Social Question

MadeiraBoo's avatar

Could you commit murder?

Asked by MadeiraBoo (357 points ) February 1st, 2013

I have been watching a lot of crime documentaries with my mother as she likes that kind of stuff and a thought suddenly popped into my head. What makes a person snap to the point where they knowingly commit murder? I’m not talking about when somebody has a psychotic breakdown and has no idea about what they have done. I am talking about when an individual plans a murder, how they are going to take another person’s life and how they might try to avoid getting caught.

Serial killers have always fascinated me. I like watching the documentaries so that I can get a glimpse inside the mind of the killer as quite obviously, they are not normal people and they are not like you and I.

So here is what I wanted to find out from you fellow “Jellies” I believe you call yourselves: Could you commit murder? Do you think that you are capable of such a thing? Have you ever had to kill another living thing before?

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54 Answers

burntbonez's avatar

I could not. I’ve thought about it, and could not get past the theoretical level. I could plan. I could not execute. Knowing I could not execute, I wouldn’t bother to plan.

There are other ways to solve problems, so it’s hard to imagine a situation where murder would make sense.

Pachy's avatar

As a premeditated act, I feel crystal clear… the answer is -never._ And if it happened accidentally, as in an automobile accident, I don’t know how I’d live with myself. I hate killing bugs. But my feelings about it become muddier when I think about me or someone I love being attacked. That’s something I just can’t think about because it introduces the subject of firearms, which I hate.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I could never kill another human being.

I once slaughtered a pig to roast, and it took everything I had to be able to slit the poor little critter’s throat. If I had to hunt on a regular basis, I would prefer to do it with a sleeping dart, and then make a clean kill.

As for humans, the only reason I would kill someone is as a defense of someone’s life (including my own).

lookingglassx3's avatar

I don’t think I could. Like everyone else here has said; I could plan. I could probably plan in great detail, possibly with every intention of going through with it, but when push came to shove I wouldn’t be able to do it. It would have to take something extremely big (like, if they had murdered every single member of my family with great glee) for me to willingly murder someone.

MadeiraBoo's avatar

@burntbonez I agree, there are other ways to solve problems, but there are some twisted people out there

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room I’m glad you’re on Team Sane :)

@Yetanotheruser Thank you very much for your answer. I’m sorry you had to slaughter a pig. Did that turn you into a vegetarian or do you still eat meat? If I had to kill an animal I’d probably turn vegetarian.

@lookingglassx3 Yeah, the general consensus so far is that people may have thought about it, but don’t feel that they could actually carry out the act. This is a good thing.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Only if it was justifiable homicide, like self-defense or someone was hurting their child or beating an old person in front me. Of course if I could call the cops or defuse the situation, that would be my first preference. I turn into Billy Bad-A$$ when I see injustice or someone scared, I want to protect them.

WestRiverrat's avatar

It depends on who it is. I couldn’t murder someone I thought was an innocent. I would have no problem ending the life of a murderer, rapist or pedophile even if I ended up on death row for my actions.

Linda_Owl's avatar

It would depend upon the circumstances. I know that I could, potentially, kill someone who was trying to kill or injure one of my children or my grandchildren.

cazzie's avatar

If someone was trying to harm my child, I have no doubt that I would go nuts and completely let them have it. I am a momma tiger with super powers.

flutherother's avatar

In certain circumstances I could. If my country was invaded by people trying to kill me I think I could. In ordinary life no.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@MadeiraBoo Welcome to fluther! I’m still a meat-eater. I tried going veggie (for completely different reasons) a couple of times, but broke down when I came across a good BBQ joint!

That being said, I do try to source my meat from organic, humane sources, e.g., free range, grass-fed, etc., trying to support sustainable food sources.

chyna's avatar

I only own a tree chipper to clear branches off of my property. <eyes shift>

Seek's avatar

I have intentionally killed many living things. Sharks, fish, crabs, lobsters, other crustaceans, countless insects and an unfathomable number of bacteria and viruses. When I was a child I loved many lizards to death.

Yes, I’m a speciesist. Or at least a class-ist, with a moral preference toward Mamalia. I will happily slaughter a tuna for my dinner, but would shirk doing the same toward a dolphin.

Could I ever murder a human in cold blood? I should hope not. Is there any instance in which I could or would cause the death of another human? I can think of a few.

glacial's avatar

The question of “could” literally does not make sense to me. I know that I would not.

Pinkpastelrainbow's avatar

I don’t think I could. The thought of murder is horrible. I would feel guilty and think about it every single day until I go crazy to the point of suicide.

cazzie's avatar

See, that is weird. Some people are equating murder with animals for eating…. that didn’t even cross my mind. Yes,.... i could shoot a moose or a deer or a seal or kill what ever ends up at the end of a fishing line if I had to feed my family. I would then be sure to not waste a thing that that living creature provided for us with its death.

I thought of murder as, like, you know… another human being. I guess I am just old fashioned.

Seek's avatar

@cazzie The last line of the details asks if we’ve ever killed a living thing intentionally. My thought is “Of course I have. Everything we’ve ever eaten has been alive. I kill weeds in the garden every day”.

cazzie's avatar

Oh… had to kill another living thing… that is rather vague. I have picked loads of fruits and veg. they were living. I try not to chop off flowers, but I do that on occasion. and I kill weeds and shit every summer. I have fished and killed those fish for food and ate them and fed them to friends and family. I never shot a mammal. I remember, vividly, hunting with my dad and having a little red squirrel lined up in my sites, but he looked so small. I didn’t pull the trigger. Dad said, ‘ah… that’s ok,. most of my hunting now is just for a good walk outside.’

