Monday, 9 January 2017



From a crime writer’s ‘tongue in cheek’ perspective


Guest post by Jaime Raven, author of The Alibi


A perfect alibi is simply a truthful alibi that can’t be disproved or disputed.  It usually involves having a credible witness or witnesses who can confirm that you were somewhere else when the crime was committed.

But in this feature it’ll be more interesting to consider what makes the perfect ‘false’ alibi. What sort of story can you concoct that will convince the law that you’re as innocent as the day you were born?

It’s not as easy as you might think – and I should know because as a crime writer I’ve spent years dreaming up all kinds of alibi scenarios from the sublime to the ridiculous.

I can’t give too much away about those that made it into my books because it might deter people from reading them. But there’s no reason I can’t mention a few of those that I filed away in the dark recesses of my warped writer’s mind.

And who knows? They might even come in useful if you’re planning to break the law anytime soon and you don’t want to get caught!!


Fake your own death

This is one of my favourites. But you must be sure to fake your death well in advance of committing the crime. And it goes without saying that you can’t leave your body lying around. So it would have to be something like a drowning at sea or complete incineration in a furnace. Just leave enough clues to make it convincing. That way you won’t be a suspect after you commit that murder or rob that bank.

Of course, there are other considerations – such as your family and whether you want to rise from the dead at some point in the future. But that can be another problem for another day.


Make use of a twin

Your twin brother or sister would need to be a good liar and just as unscrupulous as you are. Have them appear somewhere in your place or get them to prance around in front of a CCTV camera while you’re breaking the law in another part of the city or country. A tip: The fewer people who know you have a twin the better.


Blackmail someone you don’t like

You simply get someone you hate to say they were with you at the time of the crime. Of course you need to be able to put the fear of God in them first. Make sure the threat you pose to them is significant, and that they would rather lie for you than have their own lives wrecked if you go public with what you know about them.

I could go on, but I’ve been given a limited amount of space to fill. You see, as a crime novelist I tend to believe that everyone is a potential criminal and that at some point we will all need to fabricate an alibi to stop us being punished for something we shouldn’t have done.

But if you ever do find yourself in that position there’s now help available on the internet.

I kid you not. Several companies are offering a service that includes providing customers with alibis. In other words for a fee you can hire a liar.

One French company will make up cast-iron alibis for ‘people who need a little freedom from the confines of matrimonial bliss.’

These firms say they’ll provide fake witnesses as well as fake documentation to support the fake alibis. 

It’s hard to believe that such a thing is happening. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone takes the idea and develops it into a plot for a novel.

Now there’s a thought…!







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