General Question

girlofscience's avatar

Have you ever killed someone?

Asked by girlofscience (7464 points ) March 3rd, 2009

Most likely, none of you has committed first- or second-degree murder, but maybe some of you have killed someone in a different context.

- Have you caused a car accident that resulted in someone’s death?

- Have you killed an irresponsible pedestrian while driving?

- Have you been in the military and killed anyone in combat?

- Have you killed someone in self defense?

- Have you indirectly caused someone’s death?

If so, how has the act of taking someone’s life affected you? Did it consume you emotionally, and if so, to what degree and for how long? What kind of thoughts occupied your mind regarding the incident? If it was an accident, how much do you hold yourself responsible for the person’s death? If it was purposeful, have you felt regret?

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111 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

Not yet.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Not that I’m aware of, though the US government had certainly killed quite a few people in our names.

Jamspoon's avatar

@AstroChuck Cheers to that.

eponymoushipster's avatar

Nope. Unless you count the fact that i’m a ladykiller.

babiturtle36's avatar

No…..hhmmmm why is this in my questions for you?

Allie's avatar

Nope, I’ve never caused someones death.

LouisianaGirl's avatar

nope I`ve never killed anyone before or caused their death

btko's avatar

I’m sure that I’ve been a cause in the death of slave labourers, in the textile and chocolate industries, around the world.

laureth's avatar

Only very indirectly. I eat foods that are sprayed with pesticides that likely gave farmhands cancer. I paid taxes, some of which was used for bombs and ammunition somewhere in the world. That sort of thing.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

NO to all of the above!

arnbev959's avatar

Not that I’m aware of, though I’m sure that I’ve been indirectly responsible for a lot of things. We all have, in a butterfly effect kind of way. But I’ve never been responsible in a way where I could trace the causal progression of my actions to the ultimate conclusion of someone’s death.

Jayne's avatar

It is likely that the sum of all the little stresses I have added to innumerable lives over the course of mine would, if concentrated on one person all at once, be sufficient to kill them. So I have killed a net total of one person. Maybe 1.3.

trumi's avatar

With the exception of this guy I think that if anybody here had killed somebody, they probably wouldn’t bring it up on Fluther. But GQ!

mangeons's avatar

Maybe I was a serial killer in a past life? Other than that, no. :)

girlofscience's avatar

@trumi: I think if someone had killed someone in one of the situations I mentioned above, they might be willing to talk about it.

robmandu's avatar

Came close once. But no.

mangeons's avatar

@girlofscience Maybe, but people may be uncomfortable mentioning it, if they feel bad about it? GQ though. :)

trumi's avatar

@gos: I agree, I’m gonna keep following just in case. It’s a great question, it’s just a difficult one to get real answers to.

poofandmook's avatar

lurve to trumi for pegging that bad seed juuuuuuuuuust right. LOL

laureth's avatar

My brother-in-law did kill someone though. That’s as close to an actual answer as I have for you.

LouisianaGirl's avatar

I know somebody who had a gun put up to their head I know that doesnt count but I`m just saying.

girlofscience's avatar

@laureth: Can you share the context, story, and consequences?

eponymoushipster's avatar

@LouisianaGirl that’s close to being killed, not killing someone. unless he put the gun to his own head.

LouisianaGirl's avatar

@eponymoushipster i know of people who have commited suicide so that would be putting it up to their own head

laureth's avatar

@girlofscience – My not-yet-husband was away at college. Younger brother, turned 16, got into the drug crowd. Needed money. So he shot their father, tried to make it look like robbery, and waited for the insurance money to roll in (not realizing that the dad’s new wife would get most of it). Instead, he got a decade or so in prison.

He’s much better now. Married a woman with four kids and is raising them up right. (The kids were “at risk” and turning into no-good.) He’s made amends. He was my husband’s best man when we got married.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@laureth that is so sad. That’s good that he turned his life around.

mangeons's avatar

So wait, your husband’s brother, not yours?

