A Study In Charlotte: The murder victim in the first book, Lee Dobson, was an utterly horrible person who was revealed to have sexually harassed one of the characters for a year before raping her. Unfortunately, that leads to two of his most frequent victims being suspected of the crime.
Clubland Heroes: Peeter Blame was a small-minded, pompous little busybody whose hobby was apparently suing almost everyone he came into contact with, and who seemed to take great pleasure in getting the law imposed as harshly as possible on people for even the mildest of infractions. Subverted, however, in that it is made abundantly clear that being a small-minded and pompous little man isn't an offence punishable by death and his personality does not make it okay for someone to dismissively beat his brains in as if he was an insignificant insect.
In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie's father's family were victims of domestic abuse by his grandmother's second husband. Eventually, Charlie's great-uncle Phil finds out about the situation, gathers up a group of people, and beat the husband enough that he dies sometime later in the hospital.
The Queste del Saint Graal is one of the few works of Arthurian literature which takes note of how killing people should probably be avoided when possible. When searching for the grail, our heroes brutally kill the trio of brothers of Carteloise Castle; who, note, raped and murderedtheir own sisterand threw their ailing father in the dungeon to rot, though even then Galahad and Percival have some guilt about it. Bors justifies their actions by basically invoking this trope and that this is what God intended, but Galahad, saying that that isnt any of their business to decide for God, still needs a second opinion from a priest to indeed be convinced that the scumbags had it coming.
In A Brother's Price, a bomb goes off in a theatre where a big part of the royal family are watching a play. While the eldest princesses are implied to be stupid and selfish, they're not evil - but their husband, Keifer, was not only an abusive husband all around, he also has raped and beaten a thirteen-year-old girl (one of his younger wives). The protagonists don't feel sorry for him, neither does the reader.
Bob Sheldon in The Outsiders, who is knifed to death while trying to drown the main character in a fountain.
An interesting variant occurs in the John Varley short story "Press Enter" about a hacker who'd been secretly running the world from his computer; although nobody that knew him had any reason to hate him enough to kill him while he was still alive, his posthumous release of all the embarrassing information he'd gathered on the people around him over the years had one police officer remarking that all the townspeople sure wished they could kill him now.
The first is Miriam Fox, an 18-year-old who ran away from home three years ago and became an underage prostitute. It's quickly revealed that she was a pretty nasty girl, to begin with, and made it her business to blackmail people for money. The latter is eventually what got her killed.
Then there's the various pedophiles in the story. Nigel Grayley is one of the top-ranked people in the customs department, took part in a huge illegal immigrant business and Grayley has also made a deal with Raymond Keen to get his hands on little girls, pre-teens or young teens, to have sex with and ultimately kill them. Even the protagonist mentions that nobody cared when Grayley committed suicide in jail.
Dr Roberts, the child psychologist of Coleman and other houses for wayward children, who also sleeps with several of his underage patients. While he's killed because he let information about Miriam's murder slip to someone else and is only mentioned off-screen to have died, it's difficult to care.
And then there's Alan Kover, who appears late in the story, but his background of having once kidnapped a pre-teen girl and raping her in his home, but managing to avoid being convicted of his actions is revealed as the first thing in the book. When he finally does appear and ends up getting burned alive by the protagonist, the reader almost wants to cheer.
Finally, Raymond Keen. The owner of a funeral parlor and he has a close business relationship with Mehmet Illan, as part of the illegal immigrant deal along Nigel Grayley and has given Grayley the girls he wanted. He also backstabs people who begin to annoy him or become 'risk factors' in murders he had gotten committed. The protagonist shoots him in the throat and decides to let him suffer, rather than finish him off faster. The reader probably didn't care at this point, glad that he was dead.
And Then There Were None has ten Asshole Victims who each committed a crime, though some of them are portrayed with a degree of sympathy. The murders were committed in order of "guilt", from least to most.
Anthony Marston, the first to die, was a reckless driver who ran over a couple of children and was only upset about the incident because it resulted in the loss of his driver's license. He was completely self-centered and showed no remorse or sympathy for his victims. The killer felt that the reckless driver was simply born sociopathic and self-absorbed, and couldn't help not feeling guilty.
Many of the other characters, on the other hand, do indeed regret their misdeeds. Interestingly, some of the later killings use the exact opposite logic. For example, the surgeon was drunk, so the deaths he caused under the influence weren't intentional or premeditated and thus considered not as worthy of retribution as say, the nanny who let the child in her charge drown so that her lover would receive the lion's share of an inheritance.
A subversion in Five Little Pigs: several characters sided with Caroline Crale when she was convicted of murdering her husband Amyas, a painter having an affair with his model. However, Poirot realises that Amyas was never going to leave Caroline and only kept Elsa around to finish the painting. Elsa killed him and framed Caroline when she learned that he had always intended to stay with his wife.
Ratchett, the victim in Murder on the Orient Express, turns out to be the perpetrator of a truly despicable and infamous crime. Upon discovery, several suspects cannot stop themselves from cursing his name, even at the risk of incriminating themselves.
Joyce Reynolds in Hallowe'en Party manages to be a prepubescent version of this trope, being regarded by most of the adults and children around her as a lying Attention Whore and not incredibly well-liked as a result. The fact that she's still a child means that it is not okay when someone bumps her off. Her brother Leopold is also one of these.
Some readers might find the victim, Linnet, from Death on the Nile to be one of these. At the beginning of the book, she seems like quite a nice person until we find out that she's having a village knocked down and the people moved because they're blocking her view (though she is having new houses built for them at least). Then we find out that she stole her best friend's fiancee. She doesn't look quite so good after that. Then another twist when it's shown that the best friend and the fiance were both in on it.
Averted in Towards Zero, where the victim is a rather strict and old-fashioned, but very good-natured and kind old lady, liked all around. Her killing is intended as a Moral Event Horizon, though Christie was kind enough to make her terminally ill and actually wanting to die to alleviate reader's guilt. Bonus points for the police discussing the trope and aversion.
Interestingly subverted in Evil Under the Sun. While the victim is disruptive in the community and has personality issues, the worst of her actions are being carefully staged by the killer and his accomplice. Poirot has already realised that her addiction to sex/romance/drama makes her vulnerable to manipulation and exploitation, not liable to perform it on others - she's not intelligent enough.
Barbara Stranleigh in "The Voice in the Dark" is described as "beautiful, unscrupulous, completely callous, interested solely in herself", and turns out to have been stealing from and abusing her murderer for years.
In Dragon Bones, Landislaw is killed by the villain, after he has outlived his usefulness. The only reason one feels sorry for him is the fact that he's eaten alive by a monster. Interestingly, the fact that he's an asshole is the reason why he was killed. The plan was to assassinate his older brother (who tried to protect him all the time!) and put him in charge of the estate. However, while his older brother was at the king's court, he made himself so unpopular with the people on the estate, that the villain decided he would have to put someone else in charge, as Landislaw would have been murdered sooner or later. The main villain thinks it'd better be "sooner".
