History Main / ConfessToALesserCrime

15th Feb '17 12:32:59 PM MBI
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* On ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'', Eli and Van Alden are caught trying to steal Capone's ledgers to give to the FBI; the only plausible cover they can come up with is that they were trying to steal Capone's money. (This is still a "lesser" crime but not by much; Capone eventually sees through the lie but it's questionable whether they would have survived even if he hadn't.)
9th Feb '17 10:35:33 AM ShinyCottonCandy
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** In ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'', the true killer of case 2 admits to trespassing, burglary and property damage when they say they [[spoiler:broke into the murder victim's office too try and steal a medical chart]]. By that time she had already admitted [[spoiler:she only married a mob boss's son for his money, and that the chart she was trying to get proved she knew said boss's son's life was in major danger, thus she was trying to protect her life]]. She also later in the case admits [[spoiler: that she threatened someone with a gun]]. She does all this because if she did not admit to any of these smaller crimes, then it would mean she was guilty of a much bigger crime: murder.

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** In ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'', the true killer of case 2 admits to trespassing, burglary and property damage when they say they [[spoiler:broke into the murder victim's office too to try and steal a medical chart]]. By that time she had already admitted [[spoiler:she only married a mob boss's son for his money, and that the chart she was trying to get proved she knew said boss's son's life was in major danger, thus she was trying to protect her life]]. She also later in the case admits [[spoiler: that she threatened someone with a gun]]. She does all this because if she did not admit to any of these smaller crimes, then it would mean she was guilty of a much bigger crime: murder.
27th Dec '16 11:28:43 AM StarSword
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* ''Series/BreakingBad'': The seemingly-docile Walter White, unbeknownst to his family, is actually in the business of producing and selling crystal meth with Jesse Pinkman, a former high school student of his, in order to secure his family's financial security after he has been diagnosed with cancer. Jesse is now a drug dealer who cooked crystal meth with friends before Walt, once a promising chemist and currently a high school chemistry teacher, recruits him and develops a far superior formula of crystal meth. In the first season, Skyler confronts Walt about his odd behavior and why he is consorting with a drug dealer. Walt "confesses" that he's been buying marijuana from Jesse.
--> '''Jesse:''' "And why'd you go and tell her I was selling you weed?"
--> '''Walt:''' "Because somehow it seemed preferable to admitting that I cook crystal meth and killed a man."

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* ''Series/BreakingBad'': ''Series/BreakingBad'':
**
The seemingly-docile Walter White, unbeknownst to his family, is actually in the business of producing and selling crystal meth with Jesse Pinkman, a former high school student of his, in order to secure his family's financial security after he has been diagnosed with cancer. Jesse is now a drug dealer who cooked crystal meth with friends before Walt, once a promising chemist and currently a high school chemistry teacher, recruits him and develops a far superior formula of crystal meth. In the first season, Skyler confronts Walt about his odd behavior and why he is consorting with a drug dealer. Walt "confesses" that he's been buying marijuana from Jesse.
--> ---> '''Jesse:''' "And And why'd you go and tell her I was selling you weed?"
-->
weed?\\
'''Walt:''' "Because Because somehow it seemed preferable to admitting that I cook crystal meth and killed a man."



* When [[Series/TheSopranos Tony Soprano]] is asked point-blank by his daughter whether he's a Mafia boss, he denies it, but then grudgingly admits that his business does include some illegal gambling.
* On ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine,'' Odo first met [[spoiler:Major Kira]] when investigating her for the murder of a Bajoran shopkeeper. Eventually she is forced to give her alibi: She could not have committed the crime because she is actually a Bajoran terrorist and was busy planting a bomb on a different part of the station at the time. It is not until years later that Odo discovers the truth: She actually did murder the man, who was a Cardassian collaborator; the bomb was set by an associate. (This is playing with the trope a bit, as planting the bomb is actually the *more* serious crime, but it is also not the one Odo is investigating; he could still turn her in, but she plays on his sympathies to convince him not to.)