And did their dad actually die from the gunshot? That’s terrible.

laureth's avatar

Yes, my husband’s brother. And their father died.

girlofscience's avatar

@laureth: I’m so sorry to hear that story, but I’m glad your brother-in-law was able to improve his life and reconcile with your husband. Thanks for sharing.

steve6's avatar

This is a very personal question.

wundayatta's avatar

Once I was really depressed, and I was talking to a friend of mine who was also really depressed. We made an agreement. If one of us was going to kill ourselves, the other would, too. Then we started discussing methods. The things I was saying were so ridiculous, that, judging by her reaction, I swear, I just about killed her.

You know. With laughter? She killed me, too. Actually, that discussion probably saved us both. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard for so long. Unbelievable, really, when you consider the state of mind we started with.

So, for real, one of the guys in my group says he has killed a man. Or maybe more. Damn! I wish I could remember the conversation about it. I think I asked him if he felt guilty, and if maybe that contributed to his illness. He said he didn’t feel any guilt. Why? He said it was him or them, so he made it be them.

He was a freelance reporter (maybe so, maybe not—hard to tell with him) travelling around in the wilds of Africa. Congo maybe, he didn’t say. I think he was with another person (people?). The were driving through the jungle and came to a “checkpoint” out in the middle of nowhere. The soldiers made them get out. He realized they planned to kill him and take the vehicle. He said that something happened to him, and he stopped caring about whether he lived or died. It freed him to do what he needed to do. Attack them, get their weapons, and kill them. It totally made sense to me at the time. But then, that was a time when I didn’t really care much about whether I lived or died.

mangeons's avatar

There are a lot of personal questions on fluther, it really just comes down to how much of your life you are willing to reveal to a stranger over the internet. Everyone’s different, some people couldn’t care less, while others are more self-conscious.

Bluefreedom's avatar

No, I’ve never killed anyone and I hope to God that I never have to. After two decades in the military and specifically as a military policeman, I’ve never even had to draw my sidearm for any reason and I hope I’ll never have to use it in the line of duty.

Bri_L's avatar

No. I have not.

ubersiren's avatar

Probably. I’m sure I did something that indirectly lead to someone’s death at some point.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Nope, and I hope never to have to do any such thing. Taking another human life is not something one talks about, if the conversations I’ve had with war veterans is any indication. Those that brag about it are usually lying.

Sakata's avatar

This is the kind of question that has the potential of being too hard to find the correct wording for a good answer. That is, if someone had an answer other than “No.”

loser's avatar

Not while awake, no.

DrBill's avatar

Yes, I considered it murder, but the authorities called it justifiable homicide. I went home and cleaned my gun.

God has forgiven me, but his family never did.

I did feel regret, but given the same situation, I would do it again.

LostInParadise's avatar

@DrBill , would you care to elaborate?

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@DrBill I know that must be a hard thing to deal with. But you’ve got to have some consolation in knowing that the police look at it the way they do. If it comes down to you & someone threatening your life, you have to defend yourself.

@steve6, I don’t think this question is bad at all. If someone can ask us what our masturbation routine is, this is pretty tame.

Bri_L's avatar

@DrBill – if you look at it an can say you feel regret but, given the same circumstances, would do it again, then you have done all you can.

DrBill's avatar

A man was holding an eight-year-old girl hostage in a church in Florida. He was holding her in front of him as a human shield with a gun to her head. I went to the balcony and shot him in the left temple (he was right handed).

I considered this murder because he never knew I was there, but I did it to save the little girl. A year later I turned in my badge and became a teacher.

Bri_L's avatar

You saved the little girl’s life and potential other lives. AND your teaching. You rock.

I am sorry you had to deal with the fall out of the action however. I don’t know that I could.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@DrBill you did save the girl, however. The only way you could have upped that story is if you had a sassy phrase that you uttered.