Edward in Dragon and Damsel. He is hit by lightning, falls down a tower, and ends up in the hospital...after he rallied a town to storm a castle and attempted to kill a dragon he was told was intelligent and sapient, claiming it to be in the best interests of the town and Bernadette.
The most evil being Charles Augustus Milverton, who got rich by blackmailing people (only to ruin them anyway, for the fun of it). Holmes let the murderer go, having previously expressed extreme hatred for Milverton. Of course, Holmes and Watson likely couldn't admit they witnessed the murder, as they were burglarizing Milverton's house at the time.
Holmes: My sympathies in this case are with the criminal, not the victim.
The title character in "Black Peter" is a good example. When he's skeweredwith one of his own harpoons, nearly every one of his neighbors is glad. His own daughter explicitly tells Holmes and Watson that she's happy dear ol' dad is dead and she blesses the hand that struck him down.
Sir Eustace Brackenstall, the victim in "The Adventure of Abbey Grange." Brackenstall was a violent drunkard who did everything from repeatedly stab his wife Lady Brackenstall with a hatpin to douse her dog in oil and light it on fire. He eventually had his skull caved in by a sailor who'd fallen in love with Lady Brackenstall before she married her husband and had come to defend her from her husband's abuse. Holmes tracks down the sailor, and once he learns what really happened lets the sailor go.
The two victims in "A Study in Scarlet" (1887) definitely qualify, being murderers themselves as well as rapists, misogynists, hedonists, and religious extremists who, in turn, abandoned said religion (Mormonism) the second it became inconvenient for them. In this case, the reader is definitely expected to side with the murderer, especially when the second half of the book is devoted to retelling the background in which his girlfriend's father was killed by one of the victims and the other forced her to marry him, leading what was implied to be her suicide. The one who killed the two victims was arrested but died from a preexisting medical condition before ever standing trial.
Although the murderer in "The Boscombe Valley Mystery" was by no means a particularly upstanding gentleman, this trope applies to the victim McCarthy, who was a blackmailer and a Manipulative Bastard who treated his own son like a pawn.
In "The Illustrious Client", a woman named Kitty Winter threw vitriol (concentrated sulphuric acid) on Adelbert Gruner (who could be charitably described as a serial murderer and rapist), leaving him hideously disfigured. The court gave her the lowest possible sentence. This story was eventually updated for Elementary.
In "The Devil's Foot", Mortimer Tregennis learned from Dr. Sterndale about the titular exotic drug, which, when burned, induces crushing, irresistible terror in anyone inhaling the fumes. He then promptly stole some from the doctor and used it on his own siblings for their heritage, driving his brothers insane and killing the sister. Turned out, Dr. Sterndale was in love with said sister and got his revenge on Mortimer with a lethal dose of the same drug. After having Sterndale confess, Holmes lets him go and then comments that if he was in doctor's shoes, he'd probably do the same thing.
Dragons of Requiem has many depraved villains, but the Rot Gang consists of three Jerkass teenagers who spend their time insulting each other and collecting body parts for Dies Irae and his army of mimics. Absolutely no one is upset when the trio is killed off at the end of their debut chapter.
To Kill a Mockingbird: The biggest asshole is Bob Ewell. After an innocent black man is killed escaping from prison after being framed for the rape of Ewell's daughter and despite his victory over the black man's defense attorney Atticus Finch, Ewell swears revenge on Finch for exposing what a scumbag he was at the trial. At the end, he tries to murder Atticus' two children, only to get killed himself in the ensuing struggle by the reclusive Boo Radley. Even though it is obvious he died at Boo's hands, the sheriff argues with Atticus about the prudence and morals of letting this be publically known; ironically, he's certain nearly everyone's sympathies would be with Boo, but thinks it would be cruel to go breaking his solitude by holding him up to everyone's praise and gratitude when Boo Radley really does just want to be left alone. Atticus eventually accepts the sheriff's story that Ewell killed himself by falling on his own knife. The extent of Ewell's assholishness is lampshaded in the novel, where it's noted that not only does he hold a grudge against everyone involved in the case, he was too much of a Dirty Coward to face those people directly. Besides Atticus, he tries to break into the home of the judge, in the middle of the night and stalks the black man's widow as she goes to work until her boss threatens to have him arrested for it. It's even implied that Ewell may have raped his daughter.
Frank Bennett, wife beater and rapist, disappears in Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, and no one really cares, not even the officer who investigates the cases and later becomes the judge who hears the case against Idgie and Big George.
Death by Water: Nearly all of the victims of the jewel thefts aboard the S.S. Hinemoa have left victims in their wake (excepting the first woman, who was just a Spoiled Brat), generally in financial trouble: the singer abandoned her young daughter to grow up in a slum, the vindictive Mr. West sacked a young man for hanging around Mrs. West, and so on.
Mr. Singer kills Jack Mason's man, Thomas. Later it's revealed Thomas was on the Titanic as a steward- and many of the stewards blocked the passages on the ship so the First Class passengers could escape while condemning everyone else to die.
Flying Too High: The elder Mr. McNaughton sexually abused his wife and daughter.
Murder in Montparnasse: Hector Chambers is the target of a ransom demand for his missing daughter - he's bad-tempered and sexist, and pulls a gun on Miss Fisher several times when she figures out something without being told (he assumes she's in on it).
Rene abused every woman he was with, killed two innocent men, and generally defined 'bastard'.
Dead Man's Chest: Bridget, a housemaid, kills Mrs. McNaster, her employer's mother-in-law- who works her companion to the bone and abuses her as much as she can. No one's upset.
Murder on the Ballarat Train: Mrs. Henderson was a terrible nag who constantly belittled her daughter. The murderer never expected the daughter to grieve for her mother, or to hire a private investigator to solve the murder.
General Harbottle in "Overheard on a Balcony" in A Question of Death: a blackmailing, wife-beating General Ripper who has no shortage of people willing to poison him.
Nearly everyone in Stephen King's Carrie save Sue Snell (who survives). The famous scene where Carrie kills everyone at the prom is supposed to be deliberately horrifying in the book and film, but the effect is nullified somewhat when you are cheering her on. Carrie's date started out this way, but by the time the prom rolled around, he had actually grown to like her. Pity she never found that out...
King's Sherlock Holmes pastiche, "The Doctor's Case" (in Nightmares & Dreamscapes), features such a victim, physically abusive to his wife and psychologically abusive to her and their three sons (all adults). Just to cap it off, the victim plans to leave his wife and sons penniless when he dies (death of natural causes is mere months away and he knows it) by leaving his fortune to a cat shelter. Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade collectively agree the deceased had it coming and drop the investigation.
Several of Ellis Peters's Brother Cadfael mysteries start with the murder of someone hated, and end with the heroes having to catch the killer before it's too late for someone we like.
