Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Serial Killings, Specific Target

Go To

Basic Trope: A murderer disguises their murder by killing other victims to make it look like the work of a serial killer.

  • Straight: Bob wants to kill Alice, but knows he'll be suspected. So he kills Charlie, David and Eve as well in order to hide the fact that Alice was the real intended target.
  • Exaggerated: Bob nukes Alice's entire town for no other reason than to kill her and make it look like the work of an omnicidal maniac.
  • Advertisement:
  • Downplayed: Bob only kills one additional victim to mask the motive and circumstances of his main murder.
  • Justified:
    • Bob knows that police investigating a Serial Killer would not suspect the the victim's friends and family.
    • Bob is a Professional Killer specifically ordered by his organization to kill several unrelated people in order to cover up the assassination attempt.
  • Inverted: Bob is an indiscriminate serial killer, but dresses each of his killings up as a murder with an individual, personal motive.
  • Subverted:
    • It turns out that Bob had no personal motive for Alice's murder, so his killing spree is indiscriminate after all.
    • Bob was not responsible for the others murders, he just knew they were happening and that he could pin Alice's death on the perpetrator.
  • Double Subverted: But actually, his main target was Charlie.
  • Advertisement:
  • Parodied: ???
  • Zig-Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • Bob just kills Alice and nobody else.
    • To Bob's misfortune, the police begin their investigation by examining what may have been the reason for Alice to be killed and end up fast-tracking their way towards figuring out he did it.
  • Enforced: "The best way for Bob to hide his personal motive for Alice's murder is to kill others for whom that motive doesn't exist."
  • Lampshaded: "Where do you best hide a dead body? In a pile of dead bodies."
  • Invoked: Fred wants Charlie dead, and knows of Bob's plan to kill Alice, so he discreetly influences Bob to include Charlie as one of his extra victims.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied:
    • Bob decides that using other deaths as a smokescreen for his main murder is a line he will not cross, and finds another method of covering his tracks instead.
    • Bob doesn't wants to risk getting a Longer-Than-Life Sentence, so he figures out a way to hurt Alice in revenge that doesn't involves (multiple) bloody murder(s).
  • Advertisement:
  • Discussed: "Maybe, not all of the serial killer's victims were killed for the same reason. What if some of them were just a smokescreen?"
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: The additional murders provide extra forensic clues for the police, making Bob easier to catch than if he had just killed Alice and nobody else.

Back to Serial Killings, Specific Target

Example of: