How to Commit the Perfect Murder

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Ratings: 7.29/10 from 48 users.

Storyline

How to Commit the Perfect MurderModern forensic science should make it impossible to commit murder and get away with it. But how easy would it be to outfox the detectives? With the help of top forensic scientists, and real-life murder investigations, we explore whether it's possible to commit a perfect murder.

The body is the most important piece of evidence in any murder. Pathologist Dr Richard Shepherd reveals the crucial clues that give away the secrets of a suspicious death. Dr Lee Goff can work out a time of death from just a few maggots on a corpse. To really understand the way a human decomposes he relies on experiments - and dead pigs make ideal human models.

And what is the perfect murder weapon? Probably Agatha Christie's favourite - poison. It leaves no marks on the body, and the victim may not even realise what has happened until it's too late. But there still might not be a perfect murder. The world's most notorious poisoner - Harold Shipman - was eventually caught. (Excerpt from bbc.co.uk)

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Comments and User Reviews

  • Neil

    the perfect murder would be one without a motive, where the body was never found (perhaps buried in a deep grave in the middle of the desert or encased in concrete deep under the ocean)and where no one was aware it even took place.

    What about picking up a drifter in an isolated area. Poisoning them so they die without making a mess and then having them put in concrete and buried into the desert? No one would notice a drifter was missing. Even if they did there is no body to find. Even if they do find a body it would be hard to link to someone because they wouldn't have any link to the individual.

  • Henry

    Does anyone realize that psychos will watch this and use this info. to commit better murders?

  • Spider

    I thought about this for years now.
    1st of all - the right victim. You can't go killing a celebrity or a public figure and expect not to be pursued. Killing a homeless person is much easier. And they make it easy themselves. Just use poison. I doesn't even need to be untraceable. There's a lot of stuff out there you can use. Put it in a sandwitch or inject it into a fruit, or even dissolve it into a bottle of something. Then give it to the homeless person.
    It probably helps if you do this in a town outside your area, and using clothes you don't normally wear, just in case of witnesses. Ofcourse, make sure you leave no prints.
    However, all of these aren't really necessary as nobody would require any investigation. Even if they did perform an autopsy and trace the poison, considering all the things they eat, homicide wouldn't really be their first guess.
    The only real problem is if you do this on many victims and over a short period of time.
    So, be careful about that, and happy killing!

  • Joshua

    I am all for the free flow of ideas, the asking of all possible questions, the contemplation of all possible subjects. And I mean really, really all for, all about, in support of, in complete agreement with unbounded inquiry and discussion. Even if those questions and subjects are socially questionable. In fact, ESPECIALLY if those questions and subjects are socially questionable. That said, this can give some disturbed people some very bad ideas.

  • Scott

    God sees everything!

  • Henry

    I'm surprised to see so little comments. I thought this doc would ignite a slew of comments.

  • eetwo

    Did they ever catch the Baghdad Sniper?

  • lesa

    the perfect murder...the zodiac killer...booyah

  • http://rachelnico.wordpress.com rachelnico

    good doc, but im sure there are tonnes of perfect murders out there we don't know about. there also have to be lots of convictions which people are actuallyinnocent

  • aaron

    Scott, there is no God. It may be a scary concept that man is not the centre of the universe, but it is nevertheless true.
    Just thought you should know.

  • adifferentscottandaaron

    @aaron
    You're dumb.
    And here's why: first, you dont know that there is no god; second, if there is a god that doesn't necessarily mean that humans are the center of the universe; and third, it sounded like Scott was making a joke and thers's no point in starting a mind-numbing religious dicussion on a video about forensics.
    Your ideas are unorigional and they bore me.

  • Other Ryan

    Why? WHY!? Why would anyone set out to formulate the perfect murder? And then document how it would go down?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Maj0ra Cheyenne Gallagher

    Hahaha not a chance. Try the perfect incompetent police force. BOOYAH!

  • http://twitter.com/MilesLord Miles Lord

    This was cool. If I ever really want to whack someone, I'll re-watch this first.

  • http://profiles.google.com/binarycatfish Binary Catfish

    Interesting. I too question the motive of these film-makers in showing the general public what mistakes murderers make that gets them caught.

