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Author Topic: Story Ideas
KnightEnder
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Does anyone know of any "Time Travel" stories that have involved forensic detectives (pathologists) going back in order to solve the great crimes of the past, (Jack the Ripper, etc.), using modern equipment and methods?

However, it has some problems. Off the top of my head; I don't think they could get a conviction since nobody back then would give any credence to our modern methods. So, even if not to punish the criminal, perhaps as a academic exercise by rich eccentrics who want to know the answers.

I'd have to come up with a logical reason that they couldn't just wait at the site of the crime and video tape who did it. Maybe they'd have to enter the time-line after the crime in order not to change time in that area so much that the crimes didn't take place, or something? "Or somethings" suck.

I'm not even sure it is something I would do, as I am not a big fan of forensic detective books, my mom is, but if it has never been done I might consider giving it a shot.

I'm sure somebody has done it by now, anybody know for sure?

KE

[ July 02, 2005, 09:16 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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It rings a bell, KE, although I can't name one.

But here's a phrase for such a story:

"He put it back where it was for now."

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canadian
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Here's another idea:

The closer the detective gets to solving various crimes, murders, etc...the more worried he becomes. Could the criminal be him?

Another step: Is he being set up?

etc, etc.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"The closer the detective gets to solving various crimes, murders, etc...the more worried he becomes. Could the criminal be him?"

canadian, we think alike in certain ways, although the surface of our writing styles couldn't be more different: you're short and crisp; I;m a plate of wiggly noodles.

"Another step: Is he being set up?"

Strictly as plot decoy -- although that tactic doesn't much appeal to me, which is partly why I read few mysteries, I suppose.

*Except*, perhaps, if used in this sense, which TT (time travel makes theoretically possible): the closer he gets to the source, the less evidence for a real crime there is. He is, in effect, unbknowingly removing the evidence of the crime as he goes along. Something like that. Such involuted threads appeal to me, but they must be rigorously teased from one's intuitive grasp until they can be seized by the pen and defined by a few principles of operation.

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Zyne
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I think H. Beam Piper, with his Paratime stories, goes there (Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen). I think there's alot left to do with that scenario, tho.

[Ed: for the one who can't spel.]

[ July 04, 2005, 09:41 PM: Message edited by: Zyne ]

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pickled shuttlecock
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Just remember that you get only *one* gimmick.

Or two, if you're OSC. I don't know why, but he gets an extra.

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ruo
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quote:
Originally posted by KnightEnder:
Does anyone know of any "Time Travel" stories that have involved forensic detectives (pathologists) going back in order to solve the great crimes of the past, (Jack the Ripper, etc.), using modern equipment and methods?

However, it has some problems. Off the top of my head; I don't think they could get a conviction since nobody back then would give any credence to our modern methods. So, even if not to punish the criminal, perhaps as a academic exercise by rich eccentrics who want to know the answers.

I'd have to come up with a logical reason that they couldn't just wait at the site of the crime and video tape who did it. Maybe they'd have to enter the time-line after the crime in order not to change time in that area so much that the crimes didn't take place, or something? "Or somethings" suck.

I'm not even sure it is something I would do, as I am not a big fan of forensic detective books, my mom is, but if it has never been done I might consider giving it a shot.

I'm sure somebody has done it by now, anybody know for sure?

KE

First thought is that there have been some who dispute the "Back to the Future" premise that changing an event in the past screws up the future.

If a writer found the BTTF paradigm restrictive she might explore ways to shake things up by radically changing the rules of time travel.

Another thing that comes to mind is the idea of bringing the criminal from the past to justice in
present time. Especially murderers, because there is no statute of limitation on murder in the USA.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_of_limitations

Checking Wikipedia prompts me to think of other interesting possibilities, as well. Canada has no statute of limitations on other serious crimes, aside from the act of murder. There are also crimes which can be adjudicated within a time period starting when a faulty product is constructed. There are separate time windows for initiating legal proceedings by minors.

And a secondary plot of the story might include not only solving the crime but getting the evidence and the perp to the present day.

There might be a two stage process. First, building the case and delivering the evidence to a present day prosecutor. Then, after enough evidence has been collected and determined to be sufficient to bring the criminal to present day trial the time traveling crime fighter would go back and try to nab the perp and get him to present day.

The writer might also invent a way to communicate in real time between people in the present day and those in time past.

But, after thinking about this a bit it seems to me there would be few or no crimes that couldn't be brought to future justice if the justice team could go back in time with present day forensic methods.

The challenge then would be to determine which criminals should be prosecuted. All? Some? And using what criterion?

Then, if time travel was possible and it was determined that Mr. XYZ had murdered Mrs. ABC, why wouldn't the time travelers prevent the crime instead of just prosecuting the criminal?

(Assuming the "Back to the Future" paradigm has been explained away.)


I hope this proves of some use to someone.

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kenmeer livermaile
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I can't imagine this not being done, but that means nothing. HOW you do it is everything.

Mickey Spillaine in Puritan New England would be a riot.

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