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* ''Series/TheSopranos'': When [[Series/TheSopranos Tony Soprano]] Soprano is asked point-blank by his daughter whether he's a Mafia boss, he denies it, but then grudgingly admits that his business does include some illegal gambling.
* On ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine,'' ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
**
Odo first met [[spoiler:Major Kira]] when investigating her for the murder of a Bajoran shopkeeper. Eventually she is forced to give her alibi: She could not have committed the crime because she is actually a Bajoran terrorist member of LaResistance and was busy planting a bomb on a different part of the station at the time. It is not until years later that Odo discovers the truth: She actually did murder the man, who was a Cardassian collaborator; the bomb was set by an associate. (This is playing with the trope a bit, as planting the bomb is actually the *more* ''more'' serious crime, but it is also not the one Odo is investigating; he investigating. He could still turn her in, but she plays on his sympathies to convince him not to.)



* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'': When finally confronted about his mysterious disappearances at night by his girlfriend, he told the truth. She accused him of doing drugs and he admitted to having an addiction. He does have an addiction - just to murder, not drugs.
** This all came to light when Dexter admitted to knocking out her ex and injecting him with heroin in order to protect her and her kids. She immediately latched onto the fact that he knows how to cook heroin.

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* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'': When finally confronted about his mysterious disappearances at night by his girlfriend, he told the truth. She accused him of doing drugs and he admitted to having an addiction. He does have an addiction - just to murder, not drugs.
**
drugs. This all came to light when Dexter admitted to knocking out her ex and injecting him with heroin in order to protect her and her kids. She immediately latched onto the fact that he knows how to cook heroin.



* Frequently used in ''Series/BurnNotice'' to maintain cover identities. In one memorable case, a drug dealer finds out Michael has been making phone calls to his would-be girlfriend (who's an undercover cop). The dealer assumes they're sleeping together and plans to kill her, until Michael "confesses" that he was asking around about the man because he wanted to do business with him. Thus confessing a minor violation of privacy to cover up a secret relationship which was itself a lie to cover up her being a cop.

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* Frequently used in ''Series/BurnNotice'' to maintain cover identities. In one memorable case, a drug dealer finds out Michael has been making phone calls to his would-be girlfriend (who's an undercover cop).DEA agent). The dealer assumes they're sleeping together and plans to kill her, until Michael "confesses" that he was asking around about the man because he wanted to do business with him. Thus confessing a minor violation of privacy to cover up a secret relationship SecretRelationship which was itself a lie to cover up her being a cop.



* On one episode of ''Series/{{Bones}}'', they've got the suspect, but he isn't talking. Until Sweet figures out that he also committed the rape they uncovered during their murder investigation. Booth tells Sweet that even if the suspect were to confess right then and there, ''they'' wouldn't be able to charge him with both crimes. So the perp, seeing his way out admits to the rape, and is promptly told he just confessed to murder. When the perp calls them out on lying, it's pointed out to him that the FBI can only charge him with the murder, [[ExactWords the rape falls to a different juristiction]].
-->'''Booth:''' "DC Police will charge you for that."

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* On one episode of ''Series/{{Bones}}'', they've got the suspect, but he isn't talking. Until Sweet figures out that he also committed the rape they uncovered during their murder investigation. Booth tells Sweet that even if the suspect were to confess right then and there, ''they'' wouldn't be able to charge him with both crimes. So the perp, seeing his way out admits to the rape, and is promptly told he just confessed to murder. When the perp calls them out on lying, it's pointed out to him that the FBI can only charge him with the murder, [[ExactWords the rape falls to a different juristiction]].
jurisdiction]].
-->'''Booth:''' "DC DC Police will charge you for that."



* A memorable incident in ''Series/{{Castle}}'' where a suspect alibis out on account of he was having sex with the victim's wife at the time.

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* A memorable incident in ''Series/{{Castle}}'' where a suspect alibis out on account of he was having sex with the victim's wife at the time. (Technically adultery isn't a crime in the United States, but it's still normally a ''motive'' for murder rather than an alibi.)



* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': The first-season episode "[[Recap/BattlestarGalactica2003S01E06Litmus Litmus]]" ends with a ''Galactica'' enlisted man confessing to criminal negligence in a Cylon suicide-bombing on ''Galactica''. He's dishonorably discharged and imprisoned, but no one is implicated as a Cylon collaborator, which was what the tribunal was after. Tyrol comes clean to Commander Adama that the crewman was ''really'' covering for him and Boomer, who were continuing their SecretRelationship against direct orders from Colonel Tigh, but Adama lets the verdict stand: the crewman is now provably guilty of ''perjury'', and forcing Tyrol to go back to work knowing an innocent man ruined his career for him is [[CruelMercy punishment enough]]. Tyrol and Boomer have a nasty breakup immediately afterwards.