“Here’s your sanctuary, Quasi Modo…”

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@DrBill Yes, that’s definately justifiable homicide.

Jack79's avatar

no, but sometimes I wish I had

I did hit two girls on a motorbike once and I think they fell down and may have conceivably been hurt, but I seriously doubt it. I was too angry at the world at the time to care about them, and yes I know now you’re all thinking “poor girls” but at the time I was thinking “die you bitches”. I was in a GTA-type mood.

Jack79's avatar

This is several years ago, the problem I had at the time had nothing to do with either driving or the particular tourists on the bike. But since I generally hate tourists, I just didn’t slow down – technically it was their fault and they fell on me, but that’s not the point. The point is I could have avoided the accident, but simply didn’t care enough to do so.

robmandu's avatar

Well, that… and not leaving the scene of an accident, regardless of fault.

Error cascades are an interesting phenomenon.

tb1570's avatar

If reality is subjective and we create our own reality in our minds and the thoughts we have are therefore “real,” then yes, I have killed many people.

Bri_L's avatar

@Jack79 – whoa. that does say something.

Judi's avatar

My sister came really close when she found out that her boyfriend had been abusing her 10 year old daughter. She had a gun pointed at him and had to be talked down. He went to prison for 10 years. Better than killing him.

Bri_L's avatar

@Judi – better than that, put him in general population in maximum security while loudly proclaiming “this guy beats little kids, can someone show him why that is wrong” and give the inmates some time alone with him. Fucker.

essieness's avatar

I’ve never killed anyone. My ex husband was a firefighter and was gone overnight 3 nights a week and we lived in a not-so-great neighborhood at the time. He showed me how to get on the side of the bed and prop his shotgun on the bed and aim at the bedroom door if someone broke in. I had nightmares for weeks. I’m a wimp about that stuff.

Judi's avatar

@Bri_L ; It might have been easier if he had beat her. She was not so lucky. The abuse was disguised in words like, “You’re so beautiful, and “You’re so mature…..”

fireside's avatar

@judi – Even more reason to follow Bri_L’s suggestion. Even prisoners don’t take kindly to that.

kevbo's avatar

I killed someone in a dream a couple of months ago. It was kind of out of a scene from American Psycho. I was walking by another man and realized instantaneously that I could get away with killing him, so I grabbed him by the neck with both hands and squeezed as hard as I could. He was too shocked to react at first and then couldn’t react for the lack of oxygen. I walked away with a mild spike of adrenaline that was more along the lines of Crime and Punishment in that I had to contain my big secret while at the same time reconcile who I was in light of this new misdeed.

Needless to say, I was quite relieved to wake up.

adreamofautumn's avatar

No, but I came close. When I was just a kid, we lived in a pretty bad neighborhood. This kid was always bullying me, threatening to “bash my brains out” with a hockey stick. He came after me with a hockey stick one day, I buried a knife in his leg. If I think about it now, i’m just glad I didn’t bury it in his chest. However, in the context of the mess I was living in…it was survival of the fittest. I was a 10 year old girl living in hell.

BoyWonder's avatar

I know a few life-takers. They always vomit their first time catching a body. I guess it’s not an easy thing to digest.

DrBill's avatar

@LouisianaGirl
@BoyWonder

It did not bother me at all. That is why I changed careers.
It bothered me that it didn’t bother me.

Sakata's avatar

@DrBill Why do you feel that it should have bothered you?

DrBill's avatar

@Sakata

It was as if their life meant nothing. Sure they were a bad person, and doing a bad thing, but all I ever heard was how hard it was for everybody else the first time. Even the shrink (required after a shooting) was shocked by how little I was affected.

Sakata's avatar

@DrBill Trust me, not everyone reacts the same way.

You did what you did.
You did what you had to do.
You did what you were supposed to do.

Don’t give it another thought and move on regardless of what anyone else says/said.