In The Leper of St. Giles, a brutish and cruel nobleman is killed the day before he was to marry a much younger and not-entirely-willing lady. Curiously, but in typically compassionate Ellis Peters form, the mystery is solved with the help of someone who was the victim's friend and who saw him as a good man.
In Dead Man's Ransom, Gilbert Prestcote is severely wounded in battle and then murdered in his bed while recovering. In previous books he was set up as a hardline sheriff who was often too quick to judge, resulting in many races against time for Cadfael and Hugh Beringar to save an innocent person from punishment or keep a criminal from getting away. While he judged quickly, he wasn't cruel and would always recant if shown evidence he was wrong. He wasn't a Jerkass, just not as good a detective as Cadfael or Hugh.
In The Raven in the Foregate, Father Ailnoth's death is mourned by nobody, after the residents and reader spend a few chapters being appalled by his cruelty. In the end, it turns out that his death was not murder, but an accident which the sole witness considered to be divine judgment.
The Hermit of Eyton Forest:
Drogo Bosiet is a huge brutish man chasing down an escaped villain and beating his groom on the journey. He winds up dead.
Then Renaud Bourchier, alias Cuthred, a fucking traitor to his liege who killed Drogo for knowing too much]]. No one sheds any tears over him when a more loyal knight bumps him off.
Principal Chapman from is a weird example - in the main series, he's a Papa Wolf who's made the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter and is regularly used as a Butt-Monkey in later books. There's no indication in the main plot Chapman has any kind of karmic comeuppance coming. But in the Chronicles prequel books Chapman appears as a dangerous quisling who tries to offer the Yeerks Earth in exchange for his safety. This portrayal of Chapman is a stark contrast to all his other appearances, with the dissonance being so stark some fans have gone so far as to posit that the Chapman of the Chronicles books is a different character with the same name. (It's implied in the novel that the Ellimist returned him to Earth and wiped his memory of his previous encounter with the Yeerks, which may explain this.)
Alloran also fits. He firmly believed that the ends justified the means and committed atrocities in the name of stopping the Yeerks, earning the name the Butcher of the Hork-Bajir after releasing a quantum virus on their home planet to kill them all before the Yeerks could infest them. Then he himself was infested and forced to watch, unable to do anything to stop it, as his body was used to murder countless people as well as eat them alive. And he was a herbivore. Jerkass Woobie, indeed.
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Hermione slaps a very deserving Draco across the face after he spends the book being his usual spoiled self and campaigning to have a Buckbeak killed for behaving like a Hippogriff after he received an injury due to ignoring instructions in class and pushes his gloating a little too far.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire starts with the local Muggles' viewpoint of the murder of the Riddle family, for whom no one wastes any breath feeling sorry. That said, they didn't sympathize with the man suspected of the murder either, even though he was never charged. They were very snobbish, abusive, and cruel and their son was very vocal with his elitist sentimentality.
Played with in the case of Barty Crouch. He's introduced as a stuffy man who sacked his House Elf while ignoring her sobbing pleas and tossed his neglected son into Azkaban. He becomes less of an asshole when the readers realize that he had good damned reason to at least have his son locked up, and the last time Crouch is seen alive, he's insane, terrified, and trying his hardest to warn Dumbledore about the planned return of Voldemort.
He was also more sympathetic in the movie adaptation where his son is seen as an unambiguously depraved, all-grown-up lunatic before he locked him up, rather than a scared, young boy who only shows at the end his real nature.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Fred and George toss the bully Montague headfirst into a Vanishing Cabinet when he becomes part of Umbridge's Inquisitorial Squad and attempts to use his newfound power over them. He's left in a "confused" state for weeks and exactly what happened isn't revealed until the next book: the Vanishing Cabinet was actually broken, meaning that Montague was left trapped in some sort of limbo and could only escape by apparating. He barely managed it, despite having not yet passed his test, and it almost killed him. Presumably the Twins did not know this, as they assumed that all the cabinet would do was send him somewhere and they did not care where.
The hospital wards in St Mungo's seem to be named for high-profile patients. The ward for long-term spell damage is named Janus Thickey, who faked having been eaten by a lethifold so he could desert his wife and move in with his mistress. The implication is that his wife hexed the bejabbers out of him when she found out.
Morfin Gaunt, a Muggle-Hater with psychotic tendencies, who liked to mistreat his sister, is framed by Voldemort for the murder of the Riddle Family, has his memories altered so he thinks he performed them and spends the rest of his life in Azkaban over this. He even acts proud over thinking he committed the murders and is only upset about losing his Father's ring.
In Deathly Hallows, after Peter Pettigrew momentarily hesitated in his attempt to kill Harry, he was strangled to death by the artificial silver hand Voldemort had given him. No one in the fandom wept.
Loxias was such a monster that everyone—including his own mother—confessed to killing him. His murder was never solved.
Roughly half the victims in Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey novels qualify. Most of the others are old and ill enough to have had a life expectancy measured in at most months even before they were murdered.
Sir Reuben, the victim of the first book, Whose Body? seems to be a subversion. Generally, if a businessman is killed in a Golden Age mystery novel, he is a Corrupt Corporate Executive, and if the character is Jewish, as Sir Reuben is, this is certainly going to be true. While Sayers goes with the conventional wisdom/racism by having him be a fairly ruthless businessman, against type he is beloved by his family and liked or at least respected by his servants and business associates. Reading his diaries reveals to Wimsey that he is, in his private life, a rather dull-but-decent type who dotes on his loved ones.
Strong Poison: Phillip Boyes. In the immortal words of Lord Peter, "If only that young man were alive today, how dearly I should like to kick his bottom for him." Boyes got a woman to live with him out of wedlock by claiming to be above marriage, then proposed to her, and was an emotionally abusive jerk to her during their entire relationship. Anyone would want to kick his ass. That she was Peter's true love was only icing on the cake.
The Five Red Herrings had Sandy Campbell, a foul-tempered alcoholic who seriously hurt someone at the golf course, threatened people's lives, and physically attacked his neighbor.
If anything, Geoffrey Deacon in The Nine Tailors is beyond an Asshole Victim, so foul and evil that he is by most readings the real villain of the book. Made even more unusual for a mystery novel by the fact that Lord Peter and seven local residents killed him by accident.
Busman's Honeymoon: Noakes was another blackmailer, as well as a grasping miser who'd stiff anyone he got the chance to. Both Harriet and Peter are tempted to withhold evidence because they have more sympathy for the suspects—even supposing them to have done it—than for the victim.
Mr. Plant, the titular victim of the short story "The Unsolved Puzzle of the Man with No Face", is horrible to his subordinates.
Mr. Wagstaffe from the Montague Egg short story "False Weight" had a wife (using a different name each time) in every town his rounds took him to.
Rex Stout worked with this a lot in the Nero Wolfe mysteries; victims are usually at least fairly unpleasant people.
