Literature’s Most Frequent Crimes?

As The Composites nears its 50th image I thought it was time to look at what was popular on the site statistically.  Anyone can see what was the most shared composite on the archives page (It’s Humbert Humbert, if you were wondering) but I wanted to add a dimension of literary analysis and break the numbers down to crimes committed by characters when possible. Not all the composite characters on the site slot easily under the definition “criminal” —and, like literature itself, the defining elements of criminality can be culturally, politically, and temporally relative and biased—but I think the most compelling composites have a clear mark of criminality or transgression, which makes for a perfect meeting of two mediums: fiction and forensic art. Please feel free to offer any corrections. The statistical breakdown is after the jump and the chart above links to a larger image.

Thanks to all the fans and friends of this site and please keep the suggestions coming for the next 50. 

Murder (26%)

Cathy Ames

Norman Bates


Tom Ripley

Pinkie Brown

The Misfit


Judge Holden

Daisy Buchannan



Mingus Rude

Norman Bates

Sexual Predator (11%)

Humbert Humbert

The Bird Man

Judge Holden



“Fallen” Woman (7%)

Lady Chatterley


Lux Lisbon

Malevolent Deity  (7%)

Mr. Wednesday

Professor Woland

Randall Flagg

Sex Workers (4%)

Holly Golightly

Rachael Rosen

Cathy Ames

Fraud (6%)

Tom Ripley

Marla Singer

Hazel Motes

Willie Stark

Racketeering  (11%)

Pinkie Brown

The Finn

Dudley Smith

Willie Stark

War Crimes (4%)


Franklin Hoenikker

Forced confinement (2%)

Edward Rochester

Arson (4%)

Mrs. Danvers

Cathy Ames

Treason (4%)

Ignatius J Riley

David Ferrie

Harassment and Stalking (6%)

Mrs. Danvers

Richard Tull


Espionage (6%)

Sam Spade

Hiro Protagonist


Bad writing (2%)

Richard Tull