After revealing“Who Done It,”the the majority of necessary item of the puzzle in a great murder mystery is“Why Done It.”The Antagonist’s reason to commit murder and also hide it have to be creative, make feeling and be ultimately satisfying to your reader. So, it got me thinking:What are some fundamental motives for murder?

Here’s the list I began. Feel cost-free to comment and add to the list.

You are watching: Mystery motive for murder


1.To hide a mystery. This is the most noticeable motive. The Victim stumbles upon the Antagonist’s closely guarded key, and he kills her so she won’t reveal it.

A father, scared of losing his daughter’s love if she ever finds out that she was embraced, murders the child’s biological mom once she all of a sudden reappears in their stays.

2.Greed. The Antagonist desires the victim’s fortune, property or something else of value… and is willing to kill to get his hands on it.

The Femme Fatale murders her rich, old lover via a heart problem after he names her in his last will and also testament.

3.Revenge. The Antagonist wants to even the score for some past wrong doing (which is frequently detailed in the prologue) and the victim pays the price.

The effective computer geek athas a tendency his high institution reunion and also kills the formal famous cheerleader who made fun of him some twenty years agoThe effective computer system geek murders the red-headed dance teacher who looks eerily comparable to that hateful cheerleader that made fun of him in high school

4.Obsession, Frustration & Hate. Have you hugged a sociopath today? This is an excellent possibility to disclose your Antagonist’s prejudices and/or deep-seeded obsessions.

A deeply spiritual mother murders her son’s college professor because of something taught at college.The shy, awkward boy in the earlier of course has actually been sfinishing notes to the popular girl in his Chemistry class. Unfortunately. once she rebukes his advances, he lashes out by killing her.After a lifetime of seething jealousy, the unemployed, divorced, damaged older brother ultimately murders his effective, affluent, happily married through a beautiful residence and also 3 beautiful children, younger brother.

5.Love, Sex & Jealousy. Maybe this should be motive #1. At leastern it appears favor it in genuine life if you watch any of the murder investigation documentaries on cable tv. Does it also require an example? Pick a love triangle and you’ve got a motive.

The Traveling Salesman’s pregnant wife is uncovered dead after he tells his college-aged girlfrifinish won’t finish his marriage.

6.Crime of Passion. Your Antagonist’s anger gets the ideal of him, and he breaks in a fit of rage. Usually, everyone is shocked by his actions, as he appears prefer the last perboy on the planet who’d ever commit such a heinous murder. Often the Antagonist doesn’t remember what taken place, as he was out of his head at the moment.

A father becomes so enraged at his wife for ripping the household acomponent as soon as she tells him that she’s leaving him for her individual trainer that he shoots their two youngsters dead before turning the gun on himself. Neighbors couldn’t believe it; he was such a normal, quiet Family Man.

7.Psychosis & Mental Disorders.The Antagonist is detached from society (perhaps also humanity) and does somepoint unthinkable, primarily for reasons that are simply in his head.

A mother, that believes voices are instructing her to execute bad points, drowns her children

8.To safeguard individual standing. Your Antagonist is very endangered by the Victim’s success, talents or attention, and commits murder to balance the scales.

An incensed, corporate ladder-climber murders her competition for a high-profile, high-paying place.An aging rock star — who is now humiliating diminished to opening act for a brand-new, popular, younger pop star — plots a phase mishap to acquire the young phenom out of the means.

9.To protect a loved one. You would do anything for your children, including murder if someone was hurting one of them. Well, so would your Antagonist. And periodically loved ones moves beyond family members, or also world.

A father kills a teacher that was abutilizing his childAn over-protective mommy murders the high school student who has actually been mercilessly bullying her sonA deer hunter and wildlife enthusiast murders the CEO of logging firm that is decimating his forest.

10.Empathy or Sympathy. The Antagonist doesn’t have malicious intent; in truth, he’s acting (or believes) in the Victim’s finest interemainder. .

The Caregiver provides the ailing, elderly patient a hefty resting potion so she slips quietly amethod in the night.A nursing student helps a dying cancer patient commit suicide so that he can die via dignity.

* * * * * *

JC Gatlin lives in Tampa, Florida. He’s created 2 mystery-suspense novels: The Designated Survivor and Prey of Desire. He additionally maintains a blog about the art of spinning a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat mysteries at


They said the disappearance of two high school students over 25 years back was mystery that couldn"t be addressed.

See more: Nikki Bella Talks Brock Lesnar And Nikki Bella Talks Brock Lesnar Vs

No one ever sassist it shouldn"t be.Following the abrupt finish of a partnership, college student Kimberly Bradford finds comfort in the friendship via her over-the-peak neighbor, Mallory. And, Mallory urges her to get back out there. She would of course if it weren"t for the thrilling bit love notes and also gifts she"s been receiving .Kim thinks they"re from her ex-fiancee, not realizing he"s been murdered. Worse, whoever is sfinishing her all the extra attention is not just in her inner-circle, but has a link to that unaddressed murder some 25 years earlier. That link puts her life in hazard, and exposes keys better left buried roughly her closest friends and also family.