4 People Who Accidentally Confessed to Murder

4 People Who Accidentally Confessed to Murder

If you’re interested in getting away with a crime that you’ve committed, one of the absolute most important things to remember is: Do not confess to the crime. As far as the legal and justice system goes, it’s generally pretty hard to come back from, and top-notch ammunition for the prosecutors. It doesn’t matter how many pairs of gloves you put on or how much bleach you went through during cleanup, a verifiable personal account of you saying you did it is more than enough to tip the scales.

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And so, it’s in the best interest of any aspiring unpunished criminal to keep mum for as long as possible, preferably until you’re safely six feet under. Not everybody can achieve this though, whether it’s because of overwhelming, inescapable guilt, or because they pulled off an undeniably awesome heist and want people to know about it.

Here are four people who accidentally confessed to murder most foul…

Robert Durst

Maybe the highest profile recent accidental confession is the one now-convicted murderer Robert Durst made during the filming of a docuseries about those very same murders. I guess if you’re going to bite the bullet, at least do it on an HBO miniseries about your life. Durst, who died while serving his life sentence and is likely spending no time on the sweeter side of whatever afterlife you may or may not believe in, was suspected in a total of three murders. First, of his wife Kathleen. Second, in a suspected attempt to prevent testimony about his wife’s death, of friend and acquaintance Susan Berman. And third, of a man named Morris Black, in an unlucky confrontation that might seem more believable without all the above context.

The cases were old, and in most people’s eyes, cold when HBO produced and released The Jinx in 2015. The disappearance of his wife was from all the way back in 1982, with the killing of Berman occurring in 2000. Durst was actually acquitted of the 2001 murder of Black on the grounds of self-defense, despite the fact he also dismembered Black postmortem. More of a murder-y thing to do than a standard post-scrap cleanup, but the jury gave Durst the benefit of the doubt. 

But this whole shockingly sturdy house of cards came tumbling down when Durst went into the bathroom after a tense interview for The Jinx, and began talking to himself while still on a hot mic, including the legally inadvisable phrase, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.” He was subsequently sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Berman.

Nancy Crampton Brophy

Multnomah County Sheriff's Department

Theres a reason O.J. wrote If I Did It AFTER the trial.

As evidenced by the last entry, and by basically any review of popular media, murder makes for popular entertainment. Whether it’s in the realm of fiction, like a good pulpy beach thriller straight off the rack at Hudson News, or a questionably opportunistic true-crime podcast, people remain undeniably interested. A couple years ago, the worlds of fiction and true crime met in a thoroughly unpleasant way as the case of Dan Brophy’s murder was investigated.

Dan was married to Nancy Crampton Brophy, who was a writer who focused on romance and suspense. The more investigation they did, though, the less this seemed like unfortunate irony. One work of Nancy’s that particularly raised eyebrows was a blog post she’d written entitled “How to Murder Your Husband.” Though still hypothetical, this and other bits from Nancy’s past writings referenced a confidence in forensic knowledge, one she might have finally talked herself into putting to the test with a $1.5 million life insurance policy on the line. She knew enough to avoid cameras, and even to doctor the murder weapon so that the bullet casings wouldn’t match. But in the end, it probably would have been better if she’d kept her thoughts on the act unpublished. She was convicted of second-degree murder in 2022 and sentenced to life in prison.

Anthony Garcia

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

This would be either the worst or best episode of Inkmaster ever.

Thankfully, I have no experience in the matter, but I’ve been led to believe that murder is something you carry with you on your mind for the rest of your life. Just in case you’re worried you might forget, however, or want to make sure that other people know about it, tattoos are an option. It’s not like tattoos in general carry much malice these days, given that most finance bros are probably getting stick and pokes at Burning Man in an attempt to convince themselves that they’re just misunderstood. Certain classics like the teardrop tattoo still do carry some spine-chilling potential, or at least serve as a pretty good recommendation on which guy not to spill a drink on.

One gang member in California apparently felt that subtle metaphors simply wouldn’t do, though, and got a chest tattoo of the entire scene of a murder he committed. Sure, there were little artistic twists, like the victim being portrayed as Mr. Peanut, something that becomes only slightly less weird when you learn “peanut” is slang for rival gang members. Legume switcheroo aside, the scene was accurate enough that when an LAPD officer saw a picture of Anthony Garcia’s tattoo, he recognized it from an unsolved case. It led to a confession and conviction in a murder they’d mostly given up on cracking. 

Next time, maybe memorialize your felonies in a bit more of an abstract manner.



Hold on guys, my mom is yelling at me to lay down my weapons or something.

We’ve probably all been the recipient of a butt-dial before. Usually, it’s nothing particularly concerning unless the sound of the inside of a purse or a sports bar happy hour is terrifying to you. But for a man identified only as “Elijah,” he fired off one of the unluckiest butt-dials in history as far as both recipients and content are concerned. He unknowingly dialed 911, where the operator then heard him playing the video game Rainbow Six: Siege, as he barked triumphantly into his headset that he’d “killed two.” 

A couple minutes later, Elijah was treated to some real life CQB experience as a SWAT team showed up at his house investigating what they thought might have been a double homicide. Luckily, once they realized that the only murder he’d ever committed was virtual in service of video-game objectives, everyone was left unharmed.

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