Just to note, as a writer, it's hard not to be personally offended by this type of question.

However, they're not wrong in insinuating that writers look up weird things. Maybe there's a scene where you need to know exactly how a judge might introduce a murder case involving beach balls and clown noses. That's not something you see exactly every day on Law & Order, is it? Because of this, most writers take to the internet, do a quick search on the topic they need, and pray the NSA has better things to do that day than look at their search history.

Reddit user, u/oilpaintroses, wanted a look at your search history when they asked:

Writers of reddit, what is the most suspicious thing you googled?

You might not even be thinking clearly when you're doing these kind of searches. Maybe it's late at night, you've just worked a double at your day job, and you need to look up this last bit before the short story anthology goes to edits.

And you don't even consider it until you hit the 'Search' button.

These Are All Incredibly Specific

"Chemicals to bleach bones", "how to build an anatomical model", and "medical malpractice insurance rates over time" in the same three day span as "least painful type of poison" and "suicide vs natural death statistics".


Oh, Well, What Do You Know?

"Tensile and shear weight limits of human intestine.

Turns out you can hang yourself with a coil of your own guts. Pretty sure I'm why my NSA overwatch dreads heading to work."


A Roundabout Way Of Learning Something

"The other day I looked up "movement of caterpillars".

I wanted to confirm if they do indeed "hump" when they move and that was the right way to call it."


A Helpful Function To Come Across

"I searched "will [slitting] your wrists kill you" and it took me straight to the suicide hotline"


"I don't remember the exact google search but i read something about slitting wrist and what would be a quicker alternative...cuz bleeding out by slitting your wrist would take like 3 uncomfy hours to die I found out theres a vein you can slit in the crease of your elbow or some shit instead of your wrist. A lot quicker alternative Itd only take like 20 min to bleed out

Keep in mind I searched this years ago so I might not have my facts right"


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Not A Serial Killer Reason?

"This will most likely be my only comment with this account.

The tensile strength of the small intestines. I had a non serial killer reason, I swear."


Turns Out Getting Stabbed Hurts A LOT

"Burn scars gave me wild results. Anything with wounds gave me wild results. I feel like my characters will never be hurt again."


But it's not that bad, right? You were just looking for a little clarification on a topic not everyone would be privy to. You wanted the details for the sake of the story.

Nothing more.


We Talking Fingers OR Legs?

"How long it would take to bleed out after certain appendages have been cut off."


Video On The Internet Is A Cursed Thing

"Port Arthur massacre footage... I remember I saw a blurred version of footage of it on the news once and it was of people hiding behind a wall and you can hear the screams and shots... It was for a school project on australian infamous history and I picked that and wanted to find that blurred clip to add to my PowerPoint"


So What Did You Do With The Information?

"How long it would take to deliberately addict a preteen girl to laudanum.

For a Western novel I ended up not writing."


The Boom Booms Are Big

"'How strong would a bomb need to be to level several city blocks?'

and the worst part is I didn't even get a straight answer."


Are We Gonna Have To Cut Someone?

"how do gangs persuade someone to pay a debt back" immediately followed by "what happens to people who don't pay drug money?"


Checking All The Bases

"How to get away with murder (all that turned up was the TV show tho), how to stab someone, where to stab someone, most dangerous places to stab someone, how to gorge out an eyeball, what do humans taste like, where to find drugs in [my location], how to buy drugs, etc. Oh yeah. How to fake a suicide. That too."


Then there's these entries, which most assuredly got you placed on some kind of "No Fly" list in some government agency.

Oh, That's Not So Ba-Wait, A School Computer?

"Oh, wow. Horror writer here. My FBI agent would either know I'm an author right off the bat, or I'm on every known watchlist. Some examples of suspicious google searches include;

  • Best way to dispose of a body
  • What is the easiest way to kill someone
  • How does cauterization work
  • Types of handcuffs
  • How easy is it to get out of zipties
  • How to move silently in woods
  • Medical complications of near drowning
  • Black mamba venom
  • What kind of baseball bat makes the best weapon
  • Symptoms of severe infection
  • Easiest gun to use
  • Location of aorta
  • Is it easy to stab aorta
  • How hard is it to crush a human skull
  • What makes cars explode
  • How hard is it to break human neck
  • How long does it take to die by choking
  • Stages of decomposition
  • How to get rid of evidence at crime scene
  • Is it easy to cut human throat

Those are just a few... Did I mention that this was on a school computer?"


Right. For The "Story." Got It.

"Murder methods that look like suicide. Needed to know because in my story the murderers don't get caught!

This was several years ago and I haven't heard from the police yet, so I think it's fine."


This Might Have Been A Fair Question, For Your Own Well-Being.

"What is the max amount of blood loss while still being alive and cohesive coherent. Gave my FBI agent some juice that day."


Answer The Question

"How many murders makes someone a serial killer."


Don't be embarrassed to track down the information you need to tell the best story or write the best report you can,

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Image by Elf-Moondance from Pixabay

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