The thought is prompted by the death of the famous crime writer, Elmore Leonard, last month. As a notable
1. Always be polite on the job, say please and thank you.
2. Never say more than is necessary.
3. Never call your partner by name – unless you use a made-up name.
4. Dress well. Never look suspicious or like a bum.
5. Never use your own car.
6. Never count the take in the car .
7. Never flash money in a bar or with women
8. Never go back to an old bar or hangout once you have moved up.
9. Never tell anyone your business. Never tell a junkie even your name.
10. Never associate with people known to be in crime.All of this seems eminently sensible - and of course in the novel things start to go wrong for the protagonists when they start to ignore their own rules.
While I don't want to encourage crime, it does make me wonder what other rules for the successful commission of crime we might come up, based on what seem to be common errors. Here is a start on my alternative criminal code (based on cases I have read about):
- If you are fraudulently claiming disability benefit, it is probably better not to participate in a 10K race; and if you must, try to avoid having your picture taken at the finishing line.
- If you are planning to poison someone do not tell the chemist that the poison you are buying is to kill rats, especially if there is not trace of a rodent problem at your home.
- Most people offering their services as contract killers on the internet are probably undercover police officers (from the recent Canadian case of Ryan)
- If the you and your associate in crime are arrested, it is best to avoid discussing your exploits within earshot of the police.