DrBill's avatar

@Sakata

I still relive the whole thing (after twenty years) about three or four times a year by dreaming the entire event. The hard part is I still remember every detail from getting the call to watching him bleed out on the carpet.

I seen a twilight zone, (I think) where you could sell your memories, and not have that memory anymore. I would do that in a second if I could.

Sakata's avatar

@DrBill I know how you feel but you still can’t let it get to ya. I’ll leave it at that.
Speaking of memory removal, have you seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?

DrBill's avatar

@Sakata

Yes, I have. Good movie.

casheroo's avatar

No. Someone told me a story of something they did to someone. I have chosen not to believe the story.

BoyWonder's avatar

You folks will believe anything you read, huh?

Sakata's avatar

If it’s on the internet then it MUST be true. Duh. Everybody knows that.

LouisianaGirl's avatar

@BoyWonder Well this is a question and if you answer it people will tend to believe it because they think that you are being honest so if your going to post something that is not true and get all on people for believing it you might as well not post it at all.

qualitycontrol's avatar

I have. It was in the study with a candlestick.

mangeons's avatar

Mine was in the conservatory with the revolver.

BoyWonder's avatar

Well I believe it’s true that most people believe everything they read on the Internet.

LouisianaGirl's avatar

well…... thats internet for you

poofandmook's avatar

I believe that it seems like every time I read a response of yours, BoyWonder, it’s snippy or condescending. WHY are you here?

BoyWonder's avatar

To piss off people like you. All in a day’s work. =D

Sakata's avatar

@BoyWonder: That explains the letter on your chest lol

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

[Mod says]: Flame off please, and keep to the topic.

mangeons's avatar

Bravo, Poof. Bravo. :D

Horus515's avatar

@DrBill

Most impactful thing I’ve read all day. Someone out there has to have the strength to do the kind of thing that you did. Especially when there exists those that would threaten humanity. Most of us are not that strong. You’re a hero.

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

yes, on the Sims, i accidentally set the kitchen on fire and wiped out my entire family,......thats what i get for not buying a phone so i could of called 911.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

@fedupwitcaddys no, see, that’s why you build a HydroBot. It sprays the fires.

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

@toomuchcoffee911 you gotta tell me how to do that!

mangeons's avatar

@fedupwitcaddys I kill people all the time with fires on the Sims, only the person who is cooking at the stove though, sometimes it catches on fire. That’s why I buy smoke alarms, they automatically call the Fire Dept.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

@fedupwitcaddys well, first you have to build one…

blndeguy1's avatar

i haven’t yet but still have a long life whith kids so god help the person who hurts them.

Judi's avatar

@blndeguy1 ; at first I thought you were going to say “and I haven’t got through adolescence yet!” Obviously you kids are still small :-)

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I’ve definitely killed someone’s spirits but never took an actual life.

Just_Justine's avatar

I was in a vehicle that hit a pedestrian, it was like a movie, because he flew through the windscreen, his face nearly touched mine then back out again onto the road. I felt really horrible afterwards for ages. I rarely think about it now. But just by being in the car I felt responsible.

Ron_C's avatar

I can say, without going into detail, that I have gone to great lenghts and personal danger to avoid killing people. So far, I have been successful.

Sophief's avatar

Many times in my head.

HungryGuy's avatar

@fedupwitcaddys & @mangeons – That graw is fredashay!

HungryGuy's avatar

Sure! I love to climb up on the top level of a parking deck and lob grenades and molitovs down into the traffic below. Or steal a train and get every cop in the state chasing me with helicopters and SWAT trucks, then stop the train in a tunnel and blast away at their helicopters with rocket-propelled grenades. Then, when I run out of grenades and rockets, I just steal a motorcycle and they start chasing me for no reason, so I just start blasting at them with machine guns as they chase me until I can find a safe house and lay low for a while…

anartist's avatar

If anyone had done so, whether inadvertently, in self or others’ defense, or in time of war or other military action, that would be far too personal an experience to put before a group of relative strangers, or probably even anyone, except, perhaps, someone who had been in the same situation.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Response moderated (Writing Standards)
MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

Never. I have never killed any living thing larger than a mouse in my life. I think the only circumstance I would be able to do that is if someone tried to seriously hurt or kill me or a loved one of mine.