23rd Nov '16 8:59:49 PM cherrychels
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* ''Series/BreakingBad'': The seemingly-docile Walt, unbeknownst to his family, is actually in the business of cooking crystal meth with Jesse, a loud and crude drug dealer. In the first season, Skyler confronts Walt about his odd behavior and consorting with a drug dealer. He "confesses" that he's been buying marijuana from Jesse.

to:

* ''Series/BreakingBad'': The seemingly-docile Walt, Walter White, unbeknownst to his family, is actually in the business of cooking producing and selling crystal meth with Jesse, Jesse Pinkman, a loud and crude former high school student of his, in order to secure his family's financial security after he has been diagnosed with cancer. Jesse is now a drug dealer. dealer who cooked crystal meth with friends before Walt, once a promising chemist and currently a high school chemistry teacher, recruits him and develops a far superior formula of crystal meth. In the first season, Skyler confronts Walt about his odd behavior and why he is consorting with a drug dealer. He Walt "confesses" that he's been buying marijuana from Jesse.



* In ''Series/GameOfThrones'', when Ned Stark returned from Robert's Rebellion he had to explain the presence of the baby boy he was bringing back to Winterfell with him ''somehow''. [[EmbarrassingCoverUp He claimed that he had a one-night stand and fathered a bastard]], [[YourCheatingHeart betraying his marriage to Catelyn]]. This understandably put a strain on his marriage, and led to Cat resenting poor Jon Snow his entire life. Jon also had to put up with being placed at a distance from the other Stark children, to the point of being seated at a different table during feasts. As sad as the whole situation was, it was far preferable to revealing the truth: [[spoiler:Jon is Ned's ''nephew'', not his son. Jon is the son of Ned's sister Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, making him the last known male Targaryen in Westeros. The dying Lyanna made Ned promise to hide him from Robert (who would have killed Jon due to his hatred of Rhaegar and the other Targaryens); a promise Ned kept for the rest of his life. Ned pretended to be an unfaithful spouse to hide that he was essentially committing treason against Robert.]]

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* In ''Series/GameOfThrones'', when Ned Stark returned returns home from Robert's Rebellion he had to explain the presence of the with a baby boy boy, Jon Snow, who he was bringing back to Winterfell with him ''somehow''. [[EmbarrassingCoverUp He claimed presents as his own illegitimate son that he had a one-night stand and fathered a bastard]], with another woman [[YourCheatingHeart betraying while married to his wife, Catelyn]]. Ned raises Jon as his son alongside his trueborn offspring at Winterfell and refuses to talk about Jonís mother, straining his marriage to Catelyn]]. This understandably put a strain on his marriage, Catelyn and led leading to Cat resenting poor Jon Snow his entire life. Jon also had to put up with being placed at a distance from the other Stark children, to the point of being seated at a different table during feasts. As sad as the whole situation was, it becoming Catelyn's [[TheUnfavorite Unfavorite]]. However, Ned's [[spoiler:cover story]] was far preferable to revealing the truth: [[spoiler:Jon [[spoiler: Jon is Ned's ''nephew'', nephew, not his illegitimate son. Jon is the son of Ned's Nedís sister Lyanna Stark and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, making him who was just slaughtered -- along with most of the last known male Targaryen in Westeros. line (save for a few) -- during Robert's Rebellion. The dying Lyanna made asks Ned promise to hide [[DyingWish keep her son safe.]] Out of love for Lyanna and Jon, Ned spends the rest of his life protecting Jon, raising and loving him as his own son, and claims him as his own illegitimate child to save him from the wrath of Robert (who Baratheon as Robert would have killed Jon if he knew the truth due to his hatred of Rhaegar and the other Targaryens); a promise Targaryens. Ned kept for the rest of his life. Ned pretended pretends to be an unfaithful spouse to hide that spouse, accepting the stain on his honour, while he was essentially actually committing treason against Robert.Robert -- all to protect his sister's only child.]]
20th Oct '16 8:51:17 AM WaxingName
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* ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure'': [[spoiler:Akira]] in Part 4 is given three years for grand theft. This is after committing murder and attempting to kill Joseph Joestar. Granted, explaining the murder would require the judge to know what Stands are (they're InvisibleToNormals). [[spoiler:Akira]] gladly takes the jail time, because the alternative is Josuke and Okuyasu kicking his ass every day for the rest of his life.

