent years and even less so in the westernised world were modern detection technology is available.
So why does there continue to be a prevalence of these movies and books?
I think its our fear that makes these things more of a possibility than they realistically are. We all love the intrigue of the story complicated by side plots and we are reassured by the notion that if something did happen, justice would be served.
Serial killers by number
See here fore the report from the office of National Statistics.