    Did no one else notice that it's a British show with a TON of American content? If it was an American show with a ton of British content, they would not have a naked penis visible on the cadaver model. What's with all the nakedness on British TV? :P

  • Xbow

    The interpretation of DNA is considered to be ironclad evidence. So I guess the guy/gal that wants to commit the perfect murder should do it from a long way away. I suggest a scoped bolt action rifle and sub caliber paper patched bullets that wont be marked by the rifling and it would be obligatory for the shooter to police up his/her brass and the firing point, no matter how distant, would have to be sanitized (the best place would be from well inside an enclosed area). And the shooter should make every effort to isolate himself from the environment with: a hair net, latex gloves, a painters disposable coveralls and the like (no exposed skin). And in any case everything used in the crime that could provide trace evidence would need to be destroyed.

    But even with all that there is the random chance that the shooter will unknowingly be observed setting up his/her position or breaking it down or moving away from it or to it. So in the end the best hope for the would be killer is to pray for a bit of incompetence and lethargy on the part of the police. This incompetence and lethargy is almost assured if the target is unimportant as in an average citizen.

    If the killer knows the target well he/she will more than likely be contacted by the police. If you are contacted you are a suspect hence at no time should he/she even attempt to play verbal judo with the police...that's what lawyers are for. And at all times: I don't remember XXXXX. What is this about? And I want a lawyer present are wonderful responses. less talking equals less chance to be discovered. As we have all seen in so many books and films what foils most criminals is not hard evidence or DNA it is what comes out of their mouths.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4FAYA3PSW4P2NKKHBEFU6I6XPQ Daab Baad

    good

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_52OCSM7K35NDFJ3GZVBML2IIVE Dilpreet

    The documentary is trying to discourage you from attempting 'a murder', by providing tons of examples from previous murders cases where the murderer has been caught. Im sure there is over a hundreds of thousands of unsolved cases, where people successfully got away with murder. Don't fall under the propaganda of this documentary my friends! :)

  • henrymart81

    Anyone want to compare notes?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TXHQRSKKLVOFPHSCGXOZRYFH4I Drake

    This doc is like a Handbook to would be killers. I do not think the documentary serves a positive purpose.

  • Itanimulli

    ....

  • Itanimulli

    "I'm very fond of throwing people down holes"...... Umm, ok.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R7TEN64PUKG3VXDFRTS66JH75U Steve

    Yeah holes are good but remember to cover them. Dry off the dirt to reflect the current surroundings. Plant things, introduce worms and criters and then a little running water. The results are a nice little garden to give you years of enjoyment in your old age.
    Seriously, you're comment cracked me up, thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Xercès-Des-Stèles/100002540053129 Xercès Des Stèles

    funny how the matter is approached as if there was no unsolved murder mysteries. the perfect murder is killing someone in front of everybody but no 1 knows its u. they may have an idea but no proof. owned !

  • q_bit

    Ok so now we know how to kill someone, how about a documentary on the best ways to have sex with them afterwards?

  • knowledgeizpower

    Umm you're not serious right? As far as the having sex with them afterwards?

  • GoughLewis

    haha lol Discovery channel should do it...

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SWARC5UXDSODOIWXDBN5YWQTKI Gdfgfh Sfsfsdf

    I feel like this documentary over-estimates the competence of the autopsy technicians, forensic scientists, and legal system.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N6Y2XD2B3S3I52WDZYJBFO3QSQ Derek

    Kinda funny how even watching this documentary could be used as evidence against anyone dumb enough to try to put this hypothesis to execution. The FBI can track your search history for 5 years, trace it to your IP address, proxy servers don't work for the most part. LOL you better be watching this from the library under someone else's card.

    I thought it was really entertaining! I'm a big Hitchcock buff so this is cool. The narrator's voice was chilling.

  • http://profiles.google.com/gaahlskaggh Daemous Abadonus

    If the experts in this docu. are that good, then where were they during Casey Anthony's murder trial? And there sure does seem to be an aweful lot of people out there that have gotten away with murder. 9/11 is still unsolved.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6F3RJVEWJ24QKMCHFNVK7ADVE Winston Smith

    "9/11 is still unsolved" -This is true...but at least we know Islamist radicals could not have rigged wtc 1 2 & 7 with high tech thermitic explosives. So at least we know, with complete certainty, at least a bit of what did not happen.

    The easiest way to get away with murder is to have absolutely no connection to the victim.
    I cannot even kill insects.. so I can't even imagine killing another person.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Rhodes/1120281097 Dave Rhodes

    Really, then why doesn't he do something?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Rhodes/1120281097 Dave Rhodes

    Forewarned is forearmed.

