14 Motives for Murder

I’d like to share with you my list of Murder Motives!

Motives for Murder:
(love, lust, lucre, and loathing)

  • To keep a secret
  • Revenge
  • Frustration/hate
  • Money/Greed
  • Sex/Jealousy
  • Property Dispute
  • Personal Vendetta
  • Political
  • Class Conflict
  • Narcotics
  • Other Felonies
  • Urge to Protect

12 comments… add one

  • Steve Davis Apr 16, 2012

    Great little list. Thanks

  • I would add “ego” and “evil spirit” and “ignorance” and “lack of intelligence” to the list of motives to murder. Soldiers in the armies murder civilians and children. They do it because they are stupid and evil and slaves to evil. Regards from Berlin, THE QUEEN

  • Carolyn Abner Gaston May 7, 2012

    Hello I’m the Author of Silence of Murder’ I’m trying to come up with the Most Conflicts of Revenge on My Main Character’ Motives for murder why she wants to kill her new father in law? This is for my Second Novel, and thanks for the suggestions!! I enjoy you website.

    • Terry Shan Dec 25, 2012

      Your question is a bit unclear. Are you looking for a motive for murder or are you looking for list of possible motives?

      • josh kent Mar 22, 2013

        i think its just a list stop yo worryin gees loweez from joshypoo

  • Jeffrey C Jan 9, 2013

    There are less common motives, mostly in fiction, such as love / for the benefit of somebody else. A good example is bumping off people ahead of a loved one on a transplant list. It’s been done at least once to prevent such an action (using poison that ruins the organs) to prevent somebody from getting said organs, thus dying and leaving money to somebody else.

  • AbsoluteOptimist Feb 3, 2013

    To Carolyn,

    As to:

    “Most Conflicts of Revenge on My Main Character’ Motives for murder why she wants to kill her new father in law”,

    How can you call yourself an author, if you cannot think of your own ideas?

  • Terence Gris Apr 26, 2013

    John — Where would the recent mass murders by sociopath/psychopath types fit in? Or deluded religious fanatics who kill indiscriminately?

  • Tiffany Jun 27, 2013

    Thanks for the list, it will come in handy when I write my murder mystery novel.

  • TheGreatOne Nov 18, 2013

    There are only THREE motives for anything: 1. Greed, 2. Survival, and 3. Revenge. EVERYTHING can be traced back to these essential motivations of ALL human nature =-) You’re welcome.

  • Jaye Lewis Jan 4, 2014

    Hi. I’ve spent fifteen years in inspirational writing, doing very well. This is my first plunge into murder/mystery. I needed a jump start into motive. I really appreciate your list! I still find that my personality, is immersed in this story, but each of us experiences tragedy in our lives, and I’ve always looked for the inspiration in that realm. Sometimes tragedy is just that, and nothing more. However, I can’t seem to walk away from the ludicrous, so I simply turn that into laughter. Anyhow, I so appreciate your experience. It’s kind of you to share it. :o) Sincerely, Jaye Lewis

  • Jimbob Jul 11, 2014

    A motive that is relatively new to me (and I am not going to call any names) is where one spouse tires of married life and wants to be foot loose and fancy free – so they decide to kill their spouse, often pregnant these days and they just don’t want to be tied down – they want to be free to play around and live the good life.
    For a list of murder motives google disappearances in America,
    Also read Agatha Christie – if there is a motive for murder she thought of it!

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