I remember really hoping for a bird that trip. I so wanted to shoot a pheasant or a turkey or a grouse, to get some food and make my dad proud, but we didn’t see any. I could have shot a bird that had enough meat on it for a meal, but not a tiny little squirrel. That seemed pointless, and my dad didn’t make me feel stupid for feeling that way. I miss him every day.

mazingerz88's avatar

No. But really, no one would like it when I’m AnGrY!!

glacial's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Wait… you’ve killed sharks?

Shippy's avatar

I would never plot to murder a person, I just don’t hate that much. I also wouldn’t do it for money. But if I got attacked, that person is dead meat!!

GracieT's avatar

I have seizures. My answer is no, of course not, but with the seizures it could happen if I drive. So I can’t drive. Period. Until my seizures are back under control, no driving. (Which sucks, BTW.)

Bellatrix's avatar

I could plot a murder. I could not carry it out.

I believe I could kill someone who was going to harm me, my children or my husband. Killing another person would go against everything I believe but I hope my flight/fight instincts would come into play on the side of fight and I had access to something I could use to stop them.

obsidianowl's avatar

I could and I would. Plot and execute. Yes.

cookieman's avatar

No. Even in self-defense or defense of others, my goal would be to knock the person out, put them down – basically to stop them. Of course, that may not be realistic under the circumstances.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Depending on the circumstances I would consider it as a possibility. I can’t see myself ever killing someone for financial gain or anything like that, but as part of revenge, for a serious enough offense against me or my family, it could happen.

Yeahright's avatar

I think I would in self defense, or defending a loved one or a child. I fantasize killing people who mistreat and abuse animals, people who are cruel to dogs, etc. You get the picture, but I could never plot to kill anyone.

woodcutter's avatar

But….aren’t we supposed to call the authorities and sit on our hands and wait for them to handle these matters?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

In revenge for hurting my children, absolutely.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
glacial's avatar

@woodcutter You expect the authorities to commit murder for you? You must live in an interesting neighbourhood.

DrBill's avatar

Already have

Seek's avatar

@glacial – Sure. Sister hooked a nurse shark on a fishing trip. She was only eleven or so. I helped her bring it in and did all the dirty work. Fed the whole family.

woodcutter's avatar

@glacial They are on the clock. What would I get out of it other than pissing off the natives. Everyone already hates the cops.

Sunny2's avatar

I have fantasized being in a war and defending myself and others by killing, but when it comes right down to being practical about the prospect, I’d be of better service if I cooked or nursed the wounded. The only time I was so angry that I considered the guy who I felt had betrayed me, deserved death; I pictured in my mind, his severed head being swept down the street gutter in a wash of water. I hadn’t killed him, but I was glad he was dead. Other than that I’m not really a murderous type.

augustlan's avatar

I could never plan to murder someone. Wait, I mean I could plan and not do, but it really would never occur to me. Not for revenge, not for money, not for ‘the thrill’. In self- or other-defense, yes. And it is possible that I might lose my mind if I walked in on the act of someone hurting one of my children, and kill the offender on the spot. Otherwise, no way.

rooeytoo's avatar

I have wanted to and I stand on no moral high ground, what prevented me was fear of punishment, prison. I was a child and in pain and helpless. Only in my thoughts could I have power. As an adult, I can’t think of a situation where I would plot a murder but in a moment of passion or anger, yes.

Interesting question and interesting responses.

MadeiraBoo's avatar

I like the answers that I have gotten. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to do so. I was worried that I was going to sound like a freak…

Once or twice I have thought about it myself but never actually went through with it. I’m too soft, I can’t hurt a fly, not physically, not on purpose. So I find it extremely difficult to think that I could ever commit murder.

mattbrowne's avatar

Destroying our natural human inhibitions takes effort and time. But it can be done.

ucme's avatar

Not in the strictest sense no, i’d hack the head off any fucker who puts myself or my kids in harm’s way though, purely in self-defence of course.
Stabbing seems so barbaric, actually plunging a knife into flesh must take some doing…an axe though…

MadeiraBoo's avatar

@ucme You worry me, you do…

ucme's avatar

@MadeiraBoo Don’t worry, be happy!

Coloma's avatar

Only in a situation of grave self defense, otherwise no.
But I could come up with all sorts of imaginative ways to do it.
I recently was joking with the rapid rooter guy when I had a clogged septic line, and told him that it must be a part of my ex husband that didn’t flush. lolol

MadeiraBoo's avatar

@Coloma Haha, I hope the guy had a sense of humour ha.

Coloma's avatar

@MadeiraBoo He looked a little shocked. haha

Coloma's avatar

Women tend to prefer poisoning to dismemberment. Would you like a little Arsenic in your tea…one spoonful or two? ;-)

woodcutter's avatar

Hint: always have a big hole prepared. It can be for anything legitimate pre -kill but having it dug out is a big time saver.

And tarps from Harbor Freight…lots of tarps….
the brown kind

Coloma's avatar

^^^ Nah..the BEST way to dispose of a body is to dump it in a wildlife zone like I live in.
The cougars, coyotes, foxes and vultures will make sure it is gone without a trace within the week. lol

Seek's avatar

@Coloma – my uncle used to take his daughter’s boyfriends for a talk on the back porch the first time they came to pick her up for a date.

“See all that? Forty acres of hilly woods. It could take ten years to find a body out there… Unless it were buried under the creek bed. Probably never find that. Y’all have a nice time now.”

woodcutter's avatar

@Coloma Ok that will work also. But still stock up on those tarps.

Coloma's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr LOL…love it!
@woodcutter Yes, don’t want to soil my carpets or car with those sloppy, dripping remains. haha

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@Coloma Arsenic and Old Lace is one of my favorite plays of all time (not a bad movie, either!).

Mariah's avatar

I really don’t think I could, but if it were a situation of self-defense and it were necessary, I guess I would try.

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