Death of a Dude (1969): The victim had seduced a local girl, fathered a child out of wedlock, and wouldn't take any responsibility for the baby's welfare; her father, an old friend of Archie's, was arrested for murder just before the opening of the story.
A Family Affair (1975): The first victim is attempting blackmail.
In the Best Families (1950): The final victim is a major organized crime figure.
The short story "Murder is Corny" (1961): The victim was a stalker and a blackmailer.
The novella "Black Orchids" (1941): The victim was blackmailing one character and trying the Scarpia Ultimatum on another.
The short story "Death of a Demon" takes this to a whole new level; not only is the titular victim a blackmailer, but he's also a sadist.
In the short story "Die Like a Dog" the victim was a lecher and had the bad sense to go and taunt his victim's estranged husband about this.
In Too Many Cooks Philip Laslzo appears to have made it his hobby to be a snide, underhanded prick to everyone who he comes across, and particularly seems to have enjoyed antagonising hot-headed, thin-skinned egotists with a fondness for vocally threatening to kill people who piss them off for whatever reason.
Patricia Wentworth played with this in her Maud Silver books.
Latter End (1947): Lois Latter (The Vamp) had married now-Henpecked Husband James Latter for his money, and exploited all the other women in the household, in some cases just for spite. She actually died because one of the other women suspected her of tampering with James' drink, and switched the cups.
Spotlight (1947), also known as Wicked Uncle: The victim was a blackmailer; the U.S. title is due to his being the uncle of the female protagonist, who'd made his wife, her guardian, miserable throughout their marriage.
Miss Silver Comes to Stay (1949): James Lessiter, upon finally claiming his mother's estate, begins settling all his debts (somewhat subverted in that at least two of the people with financial motives to kill him had been robbing the estate and aren't particularly sympathetic characters).
The Gazebo (1956): The victim was My Beloved Smother; her daughter's fiance was suspected of having finally snapped.
This is the reason why R. L. Stine's The Snowman doesn't necessarily work: the readers are supposed to dislike him because he's a cold-blooded killer, but his victim is a physically and emotionally abusive jerk. The victim in question has beaten his wife and niece, emotionally berated his wife so much as to break her spirit, he's stealing money from his niece's inheritance while barely leaving the rest of his family enough money to eat, and he has zero redeeming qualities. Snowman's actions after the murder indicate a lot of insanity on his part, but he was pretty justified in killing who he killed. Given how confused he was afterward about why the victim's family wouldn't be happy, and how he seems to think he's done the right thing, readers sometimes ended up liking him rather than being horrified by him. However, Snowman tricked the niece into giving him money. He told her something along the lines of his father being in the hospital undergoing an expensive operation and that he needs all the money he can get. She did not find out until much later that he lives alone and apparently has no parents Then, when he reveals that he killed her uncle, and she displayed horror, he said that he still had the money she gave him and that if she went to the police, he would just tell them that she paid him to kill her uncle.
In the book by Thomas Harris, several of his victims are completely unsympathetic and deserve their eventual fate. The rich guy who is funding a private effort to capture and kill him is a child molester, even raped his own sister. The cop who found him tried to sell him to the rich guy for millions of dollars instead of telling the FBI. The doctor who toyed with him and discredited Clarice Starling when he was in prison was a blowhard and a jerk, and Paul Krendler (the guy who got his brain eaten) was a Dept of Justice director who derailed Starling's career for not sleeping with him and colludes with the rich guy to capture Lecter. Each eventually died gruesomely.
Lampshaded by Lecter's prison caretaker, who explains that Lecter preferentially kills rude people, sparing those who demonstrate graciousness.
After Dr. Lecter became a lucrative commodity thanks to the film adaptations, the creators suddenly made Lecter exclusively a Jerkass killer: in Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs almost none of Lecter's victims is an explicit asshole; only after Hannibal they were ALL retconned to be this trope.
Most of the murder victims who get any introduction in Burning Water by Mercedes Lackey. It gets awkward when a pre-murder scene features three children acting and thinking like little monsters, and this scene is instantly followed by the protagonists responding with shock and horror that, you know, three kids have been killed.
The gang of school bullies who make the fatal mistake of trying their usual shenanigans on Lavan, later known as "Lavan Firestorm" for very good reasons in Brightly Burning.
Usually not seen in Discworld, where posthumous dialogue between victims and Death tends to paint all but the worst villains in a sympathetic light. Used straight with Homicidal Lord Winder from Night Watch Discworld, though: a paranoid former Patrician so universally despised that, when an undisguised assassin walked up to him in the midst of a grand ball, the majority of guests either allowed it to happen or actively distracted Winder's few supporters. Downplayed, because the target's paranoia was so great that the assassin (a young Vetinari) didn't actually have to strike him down; rather, the stress of the confrontation caused the deranged Lord Winder to suffer a fatal heart attack. Although knowing Vetinari, that may well have been the intended method of assassination.
Averted in The Fifth Elephant: Wolf is an unrepentant killer, but when Vimes kills him by deliberately throwing a lit flare at him, knowing he can't resist the impulse to catch it in his mouth, he does not use a Bond One-Liner, as that would make it murder.
Generally, when Death doesn't give a neutral/hopeful message when you meet him, you're this. Examples include the Agatean chancellor in Mort, and the grag terrorist in Raising Steam.
Robert A. Heinlein's Friday. Lieutenant Dickey is described as someone who had repeatedly tried to sleep with Friday's friend Janet despite being repeatedly told no, as "slimy", and as having "a size-twelve ego in a size-four soul". About a minute later, the title character kills him as he's trying to arrest one of her friends at gunpoint.
The In Death series by J.D. Robb, as a long-running mystery series following a homicide detective, inevitably has no few examples. Eve starts out essentially forcing herself to sympathize with them and feel for them despite her personal distaste for their behavior.
Witness In Death is notable as the first instance in which Eve is forced to admit that she can't sympathize with the victim or feel any particular regret for his death. He starts out as a nasty, small-minded prima donna and just gets worse with every single thing that's found out, culminating in the revelation that the young actress he'd been sleeping with was his daughter, a fact he knew when they began their relationship and she didn't. The young woman's birth mother (who'd given her up for adoption) warned him of the connection in the hopes of preventing him from crossing the line into incest, only for him to rub the sexual relationship in her face and smugly suggest that she join them in a threesome). Between this and his other misdeeds, the victim would likely have been facing a life sentence if found out by the law before the murder, and that's mainly because the relevant jurisdiction wouldn't have the death penalty available. It's a good book to read for anyone wondering why a court system might employ justifiable homicide as a separate claim from self-defense (thought there's a decent "defense of another" argument as well).
The initial victim in Brotherhood In Death is painted right off the bat as a smug, self-centered politician who's been trying to pressure his Nice Guy cousin into agreeing to sell their late grandparents' home against their grandfather's express wishes. Eve eventually discovers that he, the two other victims, and three other men had a yearly tradition of drugging, abducting, and gang-raping a young woman, counting on the drugs to keep her from remembering the assault afterwards. They did this once a year for forty-nine years. It's hard not to take the killer's side after this comes out; Eve herself mostly feels bitterly disappointed that they were killed before she could have them locked up in prison and that their killers will have to go to jail for murder despite being the real victims of the piece.
