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How To Get Away With Murder -- Leave Your Cell Phone at Home

2019 A to Z Blogging Challenge: Letter C

Today's Tip to Get Away With Murder is brought to you by the letter C from the A to Z Blogging Challenge

Do not bring your cell phone (especially a smart phone) with you to commit the crime. Likewise, be smart (like the name of your phone suggests) and leave your phone at home or somewhere that it could be providing you an alibi, during any pre-crime prep work. If you must dispose of the body at a different time or date than you actually do the deed, don't make the rookie mistake of bringing your phone with you to the burial site. Sounds like an Asher move to me.


Today's cell phone's are used for more than making telephone calls. The majority of mobile phone owners claim that a temporary loss of their phone would pose a significant disruption to their everyday life. I can vouch for that. It would create chaos. Now for my kids and for millennials and people who grew up without knowledge of any other world than the digital world, it could be catastrophic.

We use our phones for text messaging, GPS, email, credit card and banking records, Internet searches and for note taking. It't not just a phone ... it is a map, bank, a camera, and diary. It's how kids do homework and adults work. What about the privacy issues for doctors and lawyers who store patients and clients files, records and notes on our phones? They contain almost every aspect of our lives.

Technology is wonderful. I feel like we're close to living like the Jetsons.

But with the advances in technology there must come a price.


Much of what we do on our phones is being monitored ... and not just by NSA and the CIA anymore. Local police have the ability to monitor our phone activity through various means beginning with cell phone tower dumps and going all the way to super spying with Stingrays (I'll discuss with another letter this month, not S,) but if you're curious about how powerful and intrusive the Stingray is, go ahead and glance at the article referenced above.

The U.S Supreme Court recently settled a good portion of this in Carpenter Vs United States in which they held that using cell phone towers to track a persons location is the equivalent of GPS tracking, thus it is a search protected by the 4th amendment and requires a warrant. The court went on to say this was a narrow holding which means it did not address issues not before the court such as conventional surveillance techniques and tool or security cameras among a plethora of other techniques not discussed or addressed

But we all no that the police can and do get warrants. So, if you want to get away with your murder ... or your character in your novel wants to get away with her murder. Leave the damn cell phone at home. It's a record of your every movement. It has a microphone that can pick up your voice and record you without you even being aware. You think that sounds like something some conspiracy nut would say. How the hell do you think Siri knows to answer you when you ask a question. IT has to be on at all times ... okay maybe in sleep mode awaiting your magical wake up word.

"Hey Siri." 

Suppose you poison your wife and she's almost dead and she's moaning and you scream "Stay Still," or "Fear" or "Oh Shit Sherry." or any of like a trillion words or phrases that could lead to an inopportune activation. Do you want your vic's last few agonizing minutes of life recorded on your phone that the police will obtain?

Your phone is a GPS and it collects and stores data and just saves it to give to the police to let them know everywhere you have been.

Your browser will fantastic evidence at your trial:

Google: How to dispose of a body

Hope your enjoying the challenge. I cannot make my comments work. I'm on it. I have the super duper professional IT dude looking at it tomorrow. Who's that you ask? My teenage kid, but of course.

This is not intended as legal advice. This is not intended to suggest that readers actually kill a person or try and get away with murder. This is for entertainment for the A to Z Challenge.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Melissa - well I can commit zillions of crimes - my phone is almost always left at home ... so if I get a call it's usually very embarrassing as I'm somewhere it shouldn't be going off. I know it can track my every movement ... I prefer it static! Good 'C' ... and I hope techno child can sort things out for you - I could do with one of those!! Cheers Hilary

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Great A-Z theme! And it's true that cell phones Know Everything. They also make writing mysteries much harder because it's so much harder to get people into situations where they can't communicate with each other, can't get help, don't know the time, get lost, can't remember the license plate number, etc etc etc...
Black and White: A is for Amphiptere

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