This diagram based on Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep plots a technique called Mark the Killer. Look at those teeth at the opening and again at the ending. In Silence of the Lambs, Harris makes Lecter a polydactyl freak–six fingers on one hand–marking Lecter as a monster. When Hitchcock shot The 39 Steps he took liberties but he also marked the killer—his pinky is missing. In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stevenson goes all the way and turns his killer into an animal. It’s a very important technique for mystery writers. Mark your Killer.
© 2010 Jack Remick and Robert J. Ray. All rights Reserved.