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Mimishu1995's avatar

Idea brainstorming: can you suggest some motives for a criminal to kill cops?

Asked by Mimishu1995 (18090points) June 7th, 2015

Just a little help for my brainstorming process. I’m a bit stuck in the middle of my story and I need some fresh ideas to go on.

Here’s a little summary of the story: the time is the 1980s. Someone is killing cops and a maverick cop is trying to find the culprit. The cop had his cop father killed apparently by the same killer. The case gets personal when he finds out that his partner (and love interest) is going to be the next victim. Why do you think the killer is after those cops?

Just suggest me some ideas to help my mind go on. It will help me a lot.

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21 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Ambush them?
Poison them in their coffee?
Shoot them via sniper style?
Run them over with your car?
As for why the killer is after them, maybe the cops arrested a friend or relative and they were killed in prison and now the killer is out for a distorted type of revenge for their loved one?

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’m tripping up over elements of the synopsis. Are you stating that the cop arranged to have his father murdered by the serial cop killer? As for motive, the usual crazed psychopath with authority issues
seems adequate.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@stanleybmanly err… I meant his father got killed by the killer. Sorry for the wording.

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

If you go with the revenge theme you have a recipe for the most generic story award. Your story would be more interesting with a bit of a twist in my opinion.

- Maybe the cops he is killing are actually all horrible people (including his dad).

- Maybe the killer is killing with a different pattern than expected and its not just cops.

- Maybe the killer is prey to a parasitic alien bent on destroying the worlds security to prepare for destruction.

stanleybmanly's avatar

If the victims are all uniformed officers, the killer (psychopath) might have some fixation on the outfits, or maybe all that stuff dangling from those utility belts. Or the deranged man may have been rejected as a candidate for the force and is now reeking his revenge.

filmfann's avatar

Kill a policeman on the south side of town, so all units will be in that area.
Then, rob a bank on the north side.

josie's avatar

They are all “bad cops” i.e. extorting money, or taking bribes. Including his dad.
The killer is, in her misguided way, trying to clean house.
In fact, the killer is his partner, and the death threat is a red herring.
Don’t think the partner as lover would pass muster in the department. But OK

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How about a tumor in his brain that turns the killer into a pyscho killer? I’ll keep working on it.

janbb's avatar

He is a black man and his son was unarmed and murdered by cops in a case of mistaken identity.

jerv's avatar

There is a lot of tension here in America between civilians and police in real-life, so it’s easy to think of a few reasons that won’t require much suspension of disbelief in a fictional work, but run the risk of leading to a sympathetic antagonist. The big two I can think of are;

1) Anti-government feelings – The police are an obvious extension of government power. While the military is the ultimate expression of the authorities of the Executive branch, they tend to carry bigger guns than the police, and aren’t nearly as present. Therefore, the police make a good target for those that hate the government but don’t feel like fighting against people who have tanks and bombs.

2) Preemptive defense – The police have committed some offense, real or perceived, against the killer and/or those they care about and now all cops are guilty of [insert atrocity here], and must be taken out before they hurt more people. Given that there are certain demographics that get singled out by the police, this motive works best if the killer is a member of that demographic.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Thanks all! Some really creative ideas here. I’ll collect your idead and see what I can come up with. If anyone has any more ideas please add, this thread is still open.

@jerv I don’t mind sympathetic antagonists. In fact I welcome them. It adds more drama to the story.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How about a little take on 1984, George Orwell, where the cops are instruments of oppression?

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe like what? Using cops to arrest anyone with different opinion from the government?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’m not sure. If you copy other authors it’s going to be boring. You want a new angle so your story is unique. The best novels have their own twist. I have something forming in my head, but it’s not quite there yet.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I know. I just ask for suggestion so that I can be insprired to form my own idea. My mind works that way, give me some inspiration and it will go hunt on it own.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Is your criminal a good guy or is he a scumbag?

Mimishu1995's avatar

Last night I reviewed the responses here a bit. I decided the killer should be a good guy with a distorded sense of justice.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Okay, makes it a bit tougher, but I’m working on it.

ragingloli's avatar

It should not be a “distorted” sense of justice.
It should just be justice.
Just a few days ago, I came across the chief witch hunter in employ of the king, about to torture and kill a prostitute with a glowing hot poker. All perfectly legal and with support of the monarch.
I lobbed his head off right there.

that way you can develop the story a way where the main character becomes conflicted about which side he is on, maybe even be forced to kill a cop himself.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

The killer is an ex-prostitute that was held in an underground brothel ran by the cops, when they were not riding her hard and putting her away wet to escape their Stepford wives, they rented her out mercilessly, now she hates cops, even the women cops she sees as sell outs.

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