Example 1

Example 1

Crime superplot no. 2: The (innocent) suspect

“I don’t think he did it.” 

off: Primal Fear (1996)

Short info: The (innocent) suspect

 The questioning of persons is an attempt to incriminate or exonerate a suspect.

What is the superplot “The (innocent) suspect” about?

It often involves a lawyer, a reporter, a detective or a cop who, after a crime, tries to find out if a certain person is the perpetrator. He tries to prove the guilt or innocence of a suspect and to find out the truth. Many stories about lawyers and their clients who are involved in a crime revolve around this superplot.

What are the figure targets?

The plot is the basis of many crime thrillers. At its core is the questioning of people, of suspects and of witnesses. Often the investigator has a helper who helps to evaluate the answers.

Further notes on the plot …

The investigator primarily asks questions (court and lawyer plot). With his questions he illuminates a person and reveals his life story. In the process, unpleasant facts are brought to the table, which widens the circle of suspects. However, it is also possible that the suspect has set false tracks. Finding these is now the task of the investigator.

Potential for conflict

In extreme cases, the seemingly innocent suspect himself comes under strong suspicion, so that he can be charged with a crime. 

Film samples are …

Presumed Innocent (1990) with Harrison Ford

Primal Fear (1996) with Richard Gere

True Crime (1999) with Clint Eastwood

Witness for the Prosecution (1957) with Marlene Dietrich

Serial examples are …

Boston Legal (2004-2008) with William Shatner

Matlock (1986-1995) with Andy Griffith

The example of a novel is…

The long Good-bye (1953) to Raymond Chandler

To continue reading, use the drop-down menu under “Crime Story” or click here.