Roger Malcolm in Fire in a Canebrake. The true story of a lynching. Blame the writer, as the book attempts to present Malcolm's lynching as the tragedy it actually was while painting Malcolm as a monster.
Kissin' Kate Barlow's first victim was the corrupt sheriff, who allowed the burning of her school and the murder of Sam. He brutally refused to help Kate when she begged for help, even trying to blackmail a kiss from Kate to save Sam from being hanged, but admit that he would still drive Sam away from town afterwards. Granted, the implication was that his behavior was caused by him being drunk, but it still at the very least really irresponsible of a guy to get drunk on a night when the town's gone insane and undoubtedly needs law enforcement.
In the short story "Invitation to a Poisoning", Nechtan confesses to adultery, theft, perjury, election fraud, armed robbery, and attempted rape to the respective victims of the crimes and then promptly drops dead of cyanide poisoning. Having been diagnosed with terminal cancer, he committed suicide in a manner calculated to involve his enemies in an inconvenient murder investigation.
Jack Ritchie's short story "For All the Rude People". The protagonist gets fed up with deliberate rudeness and emotional cruelty in society and starts murdering anyone who's rude in his presence.
Offscreen in the Darkest Powers trilogy, Derek Souza broke a kid's back merely by throwing him at a wall, rendering him paraplegic. Later on, it turns out that Derek had only thrown the kid because he and two others were threatening his younger brother Simon Bae with knives, and Derek's werewolf instincts cause his protective streak to go into overdrive. Later, he goes on to kill another werewolf who was about to rape and kill Chloe, the girl he's in love with, though he regrets it bitterly afterwards. As it turns out, all of the people Derek physically hurts (on purpose, anyway) have done something or another to justify the beatdown.
In Lonely Werewolf Girl part of Kalix's Back Story is she killed her father; when readers briefly meet him in a trip to the afterlife it's pretty clear he got off easy with just death.
Atlas Shrugged has a train's worth of people brutally killed in an accident based on poor management choices, but not before the author makes sure to mention all about what terrible people they all were.
The Black Fleet Crisis trilogy presents not one but two Asshole Victims who take turns victimizing each other. The Empire violently oppressed the Yevetha, a bloodthirsty Always Chaotic Evil race of aliens who believe all other species are disgustingly inferior. The Yevetha violently rebelled against them, seized the Empire's ships in a bloody coup, and enslaved the surviving Imperial soldiers. The Imperial slaves later violently rose up against their Yevethan masters and stole the ships back, robbing the Yevetha of the core of their fleet and ensuring the New Republic's victory against the Yevetha. Later the brutal Yevethan dictator, Nil Spaar, is stuffed in an escape pod by the Imperials and dumped into hyperspace.
The New Jedi Order series follows this up by dropping a bridge on the Yevetha offscreen at the hands of the Yuuzhan Vong. The Yevetha were rearming and preparing to restart the war, so their prospective victims asked the extragalactic invaders to protect them in exchange for their surrender without a fight. The Yuuzhan Vong smashed the Yevetha fleet and glassed their homeworld.
You are meant to cheer for Tonya's father in A Time to Kill when he kills her rapists. By the end of the trial, almost everyone in the town is happy that he gets acquitted. Well, everyone but the Ku Klux Klan, but it's suggested that it isn't certain that the KKK is entirely an exception. An early scene in the book has the victims' families asking the KKK for help, and the KKK members are thinking, "We shouldn't let a black man get away with killing white people, but frankly these guys had it coming." If you've got the KKK at least partially rooting for your murderer and your murderer is a black person, that's when you know you're not the most popular guy around.
In the sequel Moon Over Soho the woman, who is now known as "The Pale Lady" racks up another three victims. All of whom were sexual deviants of one kind or another (including a corrupt ex-police officer with a taste for realCatgirls).
Robert Bloch's short story "Sweets to the Sweet" features an abusive father who regularly beats his daughter, blames her for her mother's Death by Childbirth, and calls her a witch. His brother isn't much better, making excuses for his behavior and not caring about the girl's suffering. So the girl studies witchcraft and makes a Voodoo Doll, then when the brother catches on and is about to take it away, lies "Why, it's only candy!" and bites off its head.
A number of the Dark Spirit's victims in A Snowball in Hell are just terrible people, such as Darren "The Daddy" McDade who is very racist and ideologically bankrupt, and a group of land mine manufacturing execs who are... well, land mine manufacturing execs. That doesn't mean that any of them deserve their ultimate fates.
The first two victims of arson in the second book are a brothel and the home of the resident Hanging Judge, who manages to be far less sympathetic than the brothel by showing more concern for his clothes than any of his clients' legal papers, and by promptly accusing Michael of the fire, demanding he be hanged on the spot no less.
When Fisk and Michael meet, Fisk is on trial for conning a whole slew of asshole victims.
Subverted in the first book. While Michael and Fisk spend a good amount of time speculating about how the victim may have had it coming, it turns out he was neither an asshole nor was he murdered.
In Septimus Heap, no one feels particularly sad when Jillie Djinn dies. She was very nasty to Beetle and largely to blame for Merrin's actions through her employing of him in the Manuscriptorium.
Used in several Cthulhu Mythos stories, mostly authors other than Lovecraft. The victims in question tend to be selfish jerks, and some are psychopaths. However, since their fates tend to be really, really nasty, the reader may feel bad for them.
The "Insects from Shaggai" also qualify as their homeworld was destroyed by another abomination. But considering how evil and debased they were, the species deserved their fate.
Endgame has Zorro, who bullies the protagonist mercilessly for months, and pays the price when he snaps and shoots up his high school.
Dopamine gives us Julie. She's unlikeable from the start — arrogant, belligerent, presumptive, and self-important. When she crosses the Moral Event Horizon by pouring industrial-grade acid all over Rex's face, you know her fate is sealed.
One of the cruelest acts committed by Ray in Worst. Person. Ever., has him stressing a fat airline passenger to a fatal heart attack. However, given the man was a horrid boss to his employees, his death goes unmourned.
In the IKS Gorkon novels from the current Star Trek Novel Verse, there's the Elabrej. The Klingons are in Elabrej space on a mission of general conquest; Klingon Captain Klag and his crew are nonetheless the protagonists of the series. The Elabrej government is oppressive and they're close to societal collapse anyway, with their general Crapsack World status making it easier to get behind the Klingon attempts to stomp all over them.
In the Halo novel Halo: The Cole Protocol, Bonifacio was a member of the security council of the asteroid colonies known as the Rubble; he later betrayed the Rubble by selling the coordinates of Earth to the Jackals, who'd give it to the Covenant. When the Rubble gets attacked by the Covenant, he scrams in an escape pod and tries to call a Covenant ship for help, but he doesn't know about the Covenants' policy of "Kill All Humans" and was vaporized by the vessel.
