Saturday, June 16, 2012

If you want to get away with murder go to [your town]

Now, there are variations of the "saying" that include "If you want to get away with murder, do it in .." and "If you want to get by with murder, go to ..." and "If you want to get away with murder, move to .." and "If you want to commit murder and get away with it, move to .."

I make sure to include all phrases, that way Google will tag them upon search.

***UPDATE: 6/22/16*** See the bottom of the page for more "I heard it with my own two ears" and "I saw it with my own two eyes"..actual pictures from Facebook of various people. ALSO: See the bottom for an exclusive first hand look at Big Spring, TX!
Today, we are going to explore the urban legend of Paul Harvey, Johnny Carson, and in some cases, Jay Leno. This urban legend is one that many towns across America say as a fantasy of the corruption within their own town, as if they were special. 

Yes, you heard right, "an urban legend." Because if you have come to this page, it is because you have "Googled" the terms "If you want to get away with murder go to." For what reason? Well it is possible that you did it in order to "prove" or "disprove" the claim that either three individuals mentioned above made the statement (or that you're a complete psycho looking for actual ways of getting away with murder). Sorry to burst your bubble, but it wasn't ever said.

I'll get hundreds of people who "heard it with their own two ears" about their specific town. Sadly, they are incorrect.

I've debated people throughout many towns, and everywhere "they heard it" about where they live. Remarkable, isn't it? What a coincidence that they "heard it" about their own town, but not of others, as if they were the special ones.

In some cases, there are instances where people attempt to boost their argument by adding several unsolved murders to their city at the time "they heard it." This is very comical, as if people are ignorant.

One specific case, in Crossville, TN, an individual explains that Paul Harvey said those famous words in 1985, while there were 17 unsolved murders. Not only are these numbers "a little" incorrect, they are completely falsified. So, why is it that someone has falsified the number, because after all, they heard it with their own two ears, correct?

We'll get back to determining these numbers in a bit. Sit tight.

In another instance, an individual tried to explain that Paul Harvey wasn't talking about murder rates. Really? Do you understand how asinine that is, considering the fact that we are talking about "if you want to get away with murder, do it here?"

If homicide rates are low, and the rate of solving homicides it high, why would such a statement be made by Paul Harvey, Johnny Carson, or Jay Leno? (Well also get to more actual facts in just a minute.) After all, if you wanted to "get away with murder" in a specific location, wouldn't that mean an above average number of murders and/or a high rate of unsolved murders? "Well it could be because the wrong person was convicted." Really? I'll let you use your critical thinking skills on this one.

Despite knowing the aforementioned, people are still determined to explain that they "heard it." Also despite knowing it has been said about an undermined amount of towns across the United States. We'll list these towns in a minute.

Now, it is also important to realize that all of these transcripts from Paul Harvey, Johnny Carson, and Jay Leno have been saved. Every one of them.

Despite this, and all these other towns "who heard it about where they live" cannot seem to locate such transcript. You know why? It is because it hasn't ever been said. We won't even mention the fact that there are three people who have "said it." Seriously folks, you didn't hear it.

For starters, we'll take a look at Paul Harvey archives:

Now, for you Johnny Carson fans who "seen it," feel free to go here.

Now, yes, you will have to buy the entire archive, as I did. I did and watched all of them to find any assertion of "getting away with murder." None. Zero. Zilch. Don't believe me? Feel free to prove me wrong. Well, thousands wrong for that matter. There is one particular part where an FBI agent discusses crime rates, but no go for the saying. Sorry.

How about we explore where we get the crime stats from, shall we? Just updated a new tool: Murder clearance rates. This goes back to 1965, thus can prove these claims.
Murder Clearance Rates 

Now let us take a look at all the towns where Paul Harvey, Johnny Carson, and/or Jay Leno said it about their town, shall we?

Paul Harvey said it:

I could go on with links from many different towns, but I think it is safe to say, you get the point. I hope.

Update (11/18/15): Some links are out of date; I have updated some. You get the point. It's said everywhere.

Johnny Carson said it:

Let us look at Topix towns...

Harriman, TN Topix
New Castle, IN Topix
Madisonville, KY Topix
Jackson, OH Topix
Oak Hill, OH Topix
New Castle, IN Topix
Another Madisonville, KY Topix
Oneida, TN Topix
Columbus Topix
Crossville, TN Topix
Jamestown, TN Topix
Kenton, OH Topix
Hershey, PA Topix
Mount Vernon, KY Topix
Central City, KY Topix
Santa Fe, NM Topix
Another Crossville, TN Topix
Wartburg, TN Topix
Carlsbad, NM Topix
Washita, OK Topix
Clarksburg, WV Topix
Elk City, OK Topix
Gainesboro, TN Topix
Indianola, NE Topix
Bellefontaine, OH Topix

I mean, come on folks, seriously? And you still believe it was said, and about YOUR town? How convenient.

Now despite knowing all of these towns, you will have people arguing till they're blue in the face about how it is their town in which it was said.

Ironically, out of ALL of these debates, not one single person acknowledges these other towns of where it was said. Regardless of how many times it is shown of the different towns. These people skip around it still claiming they heard it about their own little town, as if it was something special.

Folks, you're naive and gullible. There are many more towns out there, but quite frankly, if you still refuse to believe the truth, you will never believe it. It's called ignorance.

