History Main / TheKillerWasLeftHanded

3rd May '16 12:43:06 PM VanHohenheimOfXerxes
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Although it was once a common tool in detection (for example, several scholars believe that the search for UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper was stymied by the ultimately unfounded belief that The Killer Was Left-Handed), this trope is discredited in RealLife. "Non-secretor" status may be the next generation of this trope, although it's more commonly seen in novels. About ten percent of people do not have antigens in bodily fluids other than blood, so sweat, saliva, semen, etc., cannot be used for blood type comparison purposes.

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Although it was once a common tool in detection (for example, several scholars believe that the search for UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper was stymied by the ultimately unfounded belief that The Killer Was Left-Handed), this trope is discredited in RealLife. "Non-secretor" status may be the next generation of this trope, although it's more commonly seen in novels.novels than in other media like TV. About ten percent of people do not have antigens in bodily fluids other than blood, so sweat, saliva, semen, etc., cannot be used for blood type comparison purposes.
3rd May '16 12:42:34 PM VanHohenheimOfXerxes
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This can clear one person and convict another. Even though [[SuspectIsHatless one out of every ten people]] is left-handed (and even though murderers don't necessarily kill with their dominant hand), being left-handed is good enough to make you the prime suspect. This can be justified, though, if there's only one leftie among the suspects. For this reason, if it's discovered early on that TheKillerWasLeftHanded, you can bet that there will be at least two left-handed suspects so as not to conclude the case too early.

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This can clear one person and convict another. Even though [[SuspectIsHatless one out of every ten people]] is left-handed (and even though murderers don't necessarily it's perfectly possible to kill with their dominant someone using your non-dominant hand), being left-handed is good enough to make you the prime suspect. This can be justified, though, if there's only one leftie among of the suspects. suspects is left-handed. For this reason, if it's discovered early on that TheKillerWasLeftHanded, you can bet that there will be at least two left-handed leftie suspects so as not to conclude the case too early.
3rd May '16 12:41:09 PM VanHohenheimOfXerxes
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You can determine many things about the way an injury was inflicted by studying the wound. You can determine the kind of weapon used, and what kind of motion it was making.

In TV, you can also tell the handedness of the wielder. For this to be relevant, the killer must turn out to be left-handed (or the killer's right-handedness will rule out a leftie suspect).

This can clear one suspect, and convict another. But, of course, if the determination comes early in the show, you can bet that there will be at least two lefties connected to the case.

In any case, even though [[SuspectIsHatless one out of every ten people]] is left-handed, being left-handed is good enough to make you the prime suspect. And as any rightie can tell you, sometimes you just use the other hand for killing people.

This trope is discredited in RealLife, though it was once a common tool in detection. Several scholars believe that the search for UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper was stymied by the ultimately unfounded belief that The Killer Was Left-Handed.

"Non-secretor" status may be the next generation of this trope. About 10% of people do not have antigens in bodily fluids other than blood, so sweat, saliva, semen, etc., cannot be used for blood type comparison purposes. This particular variation is currently rare on TV, though it is more common in novels.

A subtrope of ASinisterClue.

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You can determine many things about the way an injury was inflicted by studying the wound. You can determine the kind of weapon used, and what kind of motion it was making.

making. In TV, fiction, you can also tell the handedness of the wielder. For this to be relevant, the killer must turn out to be left-handed (or (which goes [[StealthPun hand-in-hand]] with ASinisterClue), or the killer's right-handedness will must rule out a leftie suspect).

suspect.

This can clear one suspect, person and convict another. But, of course, if the determination comes early in the show, you can bet that there will be at least two lefties connected to the case.

In any case, even
Even though [[SuspectIsHatless one out of every ten people]] is left-handed, left-handed (and even though murderers don't necessarily kill with their dominant hand), being left-handed is good enough to make you the prime suspect. And as any rightie can tell you, sometimes you just use the other hand for killing people.

This trope is discredited in RealLife, though can be justified, though, if there's only one leftie among the suspects. For this reason, if it's discovered early on that TheKillerWasLeftHanded, you can bet that there will be at least two left-handed suspects so as not to conclude the case too early.

Although
it was once a common tool in detection. Several detection (for example, several scholars believe that the search for UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper was stymied by the ultimately unfounded belief that The Killer Was Left-Handed.

Left-Handed), this trope is discredited in RealLife. "Non-secretor" status may be the next generation of this trope. trope, although it's more commonly seen in novels. About 10% ten percent of people do not have antigens in bodily fluids other than blood, so sweat, saliva, semen, etc., cannot be used for blood type comparison purposes. This particular variation is currently rare on TV, though it is more common in novels.\n\nA subtrope of ASinisterClue.\n
3rd May '16 12:30:59 PM VanHohenheimOfXerxes
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In any case, even though [[SuspectIsHatless about a tenth of the human beings on Earth]] are left-handed, being left-handed is good enough to make you the prime suspect. And as any rightie can tell you, sometimes you just use the other hand for killing people.

to:

In any case, even though [[SuspectIsHatless about a tenth one out of the human beings on Earth]] are every ten people]] is left-handed, being left-handed is good enough to make you the prime suspect. And as any rightie can tell you, sometimes you just use the other hand for killing people.



* ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird'' used this trope in the court-room scene. It made a lot more sense in this case, as the accused's left hand was badly mangled in a childhood accident and he couldn't use it. The actual strategy used was a little more complicated. The accuser said that she was held down and beaten, at the same time; something not possible when the alleged assailant only has one properly functioning arm. The main invocation of the trope, though, comes when the accuser has bruises on her right eye - it would be very hard for the accused to hit her on that side of her face when his functioning arm is on his right. (The accuser said that they were facing each other on the ground.) Unfortunately, despite the fact that this was overwhelming evidence that the accused was innocent, he was still convicted, [[DeliberateValuesDissonance because he was black.]]

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* ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird'' used this trope in the court-room scene. It made a lot more sense in this case, as the accused's left hand was badly mangled in a childhood accident and he couldn't use it. The actual strategy used was a little more complicated. The accuser said that she was held down and beaten, at the same time; something not possible when the alleged assailant only has one properly functioning arm. The main invocation of the trope, though, comes when the accuser has bruises on her right eye - it would be very hard for the accused to hit her on that side of her face when his functioning arm is on his right. (The accuser said that they were facing each other on the ground.) Unfortunately, despite the fact that this was overwhelming evidence that the accused was innocent, he was still convicted, convicted [[DeliberateValuesDissonance because he was black.]]black]].
30th Apr '16 9:51:43 AM mhnospa
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Added DiffLines:

* ''CSI: Miami'' had an episode where one of the detectives inspects a hanging corpse and deduces that it must have been murder within seconds: "He is wearing a watch on his right wrist, which means has must be left handed, but the noose was tied with a right-handed knot". This has a couple of problems. First, not everyone wears their watch on the side that they are supposed to, and second, tying a noose is a complicated action needing both hands, and it would be unlikely that someone had worked out a "usual" way to do it.
27th Oct '15 12:29:10 PM FF32
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* Subverted/Averted in ''{{Fahrenheit}}'', where you can learn during the autopsy that the killer was left handed, from the angle of the knife marks. However, this fact does not appear in the later scene where you must link evidence to connect the killer to Lucas.

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* Subverted/Averted in ''{{Fahrenheit}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Fahrenheit}}'', where you can learn during the autopsy that the killer was left handed, from the angle of the knife marks. However, this fact does not appear in the later scene where you must link evidence to connect the killer to Lucas.
20th Oct '15 1:07:26 PM Duffan
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* In the ''{{Series/Castle}}'' episode [[spoiler:Tick, Tick, Tick]], this tips off Castle that the case isn't solved. More justifiably so this time: [[spoiler:killers may be more or less ambidextrous when it comes to bashing people with stuff, but fewer people ''shoot'' ambidextrously]].
** In S7 episode "In Plane Sight," Loni manages to immediately identify a killer's handedness (left, natch) from a ''cell phone photo'' of a head wound.

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* In the ''{{Series/Castle}}'' episode [[spoiler:Tick, Tick, Tick]], this tips off Castle that the case isn't solved. More justifiably so this time: [[spoiler:killers may be more or less ambidextrous when it comes to bashing people with stuff, but fewer people ''shoot'' ambidextrously]].
ambidextrously. Also, it wasn't a matter of "He's right handed," it's more "He had the gun in his right hand seconds before the shot but was found with the gun in his left." Ambidextrous shooting or not, he simply didn't have time to switch hands before pulling the trigger]].
** In S7 episode "In Plane Sight," Loni Lani manages to immediately identify a killer's handedness (left, natch) from a ''cell phone photo'' of a head wound.
7th Jul '15 8:52:54 PM Adept
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* In one ''KindaichiCaseFiles'' story, Kindaichi proves that a victim whose handedness was unknown was left handed based on his use of left-handed scissors, specifically designed to only function efficiently for lefties.

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* In one ''KindaichiCaseFiles'' ''Manga/TheKindaichiCaseFiles'' story, Kindaichi proves that a victim whose handedness was unknown was left handed based on his use of left-handed scissors, specifically designed to only function efficiently for lefties.
7th May '15 9:25:31 PM KeithTyler
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Added DiffLines:

** In S7 episode "In Plane Sight," Loni manages to immediately identify a killer's handedness (left, natch) from a ''cell phone photo'' of a head wound.
4th Mar '15 4:33:26 AM jormis29
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* In ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'', the [[Franchise/SherlockHolmes titular detective]] concludes that an apparent suicide was in fact a murder, because the left handed victim had been shot on the right side of his head, something which would be rather awkward to achieve with your left hand.

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* In the "[[Recap/SherlockS01E02TheBlindBanker The Blind Banker]]" episode of ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'', the [[Franchise/SherlockHolmes titular detective]] concludes that an apparent suicide was in fact a murder, because the left handed victim had been shot on the right side of his head, something which would be rather awkward to achieve with your left hand.
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