The only time I’ve “killed” someone is in my mind, like when I shut some idiot up for ranting and raving, or I get away from a road rager and leave him/her miserably stuck on the road——-I go, “YES, I destroyed the moron!! Heh, heh, heh!!” Lol.

Cruiser's avatar

It was a road rage incident where this A-hole was on my ass as we weaved in and out of rush hour traffic. I was in the far right lane passing up through traffic with him on my bumper. I saw the lane was ending up ahead and traffic was packed to where at our speeds there was little room to merge left. I waited for my opening and at the last minute cut over to the left as the lane ended and he apparently did not see this coming and in my rear view mirror I saw his car lurch into the air as he hit the curb and then the embankment and I saw this huge dust cloud as his car flipped over and crash into the bridge abutment. I can’t imagine the outcome was good at all.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser-Why didn’t you stop?? wth

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille His fault not mine and that Mo Fo put me and my family in danger IMO got what he asked for. Had I stopped I would have made sure he didn’t survive and instead let Darwin take over my dear. I live where there are plenty of EMT’s so he was in good hands I am sure.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser -Got what he asked for??
Weaving in and out of traffic with your family in the car??Hmm.

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille You bet ya! Weaving is what I sometimes have do to stay safe on the road….it’s called defensive driving. Douche bag’s problem was he thought he was more important than all the other cars on the road and I was the lucky one he chose to take on and even tapped my bumper during rush hour. I pulled into the right lane to let him go by but he pulled in behind me and hit me again so fearing for my families safety I did what I had to do and he paid for his mistake!! No regrets! ;)

MissAnthrope's avatar

I honestly don’t know the answer to this question. I don’t think I have, but I don’t know for certain. See, when I was 18, long story short, I hit a bicyclist who shot in front of me against his red light. I had witnesses and it wasn’t my fault (I was going the speed limit and hit the brakes as soon as I saw him), but the guy hit his head on the asphalt and was bleeding from his ears. He was also really dazed and out of it.

I was hoping that someone would call me to let me know if he was okay, but I never heard anything once I was cleared to leave the scene. I’m assuming that I’d probably have heard something had I killed him, right? I like to think I haven’t killed anyone, anyway. I hope that guy was okay.

Ron_C's avatar

Like @MissAnthrope I hope not but I’m not sure.

My job in Vietnam was to go around and fix radars, sonar, and help the soldiers to get their communication equipment working. The few times when I was ordered to fire back at the “enemy”, I shot high and wide, hoping to just make them go away. I was not mad at anyone there and saw no reason to kill them. Of course I am not very good or experienced with a .45 or M16 so I may have accidentally shot someone,....I hope not.

I considered myself a technician and engineer, not a soldier. It was not my job to kill people and blow up things. The few Vietnamese that I met were very nice and I never wanted to hurt one of them. After I was in country for awhile, I realized that we were there for the profit, not the people. If anyone needed killing, it was the government we supported.

MissA's avatar

@Cruiser…something about your story makes me feel nauseous. The whole road-rage thing IS nauseating. You tricked the other driver into the accident, then called it justice. You don’t know but what he had a bon fide urgent situation. Just sayin’.

I understand that there are a lot of “Me-first” drivers out there. All I do is give them the highway…get out of their way. Doing what you did would NOT give me any peace of mind.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Not that I know of. My job in the army was to patch up the people that were getting wounded, not inflict the wounds myself.

pretty_navi's avatar

hell no , except insects.. But yeah, wanted to kill in my mind my times.. :)

Neodarwinian's avatar

” If so, how has the act of taking someone‚Äôs life affected you? ”

In the way you mean not at all.

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