In the Across the Universe series, there's Luther. In the first book, he tries to rape Amy, while pretending that he's doing it under the effect of a drug in the water supply (he actually belongs to a small part of the population that is not given the mind-numbing drugs). In the second book, not only does he continue to stalk and try to again rape Amy, but it's revealed that he raped Victorina, just because he was angry that he couldn't rape Amy. Later in the second book, Amy manages to tell Elder all of this. She later finds Luther's body, with the heavy implication that Elder murdered him. Amy swings between being frightened of the idea that Elder killed someone and thinking that Luther seriously deserved it, before throwing the body out of an airlock.
In Lolita, it's hard to feel bad for Quilty when Humbert kills him for "saving" Lo. Where Humbert was a pedophile, Quilty was a pedophile, alcoholic, smoker, and drug abuser, who kicked Dolly out of his home because she refused to take part in the sexual acts he and his friends engaged in. There isn't much to sympathize with.
In Twilight, Edward Cullen spent his early vampire years feeding off human murderers, rapists, and other serious criminals before restricting himself to animal blood. This is heinous enough to make him think he's a monster and give him something to angst about but not horrible enough to scare off his love interest Bella or his fangirls.
In Fool Moon, a vicious mob hitman nicknamed "Spike" is killed by a werewolf. Even his employer, John Marcone, who otherwise cares for his employees (to one degree or another), doesn't even mention Spike over the course of the book.
In Turn Coat, Aleron LaFortier, a member of the Wizard's Senior Council, is murdered, and you're not shown anyone mourning for him either. LaFortier was shown in an earlier book to want to throw Harry to the vampires, so this might be a case of Protagonist-Centered Morality, plus the suspected murder is a member of the White Council meaning most of the Wizards are much more worried about a potential traitor than mourning the dead. Harry is also too busy trying to work out who killed LaFortier in the first place to worry about much of anything else.
All of the victims in The Fifth Woman, for example, were themselves horrible criminals who had been Karma Houdinis up to that point.
Sidetracked is also full of these, from the ex-justice minister with a dark secret to the murderer's father who was abusive to his family.
Almost invoked in The Hunger Games in the case of the Career tributes. The other districts, and Katniss, hate them for being better fed, formally trained, and gleefully murderous. So she doesn't really care (at first) when they die, especially Marvel, who killed Rue, and Clove, who would have killed her if she wasn't Evil Gloating.
In Jeffrey Archer's Sons of Fortune, Nate is put on trial for killing Ralph Paton, his rival for the Republican nomination for the governor of Connecticut. A poll showed Nate's polling numbers went up, 72% didn't want him to withdraw from the race, and 7% said they would happily have killed the man for the asking.
In A Macabre Myth of a Moth-Man, Dr. Wu is introduced as the scientist who spent a full year Playing with Syringes to change Moth from an ordinary guy into a mutant moth creature. As the book and its sequel go on, it's also revealed that he had been performing his experiments on war criminals and people he bought off the Chinese black market since the 1950s at least and definitely took pleasure in what he did to Oz and Moth. No one at all was sorry when he was shot not long before the events of the book happen. Played with in the case of Leone Trent and Reisenburgh, who both are established as extremely unpleasant people (the owner of the company that hired Wu and condoned his experiments and a Fat Bastard who was just as tied up in the corporation backstabbing business as the rest), but Moth feels sorry for both of their deaths, believing that no one deserves to go the way they did.
The Babylon 5 licensed novels often play with this:
In Voices, Bester is nearly killed in a terrorist attack. Any sympathy he might have gained (which would probably have been very little, given that he IS Bester) quickly evaporates when he becomes convinced that Talia Winters was responsible based on a thin coincidence (the attack was supposedly carried out by Martian separatists, and Talia's uncle is a Martian separatist.) At the end, the real culprit, a Corrupt Corporate Executive who had hoped to oust Bester and privatize the Psi Corps, is killed by actual Martian separatists, who were pissed off about all the negative attention that the terrorist attack had drawn to their cause.
In Blood Oath, Ivanova and Garibaldi are forced to protect G'Kar from mercenaries hired by the pissed-off daughter of a dead rival whose life he had ruined in order to get ahead in his career.
In Clark's Law, Earth President Clark orders Sheridan to execute an alien for murdering a human on the station. Sheridan's already hesitant to do it because the alien has suffered severe brain damage as a result of the accident and can't even remember committing the murder. It doesn't help that the human victim was a sex tourist who had a long history of taking advantage of poverty-dwelling aliens in order to indulge his many appalling kinks. He was also doing this while married with two kids. His wife is, needless to say, less than thrilled about the whole mess and ultimately ends up sympathizing with the alien.
Crime and Punishment's Rodion Rasholnikov kills a greedy moneylender who emotionally (and possibly physically) abuses her mentally disabled sister because he can get the experience of doing something completely immoral whilst actually benefitting the community.
A number of David Gemmell books give POV to a minor villain for just long enough that the hero(es) feeding him a length of their preferred weapon seems welcome. The Swords of Night And Day, for example, has a few pages with a minor officer who's a douche to his subordinate and doesn't even bother to remember the names of his (admittedly inhuman) troops, joking around with a dying civilian, looting his house, and musing on how much fun it is to abuse his power to get sexual favours, before Skilgannon and Harad turn up and kill him.
A Thousand Splendid Suns has Rasheed, a foul-tempered, smug, and heartless man who marries a 15-year old girl before promptly raping her and tricks a 14-year old girl into marrying him after the girl's family died by rockets. He abuses his wives on a frequent basis, such as forcing one of them to eat pebbles, locking one up in a shed for trying to run away, and strangling and beating them. He also shows little sympathy for his deceased son, probably because of drunken neglect. Eventually, one of the wives has put up with his abuse and retaliates by using a shovel to kill him. Considering that he follows the rules of the Taliban, you're inclined to cheer for his death instead of mourning him.
Bilquis in American Gods is one of the first victims of the war between the Old Gods and the New, overlapping with a certain other death trope. But the reader is unlikely to have much sympathy considering she murdered a man in cold blood in her very first scene.
A.J. Raffles connives at killing a blackmailer and when he finds that someone's beaten him to the victim, helps the real murderer escape justice. Later on in his career, he causes the deaths of several members of the Italian Comorra, including the man who killed his true love.
Happens several times in the Honor Harrington novels, but also twisted into variations.
In The Honor Of The Queen when Harrington finds out what had happened to the female prisoners taken by the Masadans (raped and murdered, with only two survivors), she's physically restrained at the last minute from cold-bloodedly executing the senior Masadan officer they've captured... not because anyone is particularly worried about having him dead, but because they don't want her to ruin her career over it.
When people find out that Cordelia Ransome was killed in a particularly dramatic way when Harrington and company escaped her ship, no one, even her allies running Haven, is very heartbroken about her death.