  • http://twitter.com/D_Lee73 Derek

    Anthony trial, that's easy, as a forensic scientist myself, they had NO evidence of murder BY Casey Anthony. No mechanism of death, no evidence of abuse history with Caylee, nothing. The defense's drowning scenario cannot be disproved. Nonetheless, the burden of proof is on the State to prove beyond a reasonable double to a moral certainty. They did NOT prove their case...it's as simple as that. If you want to debate the forensic evidence...please do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=729720577 Sue Dykhuis

    too bad God doesn't step up to the plate and stop a murderer.
    guess God is too busy making sure the right team wins a big football game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=729720577 Sue Dykhuis

    I once read a book that had a perfect crime. The weapon was a frozen leg of lamb. The victim, a cheating husband. The murderer, his pregnant wife. She hit him on the head with the frozen leg of lamb. Then put it in the oven to roast, using the oven on/off timer. She went out of the house, shopping for clothes and for ingredients to serve with a roasted leg of lamb -- her husband's favourite dinner. Came home. Her husband was, can you believe this, dead on the floor! She called the police to report her husband dead at home. They came. While they were checking the home, she told them she needed to be occupied 'cause she was so crazy with grief and had to be doing something to keep her busy. One officer suggested she make dinner so later she would have proper food to eat. The police & detectives checked out eveything, looking for clues, especially the weapon. Found nothing. Wife was hysterical, crying, as she was making dinner, asking "how this could be? Did they think someone he had arrested in the past held a grudge big enough to kill him?" The police officers and detectives were co-workers of her husband. How could they not help her find the murderer? Try as they might, they could not. They asked where she was that day. She mentioned being out getting groceries, etc. Came home, found him dead. Called them. She was told they would have to check that what she said was true. In the meantime, dinner was ready. Crying, upset, she asked if they would join her in eating dinner as she did not want to be alone. All ate the delicious dinner she made. After dinner, helped her clean up and then one of them threw out the trash which included the bone of the leg of lamb they had for dinner. Months went on; the baby was born. All her husband's co-workers supported her through this and celebrated the birth of her son. They attended the baptism and other events in her baby's life. After two years of searching, they came to the conclusion that yes, her husband was murdered, killed in his own home and yes, they had no idea who did it, what the weapon was and where it could be hidden. They concluded he was the one who let the murderer into his home and later, the murderer let himself out of the house. Since the victim knew the murderer and let him in, it could one of many people he would let into the house on any occasion thus DNA in the house would match many. They concluded that none of the DNA pointed to which person could have murdered him.

    The loving wife never let on and 8 years later, married a collegue of her late husband (who, we hope for his sake is not the cheating kind).

    I love it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q2H7F33EPIHXR5SMFB5UXFPO5E New

    Why is it up to God to stop murderers? You either have free will or you don't. if you have free will, mankind chooses to disobey God. If God does not exist and you have freewill, morality is illusory as you are simply a cosmic accidental collection of molecules.

    If you do not have freewill, then the question is moot.

    However, if you are a material atheist, then evolution is your ONLY option and 'murder' is nothing more than natural selection by another animal, Homo sapien and you cannot have a foundation to deem it morally wrong.

    So, which are you?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q2H7F33EPIHXR5SMFB5UXFPO5E New

    That conclusion doesn't comport. Just because you let someone into your house does not mean he knew the 'suspect'. Secondly, DNA evidence is always collected no matter how remote the possibility because DNA enters several databases, with the possibility of familial DNA searches or John Doe warrants.

    If a hit came up, they would interview that person anyhow. Or, they would at least interview all the 'many' people from that household.

    Since woman generally do not commit murder 'out of the blue', she would always be the preliminary suspect and although motive is irrelevant in criminal trial, it may show a history that generated the end actions.

    Also, a murder weapon is not always needed for a conviction. During autopsy, contusions and hematomas would most likely uncover the mechanism and cause of death. Manner of death would most likely follow from the above as death at the hands of another, homocide.

    In that case, every person that had access to that house would need to be eliminated. Interviews with friends and family would most likely uncover the disdain the wife had leading up to the murder. Again, fingerprints, trace, DNA, etc. would have been collected and used to eliminate all people.

    Sounds to me like the writer doesn't really understand forensics or crime very much...

  • http://twitter.com/D_Lee73 Derek

    Perhaps you should review Locard's Principle of Exchange...EVERY contact leaves a trace...

  • http://twitter.com/D_Lee73 Derek

    Luckily, most investigations are barely conducted by the police. The majority of evidence is collected, processed, and testified by us.

  • http://twitter.com/D_Lee73 Derek

    Apparently you have never heard of frangible ammunition.

    Secondly, the worst place would be inside of a closed area. Powder, soot, etc. deposits would be more concentrated. It would also be enclosed from the elements and therefore help preserve evidence. Just the opposite of what you would want...

