History Main / SerialKillingsSpecificTarget

2nd Oct '17 6:53:38 AM DarkHunter
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* ''Film/MissCongeniality'': This is the BigBad's plan to get away with murdering the winner of the "Miss United States" beauty pageant: they set the whole thing up to look like it was committed by a notorious serial killer calling themselves "The Citizen". Backfires when "The Citizen" is captured by the FBI partway through the film, leaving the villains with nobody to pin their crime on.
21st Sep '17 1:20:29 PM LadyNorbert
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* Done accidentally in an episode of TheSeventies TV series ''Series/ElleryQueen''. [[WhoWouldWantToWatchUs A movie is being filmed based on Ellery]] and the man playing Ellery is killed by [[NotSoFakePropWeapon a gun that was supposed to be filled with blanks]]. Then a little while later - after recasting Ellery - the stunt double is killed in a stunt gone wrong. Is the production cursed? Is someone out to shut it down? It turns out that the stuntman was the target in the first place; he was originally supposed to do the getting shot stunt, but the scene was changed at the last minute, and the killer couldn't switch the guns back before it happened.
* ''Series/{{In the Red}}'' features a serial killer targeting bank managers who turns out to be this trope.
* ''Series/{{CSINY}}'': In "Page Turner", the killer poisons his wife with thalium and then coats a book in the library where she works, knowing that others will be exposed to it. After another two people die, he launches a law suit against the city and the library.

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* Done accidentally in an episode of TheSeventies TV series ''Series/ElleryQueen''. [[WhoWouldWantToWatchUs A movie is being filmed based on Ellery]] Ellery,]] and the man playing Ellery is killed by [[NotSoFakePropWeapon a gun that was supposed to be filled with blanks]]. Then a little while later - Later, after recasting the role of Ellery - is recast, the stunt double is killed in a stunt gone wrong. Is the production cursed? Is someone out to shut it down? It turns out that the stuntman was the target in the first place; he was originally supposed to do the getting shot stunt, stunt in which he was shot, but the scene was changed at the last minute, and the killer couldn't switch the guns back before it happened.
* ''Series/{{In the Red}}'' ''Series/InTheRed'' features a serial killer targeting bank managers who turns out to be this trope.
* ''Series/{{CSINY}}'': In "Page Turner", Turner," the killer poisons his wife with thalium thallium and then coats a book in the library where she works, knowing that others will be exposed to it. After another two people die, he launches a law suit lawsuit against the city and the library.



* ''Series/{{Alcatraz}}'': Cobb is a variartion on this. He is a serial killer, but at each kill he shoots a number of random people as 'noise' to mask his true choice of target.

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* ''Series/{{Alcatraz}}'': Cobb is a variartion variation on this. He is a serial killer, but at each kill he shoots a number of random people as 'noise' to mask his true choice of target.



* In the ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'' episode "Poison", Trudy Pomeranski uses poisoned [=OTC=] painkillers to murder her husband and slips the extras onto store shelves to allay suspicion and set up a lucrative class action lawsuit.
* In ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' there was one man who killed his wife and then killed another woman for this exact reason. However, it doesn't fool the detectives, as they note that the second killing was cold and detached, whereas the original victim died brutally, showing that the murderer had a lot of genuine rage towards the first one but didn't care at all about the second.

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* ''Franchise/LawAndOrder'' sometimes has these:
**
In the ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'' episode "Poison", Trudy Pomeranski uses poisoned [=OTC=] painkillers to murder her husband and slips the extras onto store shelves to allay suspicion and set up a lucrative class action lawsuit.
* In ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' there
lawsuit. This episode was one inspired by the Tylenol murders.
** In an episode of ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit,'' a
man who killed his wife and then killed another woman for this exact reason. However, it doesn't fool the detectives, as they note that the second killing was cold and detached, whereas the original victim died brutally, showing that the murderer had a lot of genuine rage towards the first one but didn't care at all about the second.



* In an episode of ''Series/WalkerTexasRanger'' dealt with a man and woman hitman pair who covered up their targets by killing 7 other random people alongside their target. Their current target being ADA Alex Cahill.
* ''Series/ScreamQueens2015'': In one episode, Dean Munsch's ex-husband is brutally murdered, and the evidence ultimately points to his current girlfriend, who ends up institutionalized. We find out at the end of the episode, however, that the Dean herself did it, taking advantage of the Red Devil killings as a cover, all so that she could get revenge on her ex and the co-ed he left her for.
** Bizarrely, the other murders seemed to be completely irrelevant. Munsch got away with it, but no one seems to seriously believe that Feather is the Red Devil.