Out of all the things the Mesan Alignment has done, killing former Manticoran foreign secretary Elaine Descroix once she has outlived her usefulness is probably the one thing that actually got them some sympathy points with the readers, as Descroix was probably the worst example of a Corrupt Politician in the entire High Ridge government (which was composed entirely of such characters).
In Caleb Williams, Falkland murders Tyrrel... but the narrator comes down on Falkland's side, as Tyrrel assaulted Falkland at a public meeting, arranged for his (Tyrrel's) cousin to be abducted and forced into marriage, and unjustly evicted some tenants from their home.
WASP: Throughout the novel, the protagonist, Mowry, an Agent Provocateur on an alien planet, kills two agents of the Kaitempi—the Sirian State Sec known for their sadism and brutality. The latter victim also kicks the dog some time before the murder by beating and kicking an old man.
The first third or so of Headhunters is taken up with protagonist Roger Brown ably demonstrating what a self-absorbed, misogynist prick he is, which makes it very hard to have much sympathy for him when everything starts going wrong.
In The Iron Teeth the protagonist Blacknail kills the bandit Ferret in a brutal fashion. He was a bullying bigot though so no one really cared.
In the Dr. Thorndyke novel Mr. Pottermack's Oversight, the victim is guilty of such infamies that Dr. Thorndyke is driven to remark that "hanging would be a great deal too good for him"; in the end, Thorndyke concludes that being killed by one of his own victims is no more than the man deserved, and lets the killer go free.
The first Percy Jackson and the Olympians book has Percy's stepfather "Smelly Gabe" turned to stone by his wife. Usually, a good guy turning someone into stone is pretty bad, but Gabe commits Domestic Abuse to Sally and an asshole to her and Percy, so people will not care at worst and cheer at best.
In the Sequel series The Heroes of Olympus, Nico meets a really vicious, Roman demigod. He frankly admits that he killed his legionnaire for fun and that he likes to torture humans and animals to death. He also wants to kill Nico and Reyna. To his bad luck, Nico is a very powerful demigod.
Octavian also qualifies for this. He wants to attack Camp Half-Blood, and kill all the demigods there, simply for the reason that they are Greek demigods, not Roman. In addition, he treats his own people badly and is even allied with monsters in order to get the bloodshed that he wants. As a result, the heroes do not warn him as he stands too close to a catapult, and nobody misses him when he inevitably dies from being launched by it. Even his most loyal bodyguard saw what was going to happen and did nothing to stop it.
In Rangers At Roadsend by Jane Fletcher, Sergeant Ellis always picks one of her subordinates and makes her life hell, so that the others obey in order to not become the unfavourite. She is jealous of people who are promoted over her and intentionally sticks to the letter of their orders to get them into trouble whenever she can. Lethal trouble, sometimes. When she is found dead with a knife in her back, the interesting question is not who had a motive to kill her (everyone did) but who had the opportunity.
Spectral Shadows makes sure that readers are glad Christine Rhoades walloped Dr. Craig Reinhart in Serial 11 after hearing about how he mistreats Kacey and goes so far as to try to torment her in front of Christine not once but twice. Guy must love getting his medicine. Then there's the three representatives of the conspiring towns later on that meet their end by the Lost Ferals; they were willing to execute Princess Jenny and cause a war between two towns that would lead to other towns benefiting from said war.
In Das Dorf Der Moerder by Elisabeth Herrmann, it turns out that all victims of the killer raped a woman who was prostituted by her husband. The only reason one is glad that he's caught at the end is that he also tried to kill the policewoman investigating the case, as well as two other people who came to find out what happened.
When Thomas Cromwell has to bring down Anne Boleyn in Bring Up the Bodies, he culls gossip to whip up a case of adultery and treason and settles on lutenist Mark Smeatonnote who he doesn't like but feels sort of bad about executing and the four men who played demons in a play mocking the death of his mentor, Cardinal Wolsey. Two of them are sympathetic figures, the other two less so. Will Brereton flouts the law in his Welsh holdings, getting a friend off for murder (over lawn bowling) and later having a man lynched after being lawfully acquitted of murder. George Boleyn is a Smug Snake who makes his wife Jane's life hell and had tried to drive a fatal wedge between Cromwell and Henry. Cromwell's rationalization was that he needed guilty men, so he chose men who are guilty, just not necessarily as charged.
The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga: Kestel comments to Blaine at one point that the scandal around him murdering his father Ian McFadden for raping Blaine's sister Mari wasn't the murder itself: Kestel herself was frequently hired to kill adulterous and/or abusive husbands and Make It Look Like an Accident. What pissed people off was Blaine killing Ian out in the open and refusing to deny it. Ian's status as an Asshole Victim is also why King Merrill commutes Blaine's sentence from beheading to transportation to the Penal Colony at Velant. Blaine also muses at one point that most of the other murderers at Velant are people like him who killed one guy who had it coming (when they aren't completely innocent) since the really heinous murderers are usually executed instead of transported.
In Tales of the Frog Princess, the Swamp Fairy curses the beautiful Princess Hazel, first Green Witch, that if she or any of her female ancestors ever touch a flower they will turn into evil, ugly old hags. It has disastrous consequences for Emma and her family a few hundred years later, but when she travels back in time and actually meets Hazel, she realizes that while she's powerful, she is only interested in flowers, not really helping the kingdom (overtaking the castle with plants til its hard to defend), is 'always dropping hints that she could' actually hurt someone with magic, scaring her parents enough to let her walk all over them, and using magic just to be cruel to her little sister. Not to mention she's spoiled, bossy, extremely vain, and rude to people's faces for no reason. And when she falls under the curse she just gets worse.
Fer-de-lance Apparently going to be averted, since everyone who knew Peter Barstow thought he was a wonderful person with not an enemy on the world, then played straight when it turns out his death was Murder by Mistake. The intended victim is a cold, self-righteous man who takes pride in always having "played by the rules". That includes killing his wife and her lover in cold blood — and right in front of his three-year-old son, when he caught them in flagrante. Then he abandoned the child to the care of his mother's family and ignored his existence until he decided he wanted grandchildren. He doesn't think that the boy (now 25 years older) could possibly resent being treated like this.
In The Secret Place by Tana French, the murdered boy turns out to have been this. He had always two or more girlfriends at the same time, and happily had sex with a girl who he knew never wanted to have sex with him but sacrificed herself so he'd stay away from her best friend. Its Complicated.
Bunny from The Secret History by Donna Tartt. He's misogynistic, homophobic, antisemitic, a hater of Catholics, a compulsive thief, and he continually leeches of his friends.
In A Dog's Way Home, Dutch's previous owner Kurch turns out to be a homophobic jerk who refuses responsibility of Dutch after getting seriously injured in an avalanche that almost killed them both. Kurch was only injured because he went skiing in a restricted area.
