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Old 01-01-2017, 12:56 AM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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Nearly as heinous crime as an alibi for murder?

There have to be some stories out there where a person claims that they didn't commit a murder and they can prove it...because at the time of the death they were committing another, nearly as heinous crime which can be substantiated as happening concurrently.

What's the worst crime in fiction (or hell, real life) used as an alibi for murder? Rape? Child abuse? Physical assault? War crimes?

At the back of my mind I have the vaguest memory of someone claiming that they couldn't have committed the murder because they were raping someone at the time - and the fact that she kept the baby proved how he spent the night in question. Maybe an episode of Law and Order?
Old 01-01-2017, 07:22 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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In one Sherlock Holmes story, the obvious suspect for a murder (well, obvious to anyone who wasn't a criminology genius) was exonerated by virtue of being arrested in New York eight hours after the crime in England (and of course it's impossible to cross the Atlantic that quickly). But I think the New York arrest was just for robbery, which isn't a very tough bar to clear.
Old 01-01-2017, 07:37 AM
terentii terentii is offline
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A variation on the theme: In an episode of Hill Street Blues, a loan shark turned state's witness in another case once he was given immunity for any crimes that came out during his testimony. When asked "How can you remember the date so clearly?" he replied "Because that was the day I killed Harry Garibaldi."
Old 01-01-2017, 07:39 AM
Aspidistra Aspidistra is online now
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In Iain Pears' Instance of the Fingerpost the accused murderer was in fact committing a crime at the time of the murder, but

can't use it in court, because the crime was "holding Nonconformist Church meetings" and if she makes that her alibi, she puts the entire rest of her church in the pot
Old 01-01-2017, 10:19 AM
E-DUB E-DUB is offline
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I'm sure that the short fiction of Henry Slesar includes this scenario. I recall a story, maybe by him, maybe by someone else, where a man is convicted of murdering someone but can't use his alibi because "at the time of the crime I was similarly engaged....with my wife."
Old 01-01-2017, 10:32 AM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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The plot in a COLUMBO episode -- "Publish or Perish" -- had Jack Cassidy, the man with the most punchable face ever seen, establish his alibi by smashing his car into someone else's before getting locked up for drunkenness.

He hams it up like mad, since the point is for (a) the bartender to remember the irritating loudmouth who was boozing it up and for (b) it to be plausible that he was so drunk that, when asked where he was during the murder, apparently doesn't even recall smashing into that vehicle -- because the best alibi is one the insult-slinger clearly didn't set up, to the point where he honestly doesn't seem to realize he has it.

Last edited by The Other Waldo Pepper; 01-01-2017 at 10:33 AM.
Old 01-01-2017, 06:24 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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Location: Montreal, QC
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One of James Cagney's better movies, White Heat, has something like this as a plot point. Cody Jarrett confesses to a crime actually committed by one of his associates, in order to give himself an alibi for the more serous crime he actually committed at the same time in a different state.

Top of the world!
Old 01-01-2017, 06:29 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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To quote me from another thread,

Originally Posted by The Other Waldo Pepper View Post
There's a story -- THE JAILHOUSE LAWYER, by Phillip Margolin -- where the defendant doesn't commit perjury the first time; he just plays the Angry Black Man who gets warned about contempt and sneers that "I got no respect fo' a honkey pig" while on trial for reckless driving in Oregon.

So he acts as his own lawyer (and, yes, the 'fool for a client' quote comes up; and, yes, he predictably fails to object to inadmissible testimony) sure as he doesn't bother to take the stand while unconvincingly maintaining his innocence throughout; he thus later proves he wasn't simultaneously murdering someone in New Jersey, since, hey, that was the judge's authoritative verdict back when a cop swore to it on the stand, right?

(Why didn't the defendant request a jury? "One pig or six fascist sheep, it don't make no difference.")
Old 01-02-2017, 06:40 AM
ekedolphin ekedolphin is offline
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Depends on your definition of "heinous", and it's also subverted, but...

In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Necessary Evil", we see flashbacks of the Cardassian occupation of the station (and the planet, for that matter). Kira Nerys is a suspect in the murder of Vaatrik, a Bajoran collaborator. She finally admits to Odo, the person investigating the case, that she couldn't have committed the murder because she was planting a bomb at the ore processor at the time. (She was part of the Bajoran resistance against the Cardassians). Kira would have been executed if he'd told this to station commander Gul Dukat. Odo's only investigating the murder, so he lets her go.

In the present-day, with the station now jointly administered by the Federation, Odo finds some intriguing new evidence. Kira admits that she lied about her alibi-- Vaatrik was her responsibility, and one of her cellmates blew up the ore processor. She hadn't gone into Vaatrik's shop with the intention of killing him, however-- she was looking for a list of collaborators which she never found. Vaatrik caught her breaking in, and Kira had to kill him to avoid discovery.
Old 01-02-2017, 10:35 AM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is offline
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It may not seem so heinous to us, but Lefty Frizzell would rather hang for a murder he didn't commit than admit what he was really up to.


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