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THINGS I LEARNED FROM WATCHING CRIME SHOWS

Maybe it’s the misanthrope in me, but when I watch true crime shows I get frustrated that criminals are making so many amateur mistakes. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see any of those scary psychos show up at my house, it’s just that I have an odd sense of order and I like to see things done right. Or maybe I’m just annoyed at the murderer who doesn’t seem to know the first thing about blood splatter patterns. If you’re adult enough to take a life I think you’re grown up enough to also learn a thing or two about basic physics. Even though I like to shake things up a bit and watch many different shows (First 48, American Justice, Forensic Files, Dateline, 48 Hours Mystery and Cold Case Files) the same unprofessional errors show up again and again. - Don’t google “how to kill someone” or “how to hide a body” on your home computer. That’s what public libraries are for. - You have a better chance of getting away with it if you kill someone you don’t know. This only works if you are murdering because of a deep seated, unstoppable rage that finally boils over. I know you think your co-worker/ex / parent/ boss / neighbor really has it coming, but if you imagine you’re killing them while you murder a hobo who lives on the fringe of society, it might relieve some of the pressure.

Sort of like those smaller earthquakes that stop the bigger ones. Only this “earthquake” doesn’t have much to lose, so you might want to be well armed. -Most of the problems will occur after you commit the crime. Guilty people act differently than innocent ones. Cops call this post offense behavior. Practice successful post offense behavior before you commit the crime. For instance, spend a few moments every day practicing your sad face, that way it feels more natural. Also, you may want to get rid of that bottle of Luminol under the sink. That’s just weird. Plus I guarantee you the cops will have their own bottle when they inevitably show up. - Don’t order every porn channel known to man the day after your spouse disappears. Yes, you have needs, I get it, but that’s what the internet, dimly lit massage parlors, and those dudes in front of Home Depot are for. Yeah, like I’m the only one checking them out. - Don’t text during your victim’s funeral. Would it kill you to act like you’re listening to the eulogy? You can daydream about what kind of tacky shopping spree you’ll be going on with the insurance money, just manage to look attentive and squeeze out a tear or two. People will be watching. Also, leave the Silly String at home. It’s just inappropriate.

- Don’t change the carpet, burn your mattress, detail your car right after you get the “news” that your victim was murdered. The “don’t shit where you eat” rule applies here too. It behooves you to consider an off site crime scene location prior to losing your shit on someone. Popular locations often include but are not limited to: secluded forests, parks at nighttime, storage facilities rented under a false name or backyards of abandoned houses. - Don’t use your credit car to buy a shovel and duct tape. And why don’t you already have these items handy? I even have these items and I’m not actively planning to kill anyone right now. These aren’t items that you should buy the day before the murder. Buy them months before. Let’s be real, it’s not like the urge to kill showed up yesterday. And oh yeah, although it probably goes without saying, don’t save the receipts. - Juries mostly don’t give extra points to people that hide bodies well. You might have stuffed that annoying co-worker down an abandoned mine where no one will ever find them, but telling your fantasy football league your plan in advance is just a bad idea and let’s face it, bragging. - If you have something to hide, don’t talk to the cops. Cops call it lawyering up and you most definitely should. They even tell you everything you say can and will be used against you.

If you allow yourself to be interviewed, it’s like being told the answers before taking the test and then flunking anyway. So there you go. One thing we should all remember is that if you’re batshitcrazy enough to cross society’s well engraved line regarding murder, you probably aren’t a super genius at acting normal in the first place. Maybe it’s best to just sit back and live vicariously by viewing the current glut of crime shows. If there’s one lesson I’ve learned in life, it’s this. Any job worth doing is also worth sitting around watching someone else do badly.

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