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* In an episode of ''Series/WalkerTexasRanger'' dealt with a man and woman hitman pair who covered up their targets by killing 7 other random people alongside their target. Their current target being is ADA Alex Cahill.
* ''Series/ScreamQueens2015'': In one episode, Dean Munsch's ex-husband is brutally murdered, and the evidence ultimately points to his current girlfriend, who ends up institutionalized. We find out at the end of the episode, however, that the Dean herself did it, taking advantage of the Red Devil killings as a cover, all so that she could get revenge on her ex and the co-ed student for whom he left her for.
her.
** Bizarrely, the other murders seemed to be completely irrelevant. Munsch got gets away with it, but no one seems to seriously believe that Feather is the Red Devil.



* Mark Hofmann, the forger who was in danger of having his epic scam of the Mormons come to light, did an interesting variation. In order to provide an excuse why a promised collection of documents (which he hadn't yet forged) wasn't available, he killed a local document collector with a bomb, then a woman connected to the first victim, then blew up his own car in an apparent failed attempted murder. He was his own specific victim, the goal was to portray himself as a lucky survivor of a serial bomber/killer and give him an excuse to lay low and not have to provide the documents.
* Another (cruel and stupid) variation: [[http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20099360,00.html in 1986]], Auburn, WA resident Stella Nickell had successfully killed her husband by poisoning his headache pills with cyanide. The coroner's report didn't mention any poison and listed his cause of death as emphysema, meaning she had gotten away scott free... until she got her husband's life insurance payout and noticed it was $106,000 less than she expected because the insurance company hadn't ruled her husband's death as being an accident. So she decided to try to reverse the decision by leaving her poisoned bottle in a store (resulting in the death of one other person) hoping the media would interpret it as another Tylenol-esque mass poisoning. Unfortunately for her, the greater scrutiny placed on this caused her to get caught.
* In 2001, Rosa Lewis filed for divorce from her husband William Charles Lewis. He was enraged, but much like the "Muhammad" example above, knew that the police would immediately focus on him if anything would happen to her. To that end, over several weeks, he randomly gunned down four other people--one of whom was one of her co-workers--leaving notes with the name "Jack" printed on them, culminating in shooting his wife herself. His efforts failed when (a) His wife survived, (b) While in the hospital, a friend of hers came to the police with a letter she had given him, explicitly stating that if anything happened to her, that her ex-husband was likely the one responsible, (c) When the cops came to inform him of his wife's shooting, his IncriminatingIndifference made them suspicious, as well as the presence of paper and the type of pen similar to what was used to write the "Jack" notes.

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* Mark Hofmann, the forger who was in danger of having his epic scam of the Mormons come to light, did an interesting variation. In order to provide an excuse why a promised collection of documents (which he hadn't yet forged) wasn't available, he killed a local document collector with a bomb, then a woman connected to the first victim, then blew up his own car in an apparent failed attempted murder. He was his own specific victim, the goal was being to portray himself as a lucky survivor of a serial bomber/killer and give him an excuse to lay low and not have to provide the documents.
* Another (cruel and stupid) variation: [[http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20099360,00.html in 1986]], Auburn, WA resident Stella Nickell had successfully killed her husband by poisoning his headache pills with cyanide. The coroner's report didn't mention any poison and listed his cause of death as emphysema, meaning she had gotten away scott free...scot-free... until she got her husband's life insurance payout and noticed it was $106,000 less than she expected because the insurance company hadn't ruled her husband's death as being an accident. So she decided to try to reverse the decision by leaving her poisoned bottle in a store (resulting in the death of one other person) hoping the media would interpret it as another Tylenol-esque mass poisoning. Unfortunately for her, the greater scrutiny placed on this caused her to get caught.
* In 2001, Rosa Lewis filed for divorce from her husband William Charles Lewis. He was enraged, but much like the "Muhammad" example above, knew that the police would immediately focus on him if anything would happen to her. To that end, over several weeks, he randomly gunned down four other people--one of whom was one of her co-workers--leaving notes with the name "Jack" printed on them, culminating in shooting his wife herself. His efforts failed when (a) His his wife survived, survived; (b) While while in the hospital, a friend of hers came to the police with a letter she had given him, explicitly stating that if anything happened to her, that her ex-husband was likely the one responsible, responsible; and (c) When when the cops came to inform him of his wife's shooting, his IncriminatingIndifference made them suspicious, as well as the presence of paper and the type of pen similar to what was used to write the "Jack" notes.
11th Aug '17 10:06:00 PM DrOO7
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* In 2001, Rosa Lewis filed for divorce from her husband William Charles Lewis. He was enraged, but much like the "Muhammad" example above, knew that the police would immediately focus on him if anything would happen to her. To that end, over several weeks, he randomly gunned down four other people--one of whom was one of her co-workers--leaving notes with the name "Jack" printed on them, culminating in shooting his wife herself. His efforts failed when (a) His wife survived, (b) While in the hospital, a friend of hers came to the police with a letter she had given him, explicitly stating that if anything happened to her, that her ex-husband was likely the one responsible, (c) When the cops came to inform him of his wife's shooting, his IncriminatingIndifference made them suspicious, as well as the presence of paper and the type of pen similar to what was used to write the "Jack" notes.
19th Jul '17 8:14:49 PM ImperialMajestyXO
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* It has been theorized that John Muhammad, the DC Beltway Sniper who randomly shot and killed 11 people and wounded six more, was eventually going to kill his ex-wife, knowing that the police would not automatically look at an ex-husband as a suspect if they thought she was just a random victim.