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* ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure'': ''Franchise/JojosBizarreAdventure'': [[spoiler:Akira]] in [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureDiamondIsUnbreakable Part 4 4]] is given three years for grand theft. This is after committing murder and attempting to kill Joseph Joestar. Granted, explaining the murder would require the judge to know what Stands are (they're InvisibleToNormals). [[spoiler:Akira]] gladly takes the jail time, because the alternative is Josuke and Okuyasu kicking his ass every day for the rest of his life.
15th Aug '16 8:30:29 AM StarSword
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* In one episode of ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', the team interviews a SmugSnake trust fund brat for the murder of a Marine officer, but the suspect is cleared when a {{paparazzi}} video surfaces of him going into a hotel with a senator's underage daughter at the time of the murder. Ziva promptly arrests him for statutory rape to get him back for being a dickhead.
15th Aug '16 8:07:01 AM BKelly95
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* ConfessToALesserCrime: In "I Shot The Sherrif" the protagonist confesses the murder of the sherrif, but claims he didn't shoot his deputy. Confessing the murder of the official higher in ranking instead of the lower one will no doubt result in a stronger sentence if he is ever caught.

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* ConfessToALesserCrime: In "I Shot The Sherrif" the protagonist confesses the murder of the sherrif, but claims he didn't shoot his deputy. Confessing the murder of the official higher in ranking instead of the lower one will no doubt result in a stronger sentence if he is ever caught.
27th Jul '16 6:09:52 AM JackG
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* ''Series/{{Rome}}''. Evander is kidnapped and tortured by Pullo and Octavian until he confesses to sleeping with Vorenus' wife. Pullo is prepared to kill Evander on the spot, but Octavian stops him, realising that his ready confession is covering for something else. [[spoiler:He's fathered a child by her, who would be killed if Vorenus found out.]]
15th Jul '16 1:23:00 PM Adeon
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** Quark tries to holo-record Major Kira for a holosuite porn program; when he's spotted, he lies that he's putting together a battle simulator with the DS9 crew (still illegal, but less icky). Kira isn't fooled for a moment.

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** Quark tries to holo-record Major Kira for a holosuite porn program; when he's spotted, he lies that he's putting together a battle simulator with the DS9 [=DS9=] crew (still illegal, but less icky). Kira isn't fooled for a moment.
3rd Jul '16 11:08:49 PM M84
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* In ''Series/GameOfThrones'', when Ned Stark returned from Robert's Rebellion he had to explain the presence of the baby boy he was bringing back to Winterfell with him ''somehow''. [[EmbarrassingCoverUp He claimed that he had a one-night stand and fathered a bastard]], [[YourCheatingHeart betraying his marriage to Catelyn]]. This understandably put a strain on his marriage, and led to Cat resenting poor Jon Snow his entire life. Jon also had to put up with being placed at a distance from the other Stark children, to the point of being seated at a different table during feasts. As sad as the whole situation was, it was far preferable to revealing the truth: [[spoiler:Jon is Ned's ''nephew'', not his son. Jon is the son of Ned's sister Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, making him the last known male Targaryen in Westeros. The dying Lyanna made Ned promise to hide him from Robert (who would have killed Jon due to his hatred of Rhaegar and the other Targaryens); a promise Ned kept for the rest of his life.]]

to:

* In ''Series/GameOfThrones'', when Ned Stark returned from Robert's Rebellion he had to explain the presence of the baby boy he was bringing back to Winterfell with him ''somehow''. [[EmbarrassingCoverUp He claimed that he had a one-night stand and fathered a bastard]], [[YourCheatingHeart betraying his marriage to Catelyn]]. This understandably put a strain on his marriage, and led to Cat resenting poor Jon Snow his entire life. Jon also had to put up with being placed at a distance from the other Stark children, to the point of being seated at a different table during feasts. As sad as the whole situation was, it was far preferable to revealing the truth: [[spoiler:Jon is Ned's ''nephew'', not his son. Jon is the son of Ned's sister Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, making him the last known male Targaryen in Westeros. The dying Lyanna made Ned promise to hide him from Robert (who would have killed Jon due to his hatred of Rhaegar and the other Targaryens); a promise Ned kept for the rest of his life. Ned pretended to be an unfaithful spouse to hide that he was essentially committing treason against Robert.]]
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