Sunday, July 13, 2014

No Weapon, No Motive, No Body

Today's post could be accused of being a little macabre but I hope you will look beyond that to the potentially useful information contained within.

One week, I was staying at a friends' apartment in Chelsea while she was out of town. And, being bored, I went to a local bar and ordered a drink, and ended up in a conversation with someone who claimed to be a former officer in the NYPD. Now maybe he was, and maybe he wasn't, but the bartender who knew him did not contradict him, for what that may be worth. There are times when I can talk to anyone and get them to talk about themselves and their work and this was one of those nights.

Somehow we got on the subject of crime, whether the so-called mafia were as noble as that portrayed in The Godfather (1972), and finally on how to commit murder, or rather, what the attributes of a perfect murder are from the point of view of someone formerly of the NYPD.

The point of this post is to document what I learned that evening so that the information might not be forgotten but can instead be available to my loyal readers should the occasion present itself.  I suppose you never know when you might have to knock someone off, and this information would be good to have at that time.

On the subject of the mafia, nobility and idealism, the bartender, a youngish man, claimed some personal knowledge. I guess he was of appropriate descent, and had friends or possibly relatives who worked in that profession in one way or another. I told him the story from WW2 that when we invaded Sicily, that one of the American Don's was there on the beach to meet his old patron, one of the Sicilian Don's to help ease the way for the Americans. My friend the bartender, laughed at my naivete. Well, maybe, he said, if it was part of a plea bargain, but patriotism for their new country aside, he said, the right way to think of the mafia is as pure capitalists. What they care about is money. Beginning and ending with money.

On the subject of the perfect murder, the interesting person who may indeed have been a former NYPD police officer had this to say. “No weapon, No motive, No body”. He then went on to explain what this cute little saying meant.

The missing Jimmy Hoffa in happier days.

“No weapon” means that the murder weapon no longer exists, and can not be found, for one reason or another (like it is at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean). Thus no weapon can be introduced in court by the prosecution and without a murder weapon, establishing guilt in a murder case is very difficult, he said.

“No motive” means that the person or people who commit the crime are in fact not the people who had a reason to commit the crime. This is the big advantage, if you can swing it, of a larger organization of loyal and trustworthy people. In other words, you may hate Joe and want to kill him and have good reason to kill him, at least from your point of view. But on that evening you were home with your family eating a spaghetti dinner and had a foolproof and even legitimate alibi. On the other hand, Pete may barely know Joe or not know him at all, has no motive, and he commits the murder. But the police have no particular reason to suspect Pete, he has no motive for the crime. Nor would the prosecution be able to show why Pete should commit such a crime in court. Even if they know Pete did the deed, they would still have to establish motive, and being a distant friend of someone who hates Joe is not a strong connection.

“No body” means the body disappears. It may not even be certain that Joe was murdered (although I suppose a lot of blood on his apartment floor would be a clue). But if Joe simply disappears, and there is no sign of violence, then for all anyone knows, Joe may be in Rio de Janiero fucking little boys. Think Jimmy Hoffa. Now how do you reliably get rid of the body? Well, there are a variety of ways and again this is where having a larger organization comes in handy. But butchering Joe into component parts and depositing them on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean is one thought.  According to one informant, Mr. Hoffa was put into a trunk of a car, compressed, and sent to Japan as scrap.  Another thought is that nice new Javits Center where, it is said, Jimmy Hoffa rests in peace, or in pieces.

I hope you have found this post educational and useful in your work.

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