History Main / FingerInTheMail

1st Apr '17 1:21:24 PM jamespolk
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* The Literature/ErastFandorin book ''The Coronation'' includes a subversion of the ransom demand variation; the hostage was killed immediately after the finger was cut off as part of the villain's EvilPlan.

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* The Literature/ErastFandorin book ''The Coronation'' series:
** In ''Literature/TheCoronation''
includes a subversion of the ransom demand variation; the hostage was killed immediately after the finger was cut off as part of the villain's EvilPlan.EvilPlan.
** In ''[[Literature/SpecialAssignments The Decorator]]'' Fandorin, who is hunting a SerialKiller, gets a severed ear in the mail. It turns out to be a prank.



* An eponymous example in Ghislain Taschereau's french novel ''Inspector Spector and the Dead Finger'' where the BigBad gets the inspector involved by leaving a dead severed finger on top of a mailbox for no apparent reason. Fortunately, the inspector has a secret weapon: he [[DealWithTheDevil sold his soul to the Devil]] to be [[SacrificedBasicSkillForAwesomeTraining the world's greatest detective.]]

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* An eponymous example in Ghislain Taschereau's french French novel ''Inspector Spector and the Dead Finger'' where the BigBad gets the inspector involved by leaving a dead severed finger on top of a mailbox for no apparent reason. Fortunately, the inspector has a secret weapon: he [[DealWithTheDevil sold his soul to the Devil]] to be [[SacrificedBasicSkillForAwesomeTraining the world's greatest detective.]]
19th Mar '17 2:24:41 PM Cifer
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* ''Series/{{Elementary}}'': In "Ears to You", the husband of a woman who disappeared four years earlier recieves a pair of ears in the mail.

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* ''Series/{{Elementary}}'': In "Ears to You", the husband of a woman who disappeared four years earlier recieves receives a pair of ears in the mail.mail. [[spoiler:It turns out that the woman still lives ''and'' still has both her ears, despite them being a genetic and optical match for her. She staged her own disappearance/abduction and her accomplice is a surgeon who grafted a cartilage ear framework onto her back and later harvested it when the skin had properly grown in, thus providing her with suitably grisly mementos to mail for another ransom demand.]]
17th Jan '17 11:25:09 AM SeanMurrayI
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* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Ramsay sends Theon's "[[GroinAttack favorite toy]]" to his family in a box made of his breastplate with the promise that more pieces will follow if they don't withdraw their forces.
16th Jan '17 1:57:28 PM gb00393
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Ramsay sends Theon's "[[GroinAttack favorite toy]]" to his family in a box made of his breastplate with the promise that more pieces will follow if they don't withdraw their forces.
13th Dec '16 11:44:51 PM PaulA
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* In ''[[Literature/{{Elenium}} The Tamuli]]'', instructions to Sparhawk from Ehlana's kidnappers include a lock of her hair as verification.

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* In ''[[Literature/{{Elenium}} The Tamuli]]'', ''Literature/TheTamuli'', instructions to Sparhawk from Ehlana's kidnappers include a lock of her hair as verification.
13th Dec '16 1:11:23 PM HiddenWindshield
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** Parodied in the printed precursor comic, when Helix is kidnapped. Since he's a ''robot'', his compatriots just reassemble him as the parts arrive in the mail. The last thing to arrive is his head. He then comments on his "rescue".

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** Parodied in the printed precursor comic, when Helix is kidnapped. Since he's a ''robot'', his compatriots just reassemble him as the parts arrive in the mail. The last thing to arrive is his head. [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/zu/ffkidnap.gif He then comments on his "rescue"."rescue"]].
9th Sep '16 10:53:49 AM SeanMurrayI
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** In another episode, when the Simpsons find Mr. Burns's beloved teddy bear from his childhood, Marge notes an eye is falling off and offers to sew it back on. Lisa and Homer suggest they send Burns the eye.

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** In another episode, when the Simpsons find Mr. Burns's beloved teddy bear from his childhood, Marge notes an eye is falling off and offers to sew it back on. Lisa and Homer suggest they send Burns the eye.one of its eyes.
8th Sep '16 4:19:29 PM maxwellsilver
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In other circumstances, the situation can involve a SerialKiller mailing more [[{{Squick}} gruesome]] body parts (typically internal organs or severed heads) from recent victims to either taunt the police/detectives tailing him and prove to them that they are receiving correspondence from the suspect they are after or to convey the gruesome fate to a loved one of the victim.

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In other circumstances, the situation can involve a SerialKiller mailing more [[{{Squick}} gruesome]] gruesome body parts (typically internal organs or severed heads) from recent victims to either taunt the police/detectives tailing him and prove to them that they are receiving correspondence from the suspect they are after or to convey the gruesome fate to a loved one of the victim.



* ''TWesternAnimation/heDaltons'' parodies this trope. The Daltons kidnap Rantanplan as part of their escape plan and...cut some fur from his head and send it to the director. The guards and Miss Betty ''scream''. [[Main/LampshadeHanging The director tells them that it's just fur]].

