K is for Kidnapping

photo credit: Eastlaketimes via photopin cc

photo credit: Eastlaketimes via photopin cc

I had to take a sabbatical from the Crime Fiction Alphabet meme but I’m back this week. If you are unfamiliar with CFA, it is a challenge run by Kerrie over at Mysteries in Paradise, so head on there and sign up, or click on some links and read what others have to say. This is my second time at this Karnival (I had to begin with a K!)  and I have chosen to focus on topics related to crime fiction rather than books and/or authors.

K is for Kidnapping

Really, there isn’t much I can add to kidnapping but here are some things to keep in mind when you have a kidnapping in your story

  • Kidnapping is a federal crime so make sure the FBI is involved (if the novel is set in the USA)
  • Kidnapping came under federal jurisdiction after the highly publicized and ultimately tragic Lindbergh Kidnapping.
  • There are many different kinds of kidnapping. Here’s a list that details some of them and the differences between them.
  • Consequently, there are also different charges for kidnapping from First Degree Felony to False Imprisonment  depending on the circumstances, so make sure your court scene reflects that.

And a final bit of trivia: In Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, the victim is also an alleged kidnapper and murderer himself.


9 responses »

  1. Margot Kinberg

    Peter – Thanks. One of my pet peeves is when someone writes about something like a kidnapping without being accurate about things like that. God stuff

  2. One further reason for kidnapping features in Mercy by Danish writer Jussi Adler-Olsen. Not for the sqeamish, this one!

  3. What if somebody pays to be kidnapped. 🙂

    • Peter Reynard

      Hmmm… I think that falls under false report of a crime which is “thankfully” only a misdemeanor. 🙂

  4. I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying the kidnapper in Mercy wants an answer to something from his victim – that is on the back cover blurb -but the novel is more complex than that.

  5. Very interesting. I had no idea that there were so many variations on kidnapping and that they had such interesting names.


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