Fudail is Abdul's psychotic son who gang-rapes their family's underage slave girl Petra alongside his friends. Though he is beaten up by his sister Besma and sentenced to 30 lashes to his legs for his crime, he gets off pretty slightly compared to his victim, who is sentenced to become a houri for being raped. Later on, it's revealed that he was killed by his sister for trying to rape her too and even his own father is unsympathetic because he knows his son was a monster.
Dr. Meara is the most vile of all the three renegade scientists working for the Caliphate since he is a pedophiliac sociopath who loves to drag little boys on a leash and watch his test subjects die slowly. So when Hamilton captures and subjects him to Cold-Blooded Torture to find out where is the virus, one doesn't feel very sorry for his predicament. At the end, he is latter on left tied to a chair, one of his victims (a little boy) shows up sharpening a pencil...
Dex is the first of the quest to die in Below, by a caustic "jelly" eating into his leg. The others try to show some respect, but nobody liked him—including mild-mannered Tibs, who caused the "accident" by deliberately failing to warn anyone of the approaching jellies. It's implied Dex did something horrific that Tibs was eager to avenge because as others learn of the murder they give Tibs a pass. The protagonist however isn't in the know about the motive, so he (and the reader) can only speculate.
In Heroes Of The Sigil, sequel to Warlocks of the Sigil we are introduced to Resiak in the first chapter while he is being cruel at a party he hosts, which he apparently does to control people, he is killed at the end of the first chapter, apart from a few friends most people are not sad, even though he is a War Hero (most people note in the ways this can overlap with war criminal).
In Chance and Choices Adventures, the plot is started by the Death by Racism of bandit Hank Butterfield, whose fellow gang members swear vengeance for his death. The second book sees his fellow gang member Gus get killed while on the road to Little Rock.
In the Detection Club's Official ParodyAsk a Policeman, the murder victim is a press baron who (for no better reason than to increase sales) had run campaigns persecuting the police, the government, and the Church. He was a Bad Boss to his staff, too. Consequently there's a wide field of suspects, and none of the detectives asked to investigate feels particularly eager to convict.
Done several times in the Give Yourself Goosebumps series. Notably, several bad endings occur as a result of deliberately selfish choices by the reader (such as leaving your five-year-old sister alone with an escaped mummy in "Diary of a Mad Mummy"); and in "All-Day Nightmare", one choice allows you to shoot the villain of the storyline into space. When your friend points out that you killed someone, you simply respond that she was evil.
Perfidia: The LAPD eventually frames a Japanese man named Fujio Shudo for the brutal murder of a local Japanese family. He's completely innocent of the crime, and he's so zonked out on terpin hydrate during the interrogation that the police are able to manipulate him into confessing. But he's a violent rapist, a drug addict and an all-around scumbag and psychopath, which makes him perfect as a scapegoat.
Vengeance and Beyond begins with the abandonment of the prosecution of an asshole boyfriend for the rape-murder of his girlfriend. He was innocent of the crime, a victim of prosecution. In jail awaiting trial, he was the victim of intense coercive police interrogation and attacks by fellow inmates. Subverted in that he, his attorney, and various others who aided him are sent back by Mental Time Travel to the victim's body, to experience the crime themselves, and consequently prevent the murder although not the brutal rape, and get the actual rapists brought to justice.
In Edgar Allan Poe's The Cask of Amontillado, Montresor claims he murdered Fortunato because of some unspecified insult which, after numerous injuries, was the straw that broke the camel's back. Yet still, we get no info on any supposed insults, and Montresor is not exactly the most reliable narrator. Though if the narration of the events being told is more accurate than the imagined slight, Fortunato is at the very least a rather obnoxious drunkard and isn't above mocking Montresor for not being a Freemason.
Stray: Pufftail speculates that one of the cats rescued at an Animal Testing facility was the former cult leader Tom-Cat. The cat had his eyelids removed and was forced onto a treadmill in order to test the effects of sleeplessness.
The Dalavian Council of Dukes, who have to deal with Daylen's fabricated rumor that they have sex with goats, although we only have Daylen's personal testimony to go on as to how much they actually deserved it.
Laborie, the overseer for the Nansac family domains, extorted the tenants, cheated them for the rents, and sexually harassed women so nobody much mourned him when the father of the hero shot him after Laborie had his dog shot, wounding his wife. The first person to see his body flatly said he had it coming, and other onlookers have this reaction. Laborie was hated so much his murderer was hidden by pretty much the entire region until a farmhand was blackmailed to rat him.
The Nansacs themselves were so tyrannical against their tenants that, after the hero led farmers to burh their castle, he is acquitted by the jury even after confessing the crime.
The Millenium Trilogy: Nils Bjurman was named guardian for Lisbeth Salander and abuses his position to brutally rape her. Lisbeth then made him an Embarrassing Tattoo stating he was a "sadistic swine, a pervert and a rapist". Then he was murdered by Ronald Niedermann after he asked him for a hit against Lisbeth and Ronald thought he would endanger him. The reader is not likely to mourn him, nor did the police after they found this tattoo in his body and learnt the truth about it.
Werewolf Maia's brother dies in a car accident long before the plot begins. He had beaten and mistreated her several times before, but no one believed Maia because her brother looked so innocent and handsome. It is also implied that he was an animal torturer. When he died in the car accident, Maia even felt liberated.
After Meliorn tricks the Clave into believing the Seelie Court was going to side with them, nobody was particularly sad when Alec shot with an arrow.
Camille Belcourt was a sneaky Smug Snake, allied with the second Big Bad, who loved to play with other people for her own personal gain. In the past, she is said to have murdered at least one innocent human, because he was too boring for her. She is finally killed by the younger vampire Maureen Brown.
Aloysius Starkweather killed innocent Downworlders and collected their body parts as trophies and laughed at the idea that Shadowhunters and downwoldlers are equal. He also cruelly tortured at least one elf to death. This meant that nobody was sad when he met his end through automatons.
Nate Gray joined the Big Bad, poisoned his mother and lied and betrayed his sister. Even before he became a criminal, he was a selfish and cold-hearted person. He played with Jessamine feelings to make her a spy and was involved in at least one murder. After finding out that Tessa was not human, he called her a hideous creature. Shortly before he dies, however, he shows remorse, and Tessa cries for him, despite his evil deeds.
Half-werewolf Casper Sterling became a contract murder for a lot of money. Unfortunately, his client had completely different plans with him.
Horace Dearborn was a fanatical, Smug Snake who tried to severly restrict Downworlder rights. He also gave orders to kill teenagers. And so nobody is sad when he is killed.
Dane Larkspear was a member of the Cohort, a misogynist and he made fun of Julian Blackthorn's dead sister and speaks openly of raping another of his sisters. Nobody shed a tear when Julian murdered him
Celine Montclaire was abused and beaten by her parents all her life. When they are wrongly accused, convicted and executed, she does not speak in their favor, although she knows that they are innocent in this regard. But nobody can really blame her.