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* ''TWesternAnimation/heDaltons'' ''WesternAnimation/TheDaltons'' parodies this trope. The Daltons kidnap Rantanplan as part of their escape plan and...cut some fur from his head and send it to the director. The guards and Miss Betty ''scream''. [[Main/LampshadeHanging The director tells them that it's just fur]].fur.
8th Sep '16 4:16:19 PM maxwellsilver
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* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Pranksta Rap", Bart pretends to be kidnapped and makes a call to the rest of the family while posing as the kidnapper. Homer immediately demands that the kidnapper send body parts to prove that he really has Bart. Marge objects.
** In another episode, when the Simpsons find Mr. Burns's beloved teddy bear from his childhood, Bart suggests they send Burns one of its eyes.
--> '''Bart:''' He'll pay more money if he thinks the bear's in danger.
** A disturbing example is discussed in "Homer Goes to Prep School" where Homer flatly says that he wouldn't pay ransom for Bart in the event of his son being kidnapped and would likely feed an ear cut off Bart to the dog. Even more disturbingly, Bart is fine with this, aside from telling his father that the dog wouldn't eat his ear unless it was wrapped in cheese.

to:

* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
**
"Pranksta Rap", Bart pretends to be kidnapped and makes a call to the rest of the family while posing as the kidnapper. Homer immediately demands that the kidnapper send body parts to prove that he really has Bart. Marge objects.
** In another episode, when the Simpsons find Mr. Burns's beloved teddy bear from his childhood, Bart suggests Marge notes an eye is falling off and offers to sew it back on. Lisa and Homer suggest they send Burns one of its eyes.
--> '''Bart:'''
the eye.
---> '''Lisa:'''
He'll pay more money if he thinks the bear's in danger.
--->'''Homer:''' Yes. Send him the eye.
** A disturbing example is discussed in "Homer Goes to Prep School" where Homer flatly says that he wouldn't pay a ransom for Bart in the event of his son being kidnapped and would likely feed an ear cut off Bart to the dog. Even more disturbingly, Bart is fine with this, aside from telling his father that the dog wouldn't eat his ear unless it was wrapped in cheese.



* In the ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' episode "Wheels and the Legman and the Case of Grandpa's Key", Steve and Roger apparently get one of Stan's fingers in the mail. [[spoiler: Subverted; it turned out it was a ruse by Stan and that the "finger" was really a mozarella stick with the crumbs licked off.]]
* ''TheDaltons'' parodies this trope. The Daltons kidnap Rantanplan as part of their escape plan and...cut some fur from his head and send it to the director. The guards and Miss Betty ''scream''. [[Main/LampshadeHanging The director tells them that it's just fur]].

to:

* In the ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' episode "Wheels and the Legman and the Case of Grandpa's Key", Steve and Roger apparently get one of Stan's fingers in the mail. [[spoiler: Subverted; it turned out it was a ruse by Stan and that the "finger" was really a mozarella mozzarella stick with the crumbs licked off.]]
* ''TheDaltons'' ''TWesternAnimation/heDaltons'' parodies this trope. The Daltons kidnap Rantanplan as part of their escape plan and...cut some fur from his head and send it to the director. The guards and Miss Betty ''scream''. [[Main/LampshadeHanging The director tells them that it's just fur]].



* In 1978 Belgian billionaire son Édouard Empain was kidnapped. The abducters cut off a piece of his pinky finger and send it by mail to invoke pressure on the family.
* UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper may have sent half a human kidney to the head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, George Lusk. The letter sent with it alleged that the kidney had come from the body of Catherine Eddowes (the Ripper's fourth victim); [[IAmAHumanitarian the other half, the letter alleged, he had fried and eaten.]]
* Tsutomu Miyazaki, the infamous Otaku Killer who murdered several young girls ([[GollumMadeMeDoIt and blamed it on a side of his personality he called "the Rat Man"]]) sent a box containing the ground-up bones of one of his victims to her parents, as well as several of her teeth.

to:

* In 1978 Belgian billionaire son Édouard Empain was kidnapped. The abducters abductors cut off a piece of his pinky finger and send it by mail to invoke pressure on the family.
* UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper may have sent half a human kidney to the head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, George Lusk. The letter sent with it alleged that the kidney had come from the body of Catherine Eddowes (the Ripper's fourth victim); [[IAmAHumanitarian the other half, the letter alleged, he had fried and eaten.]]
eaten.
* Tsutomu Miyazaki, the infamous Otaku Killer who murdered several young girls ([[GollumMadeMeDoIt and (and blamed it on a side of his personality he called "the Rat Man"]]) Man") sent a box containing the ground-up bones of one of his victims to her parents, as well as several of her teeth.
24th Jul '16 6:40:21 AM SeanMurrayI
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* An ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' investigation got started when a pair of eyeballs, mailed as a threat, was unwittingly sent to an address where the intended recipient wasn't even living anymore.
** The drug lords who take Gibbs hostage give him Mike Franks finger, clearly wanting him to think Franks is dead. In a subversion, he isn't.

to:

* An ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' ''Series/{{NCIS}}'':
** One
investigation got started began when a pair of eyeballs, mailed as a threat, was unwittingly sent to an address where the intended recipient wasn't even living anymore.
** The drug lords who take Gibbs hostage give him Mike Franks Franks' finger, clearly wanting him to think Franks is dead. In a subversion, he isn't.



* Parodied on the ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' skit "Happy Smile Patrol", when a white supremacist gang takes a church group hostage. The news reports states "without making any demands, have begun sending fingers and ears to authorities."



* On ''Series/WithoutATrace'' after a man is kidnapped and his wife tries to deliver the ransom, she comes back with his severed finger, claiming the kidnappers want more money and cut his finger off to demonstrate how serious they are. It turns out the ''wife'' engineered the whole thing and told the kidnappers to do it to make the story more plausible.


Added DiffLines:

* Parodied in the ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' skit "Happy Smile Patrol." When a white supremacist gang takes a church group hostage, the news reports states that, without making any demands, they've "begun sending fingers and ears to authorities."
* On ''Series/WithoutATrace'' after a man is kidnapped and his wife tries to deliver the ransom, she comes back with his severed finger, claiming the kidnappers want more money and cut his finger off to demonstrate how serious they are. It turns out the ''wife'' engineered the whole thing and told the kidnappers to do it to make the story more plausible.
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