So you want to commit a perfect crime. Good for you. I’m all for helping the helpless. Take a notebook, a pen, and pay attention, because I’m going to say it only once.
Perfect crimes requires planning, calculating your actions for the best outcome, anticipating complications. And, most importantly: profit.
Why profit? Well, for starters, because you need motivation, a reason to break the law (unless it’s a hobby of yours–I can totally relate to that). People commit crimes because they want money, or because their emotions drive them to commit the crime. And you better lock up your emotions and toss them aside; because most of the ‘emotional’ criminals get caught before you can even think ‘procedural drama.’ Sure, you can feel all sorts of emotions, as long as they don’t mess with your judgment.
Once you realize that money is the best possible motivation, you need a victim. Before you get ahead of yourself, when I say ‘a victim’ I don’t mean you have to find yourself someone to kill. You won’t be a very good villain if you limit yourself to the most obvious solutions.
A victim means somebody, anybody, who suffers because of the crime you commit. With murder it’s simple, the person you kill is the victim. But when you steal something, the victim is the owner of whatever it is that you took (because obviously, you deserve to have that ‘something’ more than the idiot that allowed you to take it). Now, the crucial thing is to pick your victim carefully.
First of all, you don’t want to make it too easy for the cops, the private investigator and the receptionist who solves crimes in her free time. So it’s best to pick complete strangers. After all, every crime fighting wannabe knows that the family and friends are usually the ones guilty of the crime.
Yes, complete strangers require more patience, as you need to study them beforehand to make sure you can anticipate their actions and you know their routines. Yes, you need to be careful during the time you’re watching them because somebody can notice you (avoid old ladies, kids and pet owners; they always see things they aren’t supposed to) and will be more than happy to provide a description of you or your car. But! It will be that much harder to point a finger at you. Give it some thought.
Once you have a victim you need to do some actual planning and decide what kind of perfect crime you want to commit. As that choice will impact all your later actions, I suggest you write down pros and cons and decide what works best for you this time (because once you start getting away with things, it’s very hard to stop).
There are two types of Perfect Crime: the Not-Guilty One and the Never-Been-There One. I wouldn’t recommend the Not-Guilty, as the whole point is being a suspect but not getting charged with the crime, or being found not guilty by the jury. It’s risky and it leaves your fate in the hands of twelve idiots. It’s for the criminal masterminds who have years of experience under their belt.
There is also the good old Frame-Up Job, but nowadays there’s always somebody who decides to believe the idiot you framed. And they take it upon themselves to right the wrong and they get their ex-boyfriends involved (you know, those annoying ones who work in law enforcement) and change a nice clean frame-up into one huge mess. Take my word for it, it’s not worth it. So I’m just going to ignore that one.
The Never-Been-There type of crime is the most popular one, and to be honest, the one that works best.
You commit a crime and leave little to no evidence that could lead the cops to you. Obviously, you wear gloves. I recommend thick latex gloves. Leather gloves leave prints that can be matched once the police recover the glove and the regular latex gloves are thin enough to actually leave fingerprints on the scene. You wear a hat, because any hair you leave behind can point the investigation in the direction you wouldn’t like.
And for the love of God, don’t plant yourself in the investigation. Don’t try to pose as a witness or a friend of the family. It’s best not to interact with anyone even remotely connected to the crime. If you really need to know what’s going on with a case try to befriend the lead detective or a CSI in a diner or some place equally safe. Be friendly, helpful and appear not interested in the case at all.
What you really need to work on is actually stopping. Most serial killers, thieves, gamblers and other professional criminals are caught because they don’t know when to stop. Each new crime and each new crime scene gives the cops the opportunity to see patterns, gather evidence. Be smarter than that. Move around, don’t commit crimes in your immediate location, and change your MO to avoid patterns. And avoid pissing off retired FBI agents.
That said, given that everybody’s a crime fighter nowadays, you’ll probably get found out by some 21 year old psychology major after you steal her table at the local coffee shop. It’s difficult to be a villain.