From a reader:
Mr. Goldberg (a writer’s criticism that addressing you by your first name is inappropriate has been taken to heart),
Per your Corner post about business and political leaders bumping each other off as standard practice, I’ve noticed for many years that big business killing critics or inconvenient competitors is portrayed as a routine practice, and not just on L&O.
Yet as far as I know there has never been a case where murder has been proved against top executives of a major corporation. Possibly this is just because they’re really good at hiding their tracks, but it seems unlikely they would ALL be that good at it. They get caught all the time doing other types of illegal things.
Murder for business reasons happens quite a lot among small businesses and is downright routine among illegal business types.
I was just wondering if there has ever been a case of murder for business reasons proved against top executives of a Fortune 500 company. If not, why is it such a common theme among TV and movie producers? (I actually know the answer.)
Me: First, Jonah is entirely fine for friendly email. Nasty email must begin more politely, if I’m going to read it. So “Mr. Goldberg” is minimally required. But I would prefer, “Lord High Scribe and My Complete Better” as the salutation before anyone goes on to wish me dead and call me a moron.
Anyway, it is a good question. My guess is there have to have been murders amongst the Fortune 500 types, but I’d also all guess that they were “private” murders — covering up affairs, embezzlement etc — rather than some sort of “corporate policy.”
Ben Stein did a documentary years ago, if memory serves, on Hollywood’s anti-business bias. CEO’s are routinely right up there with terrorists and mobsters as the leading murderers in American society. Like the above reader, I think the reasons for it are pretty obvious. But if I can track down some good stats, it’d be a great subject for a column or magazine piece. Does BJS track corporate murder rates?