Thursday, 31 March 2011

Mad Motives for Murder: by Malcolm Rose

That’s “Mad Motives for Murder” written by me, not mad motives for the murders I’ve just committed. Anyway, why do people murder? Resentment, revenge, racism, robbery and rage are just a few obvious reasons. There are many more, including all those that don’t begin with r. But what brings on these strong feelings? Sometimes the underlying causes are quite surprising. All of these have actually happened and have been reported in the news.

Husband kills wife because she burnt a hole in his favourite shirt when she was ironing it. The weapon was the iron.

Japanese mother kills neighbour’s toddler to secure last place at local nursery for her own child.

Driver of ice-cream van murders rival with a home-made sword after a clash for the best spot for selling ice-creams.

Man kills wife and four others because his breakfast eggs were cold.

Chinese computer-gamer murders his friend for stealing his dragon sabre – a virtual object in an online game.

Lawyer (yes, a lawyer!) kills person sitting next to him in a cinema after an argument about noisy eating of popcorn.

Probably not a good idea to use any of these in a crime story. Your readers wouldn’t believe them. Do you know any other (genuine) weird ones?

Malcolm Rose is the bestselling author of the Jordan Stryker and Luke Harding series, among many others. When he says they aren't his own mad motives, I think he's another one who's protesting too much (see Anne Rooney). Re the popcorn, I'd have done the same as the lawyer.


  1. What about Elizabeth Bathory, the “Blood Countess”, a noble lady of 17th century Hungary who tortured and killed virginal women because she believed that bathing in their blood would keep her young! Which just goes to show that deranged killers have probably been around as long as we have!

  2. There was a murder near my parents house that left me baffled - a jilted student visited the home of his girlfriends parents - killed both of them and the dog but left the girl alone - cruelty beyond murder.