    And much more...

  • ProudinUS

    What the h*ll is going on in this world!??? Doc.s showing how to murder.....the correct way!.......well it is for educational purposes. You think they would throw in on how to commit the dumbest murder and then flip the titles.

    Well, since they don't have a dumb murder guide video, I feel it is my duty as an active member of Dummies-n-the Room to illustrate how a secret society of retards found a way to kill. Here's a few.
    > Dummy +photo: MURDER and a Resume!<
    1.) Go into a market and grab the victims hair. Then forcefully drag them outside and make them lay on the ground while you pick up a Pogo stick and begin to hop around a few times to get some rythm going and then jump for joy on their face while singing some gangster rap.

    2.) Stop at a bridge toll booth around rush hour and grab the toll booth attendent and throw him off the bridge. Get back in your car and wait patiently in line until it's your turn to pay.

    3.) Bring your enemy into a crowded church and drown them in the Baptismal water telling the pastor your just cleansing him of his sins!

    4.) Take an enemy behind one of the targets at a shooting range and beat them to death with the blunt end of a pistol.

    This is only for entertainment puposes only.
    copyright: ???? dumb ldt.

  • http://profiles.google.com/peonsafari D N

    The trick to getting away with murder is not concealing the murder, but preventing any charge from sticking in court. Creating enough reasonable doubt and keeping silent if you ARE questioned should let you walk.

  • tim dean

    they cn track your search history...but how do they prove it was you searching?

  • tim dean

    how can dna be ironclad? they come back with a 1 in 240 trillion chance its the perp. This alone proves incorrect as there are only 6 billion people in the world. I would be instructing council to point this out that it just cant be accurate.

  • http://twitter.com/iLOVEKittyCATSs susan daihatzu

    they can't...most computers in households especially with large families such as i, and constant social occasions where random people search constantly with their grubby fingers occur. The reality is they can't prove it. The only reason killers are locked up, is because they were found guilty without reasonable doubt.

    many killers are unsolved and many people are framed or wrongly accused. This world we live in is nutty and full of violence, i dont like it but thats how it is.

    the fbi and other crime stopping organizations implement fear into society as a preventive measure for homicides. They aren't robots and they aren't gods, they are flesh and blood like you and i and every other killer.

    The biggest disadvantage that they have, is they have something to lose. They are constantly busting their asses off and taking that stress home to their families in hopes that it will pay off and they have something to show for. this is what spawns corrupt cops extortion racketeering you name it.

    cops are no different than any other human being. they are rapists killers thieves but worse. They are protected by the government, and put on higher pedestals to seem untouchable and all righteous.

    stay the f*ck out of the prisons, they want to enslave the human race and suck the money and freewill out of us all!!!!

    be smart, and do your research, tell nobody, no friends no therapists. You are not a human being living among other human beings. you are the ultimate predator living a life of tricks and traps and deceivers.

    LOL sorry my s*upid little bro got on here hahaha. is there a "how to commit the perfect sexy time" video?

  • sam

    tUPAC, BIGGIE SMALLS? Both huge celebrities that got killed with out being pursued. You never know. I think its stupid to call murder perfect.

  • http://carberrylaw.com/ Tom Carberry

    Get elected president and you can kill as many children, women, and men as you like. Just ask Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. These three men killed more people than all the murderers in the history of the US combined.

  • Jason Hope

    hitler, stalin, mussolani, hannibal, your argument is invalid.

  • Daniel Gulzar

    Derek yes you are correct. However I fail to see the point you are trying to make. As a recent graduate in Forensic Science from DMU (Leicester), I can tell you that if the body was buried in a remote location in the desert whilst encased in concrete the likilyhood of finding the body would be incredibly slim. Therefore the fact that trace amount of evidence may have been left on the body is insignificant if the body is not found. As Neil stated the murder of a drifter wouldn't attract to much attention and therefore one could consider a drifter a perfect victim.

  • Hurlex

    Somebody doesn't understand "history of the US".

  • Connie

    LOL! Good observation!

  • MuchMoreToLearn

    This is a ridiculous and misleading documentary.... Take a look at the number of unsolved murders - they solve only about 60% of murders in the US - not even counting those that manage to avoid scrutiny by appearing to be suicides or accidents. Give me a break with this nonsense.

  • John Smith

    Ok the new paradigm is "hitler, stalin, mussolani, hannibal, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton" have all killed lots of people. Happy? Lets hold hands and sing kumbaya.

  • Corebare32

    What kind of idiotic BS was that? U make no sense at all genius.