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08 June 2018

Reader Question | How Would You Murder Someone?


So, here's a bit of a strange question for you—how would you murder someone in a boatyard? I'm currently working on my next cozy mystery, >>Bodies in the Boatyard<<, and am at a bit of a loss for how to kill off a very unfortunate character.

My original idea was to have the murderer use a jack stand to clobber someone over the head. If you're not a boat person, jack stands are metal supports that they use to prop boats up when they're on the hard.

Oh, I should probably also explain "the hard" too. It means that your boat is on land, not in the water. You put boats on the hard to store them or to work on them. There's a saying that goes, "life is hard on the hard."


The jack stand seemed like a great idea in theory. But, then a friend and I tested it out and the theory didn't pan out. Just so we're clear—by "testing," I mean lifting them up, not actually killing people. 

Turns out those suckers are pretty heavy and awkward to use as a murder weapon. So, I'm back at the drawing board and that's where you come in. What do you think? How would you kill someone in a boatyard? Leave your suggestions in the comments below. If I use your idea, I'll mention you in the acknowledgments when the book is released. And, don't worry, I'll assume these are ideas you've dreamed up, not actual things you've put into practice.

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28 comments:

  1. Yep! A hard question! I would say...have your character lift a huge block of ice and bring it down on the person's head. So you have another mystery regarding the murder weapon as ice would melt away. Surely there would be chest freezers around the boat yard for storage of seafood?

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    1. Very creative! Our boatyard doesn't have freezers to store seafood (it's more of a workyard and storage yard), but I can picture a boatyard frequented by fishing boats where this might work.

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  2. Following the Jack stand theme, knock out the jack stand and drop a 10 ton boat on them ?

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  3. Now I'm thinking of all those real killers who were looking for "How Would You Murder Someone?", and were directed to this post by Google Search. How disappointing for them...! ;-)

    (I have no clue how I would murder someone, sorry.)

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    1. I think that's probably a good thing that you don't know how to murder someone :-)

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  4. I guess throwing an anchor at them is out of the question then. Although knocking them overboard and then dropping an anchor on them is a possibility.

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    1. An anchor could definitely kill someone if dropped on them.

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  5. If the jack stand was being lifted by a hoist, and the person swung it at his intended victim, would that work? Assume two people having to move several of them, and getting a piece of equipement to help, and while it's lifted, the murderer pushes or knocks it off or something. Just batting about ideas.

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    1. Very good ideas - you've put a bit of thought into this. Should I be scared :-)

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  6. My friend from Alaska said, “What’s most popular is “going fishing”, execute, then drop them in a crab cage.” I’m not ever going fishing with this person.

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    1. I think that would be a wise idea not to go fishing with that person :-)

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  7. Push them off the deck of a boat on the hard.

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  8. Simon the cat could annoy them to death.

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  9. I don't know anything about boats or boatyards, but seeing those huge boats lifted up on dry land makes me wonder if you could lure someone underneath the boat (or partially under) with some item (a ringing cell phone perhaps?) and then knock out one of the supports (might need to bring in some machinery here) and have the falling boat crush the person.

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  10. Easy to murder for some, hard not to get caught. A quandary indeed. There are so many dangerous things in a boatyard. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend, Ellen. ♥

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    1. I think having it happen at night would help with not getting caught. Much harder during the day.

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  11. Hang the victim by a hallyard or beheaded by the prop???

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  12. How about main halyard into a slip knot and pushed off the boat?

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  13. You could shove someone in front of the wheels of the boat-lift, while it's moving, at the last moment, so it wouldn't have time to stop. Gruesome.... maybe not good to be used for a "cozy mystery".

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    1. That would be gruesome. I'd have to think about how I describe that. But it's a good idea. Those travelifts scare me.

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  14. Just because the murder takes place in a boatyard doesn't mean it has to be the type of murder that could only happen at a boatyard. Poison... maybe it could be a simple substance that's commonly found in a boatyard. Or how about death by allergy. Your very unfortunate character could have a severe allergy to something, which the killer exploits. Or something more dramatic, like hanging from the mast... (I still like the idea of drowning someone in the holding tank...YUK... but I reckon that wouldn't work in the drydock kinda situation.)

    Good luck! I'm sure you'll come up with something cool.

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    1. You've put a lot of thought into this :-) Poison is a good thought - there are so many things that can kill you in a boatyard.

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