Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How to know if you're a psycho

My boss posed a story-question to me today, so I'm posing it to you. If you've heard this before, I apologize. For everyone else, feel free to play along:

A woman's mother dies. At the mother's funeral, the woman meets the man of her dreams. He's everything she's ever wanted. He's The One. The problem is, after the funeral is over, he disappears and she can't find him. She doesn't know how to contact him.

A week later, she kills her sister.

Now for the question: why did the woman kill her sister?

Figure out your answer before you scroll down...


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I wondered if this was a trick question because the answer seemed so obvious to me: she killed her sister in hopes that she'd meet the man again at her sister's funeral, figuring that if the man knew her mother, maybe he'd know her sister, too.

My boss said that anyone who answers "correctly" has the potential to be a psychopath. Yes, really. And no, this did not seem to bother him that I answered correctly. But according to him, apparently a lot of people can't answer the question after hearing the story and have no idea why the woman would kill her sister. He said the question was put to a bunch of murderers in prison, and they could all answer it. Yay for me.

Of course it's more of a joke than anything else, and my boss was laughing after I answered it. I'm going to say my "psychopathic" tendencies are easily explained by my love of true crime stories. I'm a sucker for true crime novels, Forensic Files and other TruTV shows, and the murder-oriented episodes of Dateline and 48 Hours Mystery. It's probably morbid, but I can't get enough of them. Maybe it comes from getting addicted to Mary Higgins Clark novels while I was in middle school?

I didn't tell him that sometimes I hear about murders and think, 'that would make a great murder plot for a book.' Or, 'wow, what a great place to hide a body!' That's normal for a writer, right? Right??

But I'm curious. Could you answer the question? Why or why not, do you think? And more importantly, have you read any good true crime novels lately and what are they? I'm always looking for good reads.

15 comments:

Cerrissa said...

Did not get the answer, unfortunately...or fortunately.

But if you're looking for a good place to hide a body in your book don't put them inside a wall, like that crazy person did to the asian chic on the college campus, until after they've decomposed.
just a suggestion :)

Anthony said...

Well, your boss is right in the context who you ask this question. He was just using a broad brush to poke at you (I like your boss).

I got this right because I am trained in the art of self-defense. You are taught that violent felons do not think like you, therefore you must use unconventional thinking and, above all, not associate a normal possible action with a potential felon.

In other words, don't fall into the trap thinking the felon thinks like you.

Dominique said...

I couldn't answer the question. Maybe if I'd thought about it more, I could have done it, but that wasn't the first place my mind went. Maybe I'm having an off day.

In high school, I wrote a five page paper on Leopold and Loeb's murder of Bobby Franks analyzing their murder's weaknesses and describing what one would have to do to correct them. Do I aspire to commit the perfect murder? No. I have other hobbies, thanks. But it was certainly an interesting paper to write. Just because you see a route available doesn't mean that you have to walk down it.

Benae said...

Ok, so I read the question, immediatley answered the question with the same thought in mind, is this a trick? the answer is so obvious, I ask Michael the same question and he literally had no clue why she would kill her sister. WTF? Great! I am a pyscho :)

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

They give those questions on police detective exams as well (my brother is one). So it's not just one side of the law that requires that sort of thinking.

I got it right, too - but like you I read a lot of crime/thriller novels.

lotusgirl said...

Lovely! I'm a psycho. I have such potential. Haha! I do watch a lot of police, crime shows too. Maybe that sort of thinking rubs off, or maybe I like those shows because I think that way. Mwahaha!

Bevie said...

I don't know. I thought the answer was obvious, too. So much so that I spent time trying to figure out another angle.

Maybe that's another problem with those of us who like to make stories: we're all psychos.

Love Stories said...

no i didn't get it right. but i love crime shows. my sister will be disappointed that all those year watching csi hasn't improved my dectective skills.

but i'm sure she'll be glad that im not a psycho! :)

Love Stories said...

no i didn't get it right. but i love crime shows. my sister will be disappointed that all those year watching csi hasn't improved my dectective skills.

but i'm sure she'll be glad that im not a psycho! :)

Anna Claire said...

Ha, Bevie! I think you've hit the nail on the head.

Scarlet-Blue said...

Oops, the 'correct' answer jumped into my head as well and then I started wondering if the bloke had started dating her sister [just to add another thread], which she later finds out at the funeral.
Sx

Crimogenic said...

I miss the boat with the answer. I went the drama routine. I figured the sister was seeing the mystery man and it was a crime of passion. heheheh

Eliza said...

Oh dear, I got it right as soon as I read the question. I asked my entire family, and none of them got it. It is freaky, I was certain that what I thought of was too obvious, and then no one else I know could think of it.

I should add that now they are all hiding the silverware from me...

Kate said...

So, I didn't get this one right. Which I suppose is a good thing. I said she was so upset from her mother's death and missing her new love that she took it out on her sister.

Sis,don't worry that I'll do the same to you someday. My lack of dating to this point in my life makes it unlikely that I'll find my love match at a funeral.

However, I do enjoy watching shows about serial killers and the like. I once sat in Barnes & Noble and read a book about the history of torture devices. It may be weird, but at least I know I'm not the only one.

Christy Raedeke said...

I had even heard that one before and I couldn't remember the answer! This is so disappointing, as I like to consider myself a bit gritty.