A Criminal Always Returns to the Scene of the Crime
This old wives’ tale has as much to do with semantics as it does with criminality. In the sense that many crimes of violence (spousal abuse, child abuse) are committed by people who know each other, the accuracy of the saying is obvious. Young people involved in misconduct such as shoplifting, school vandalism, joyriding, or breaking and entering “return” to the scene of the crime because it’;s in the community where they live.
But if the saying is taken to mean a cosmic compulsion that mysteriously draws criminals—particularly murderers—back to the scene of the crime, the only time that is likely to happen is if he or she is brought there by the police for questioning. In many cases, a murderer does not even leave the scene of the crime, but comes to his or her senses and summons the police to let justice (and the American Bar Association) take its course.
It’;s probably also time to dispose of the myths that “the dead man’;s eyes hold the image of the killer in them” or that “the ghost lingers in the murder room until the killer is caught.” If lie detector evidence isn’;t admissible in court, why allow the other booga-booga?