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* It has been theorized that [[GunmanWithThreeNames John Muhammad, Allen Muhammad]], the DC Beltway Sniper who randomly shot and killed 11 people and wounded six more, was eventually going to kill his ex-wife, knowing that the police would not automatically look at an ex-husband as a suspect if they thought she was just a random victim.
18th May '17 12:46:45 PM Dark_Lord_
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* The story of the ''Blood and Wine'' expansion of ''VideoGame/TheWitcher3'' starts with a string of murders of prominent knights of the Duchy of Toussaint, with the murderer's motive seemingly to punish these knights for failing to live up to one of the five Knightly Virtues of Honor, Valor, Generosity, wisdom and Compassion. If you decide to investigate further, you'll discover that the final target was Duchess Anna Henrietta. It turns out that [[spoiler: her sister Sylvia Anna was planning to kill Anna Henrietta to take vengeance for a tragic event during her childhood, which led to Sylvia's banishment.]] The murders of the previous victims were purposefully connected to the Five Knightly Virtues so people would assume these to be divine punishments and also assume the death of Anna Henrietta to be one, allowing[[spoiler: Sylvia Anna]] to be free of suspicion.
[[/folder]]
2nd Apr '17 10:57:16 PM foxley
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* ''Literature/JoePickett'': An inadvertent version occurs in ''Blood Trail''. The authorities think there is a serial killer targeting hunters. However, the killer is actually after five specific men who happen to be hunters.



* ''Series/JoePickett'': An inadvertent version occurs in ''Blood Trail''. The authorities think there is a serial killer targeting hunters. However, the killer is actually after five specific men who happen to be hunters.
2nd Apr '17 4:59:30 PM CL
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* A case in ''Series/TheGoodWife'' involved a man who had seemingly murdered his ex-wife by shooting her before committing a series of similar sniper attacks against other women (and one man) in order to deflect suspicion away from himself and make it look like his ex was simply the victim of a serial killer. But then it turns out that he didn't kill his ex or anyone else, and that there ''really'' is a serial killer, one with a pattern (he met all of the female victims through dating websites, so they all had the same astrological sign) and everything. Investigators had failed to discern this earlier because of how wholeheartedly convinced they were that the prime suspect did it, and because the male victim (who the killer had accidentally shot while aiming at someone else) threw them off.
16th Jan '17 6:47:14 PM PaulA
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* A variant is done in the 1944 SherlockHolmes film ''The Pearl of Death'': bad guys are looking for a pearl which was hidden in one of six china busts of Napoleon. They track down the owners of the busts and hire the Creeper to kill them, and then break open the bust to see if it's the right one. To cover their tracks, the Creeper breaks all of the victim's china, to disguise the fact that they're only really interested in the Napoleon busts.

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* A variant is done in the 1944 SherlockHolmes Franchise/SherlockHolmes film ''The Pearl of Death'': bad ''Film/ThePearlOfDeath'': Bad guys are looking for a pearl which was hidden in one of six china busts of Napoleon. They track down the owners of the busts and hire the Creeper to kill them, and then break open the bust to see if it's the right one. To cover their tracks, the Creeper breaks all of the victim's china, to disguise the fact that they're only really interested in the Napoleon busts.
13th Dec '16 6:38:50 PM PaulA
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* The Creator/DavidEddings novel ''Regina's Song'' has the killer butchering about two dozen sexual predators in the Seattle area. Although in this case the reason for killing so many of them wasn't to cover up the specific target, it was because Renata didn't know where to find the specific sexual predator who raped and murdered her twin sister, and so just went trolling for rapists until she found the one she was looking for. It is implied that she would have stopped killing after that point even if she hadn't been caught afterwords.
10th Dec '16 8:57:46 AM benda
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* One of the earliest examples (though the disguise is a military battle rather than a serial killing) is "The Sign of the Broken Sword" (1911) by Creator/GKChesterton, featuring Literature/FatherBrown. In his own words:

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* One of the earliest examples (though the disguise is a an intentionally provoked military battle rather than a serial killing) is "The Sign of the Broken Sword" (1911) by Creator/GKChesterton, featuring Literature/FatherBrown. In his own words:
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