Somewhere, somehow, you have come here to most likely prove that it was said. By now you are starting to realize just how wrong you are. But go ahead, do like others, comment down below telling us how you personally heard it. Go ahead; we'll believe you. *wink*

I go back to my original premise, if it was in fact said, how is it out of all these towns, no one has been able to show the transcripts or proof? This has been here for 3 years. So, you expect me to believe that "it was said about your town" over all these other towns? Even knowing that these other towns have people "who heard it with their own two ears" also? Interesting.

Or how about the people who create "false facts?" Now that is extremely funny.

P.S. I've decided to open up comments on this blog, even for anonymous posters, so we can see how many will still post claiming they heard it.

****EDIT as of 05/25/2014*******

In the two years this has been posted, I have had approximately 16,000 people view this page. Some through Topix, most through Google searches, while others from various sites.

Anyways, I have had the comments open for a very long time; out of all the people who have view this site, not one has still yet to give me information to prove me wrong other than "I said so." 

Some obviously have decided to "chime in" and tell us "they heard it with their own two ears." Shocking, huh? Perhaps if you've made it this far, and "heard it," then you need to go back and read what all I've wrote. I did say that people would say they heard it themselves and try to convince the readership, but will fail to provide proof of other than "I said so," did I not? *grin*

Are you folks dreaming this and thinking it's real? I don't understand. There are THOUSANDS of people claiming they hear it about THEIR town...HUNDREDS of towns, yet you still can't provide proof, even though all transcripts of those days were saved. Interesting.

So now that I'm here updating, I'm going to add another location that it was heard about their town....

Meridian, MS .. You've been added to the list. Congrats!

I hope you guys realize people are laughing at you, not with you.

****EDIT as of 05/26/2014******
 Breckenridge, TX
"Like Paul Harvey has said (Twice)...If you want to get away with murder, go to Breckenridge, TX!"

 Quincy, ILL

Steuben County / Fremont, Indiana
"There was a statement on Paul Harvey about 10 years ago, that if you wanted to get away with murder you needed to move to Steuben county Indiana. (or maybe it was Fremont) "

Foss, OK
Henry, KY

Congrats and thanks to Breckenridge, Quincy, Steuben, Foss, and Henry residents for the additions!

****EDIT as of 11/18/2015******
11/18/15: Wow. I have had this posted for over 3 years now. It is amazing at the amount of traffic that comes to this page. To date, the only thing that has been offered is "I said so" regarding proof of whether or not this myth was actually said. I have even left the comment section open where anyone can post anonymously to provide proof. 3 years and no one can seem to do it. I am updating links as time permits. 

 ****EDIT as of 03/13/2016******
This page is getting increasingly longer as I come across more information. So, what I've decided to do it add actual pictures/screenshots of people making the claims about their own towns. Although some of the posts are older, there are still some newer ones. I still cannot believe this is still being circulated and people believing it. To the folks who "heard it" or "saw it" please explain why [everyone] else says the same about their town. Please. The comment section is open. No proof. No transcript, despite all of these being archived, nothing. Nada. Zilch. 

Link to picture 1
Link to picture 2
Link to picture 3
Link to picture 4 

All the above pictures are direct links to screenshots of additional people claiming they heard it/saw it about their own town.
 ****EDIT as of 06/22/2016******
Time to shift focus on one particular town, Big Spring Texas! Some of the PUBLIC commentary is in the links above, but some new information has surfaced so we can all laugh at this group. After taking the comments, then using research data, it is perfectly clear that NO ONE would have said it about Big Spring; however, this is only one town, many towns across the US that say it about their location is the same way. This example shows how the urban legend (Paul Harvey) continues. Also note the inconsistencies ...

Now, those are in no particular order, but they are all from a PUBLIC comment section of Big Spring, TX! If you look, you can see that none can even agree on the date (which the argument stands between decades a part). Now, if he (Paul Harvey) had indeed said this, could we at least get the dates the same, or at least close?

A Clearance, in this terminology, is the amount of cases solved.

Clearance Rate of 91.01%?!?!? But wait!! I thought if you wanted to get away with murder, go to Big Spring???? LOL

 ****EDIT as of 04/09/2017******

I'm still here waiting for disproving information. I started this in 2012. Here we are, 5 years later, and still no credible information. The thing about it is, I am on the top of the Google page when you search the criteria, and I can see the page visits through analytics. At this point, I see about 80,000 people have came by, through Facebook, Topix, random Google searches, etc. 


  1. Search the web for Roane County Tennessee & Rocky and Leon Houston. Is it murder if 2 cops drive on to your property and a shootout commences and you take an AK-47 and blow the cops apart? Court TV was there covering their trial. When they were acquitted the network left town and never mentioned it again. It's always been said "f you want to commit murder and get away with it, move to Roane County." Do the research and make up your own mind.

    1. I can't dispute that somebody may have said that about Roane County, but I can say with 100% certainty that it was not Paul Harvey, Johnny Carson or Jay Leno.

  2. @ "Anonymous": Apparently you failed to read this page in its entirety.

    Yet, somehow you've landed on this page. You being on this page directly tells me that you've Googled those terms and cannot find any evidence of that saying.

    I've done the research. While the saying may come from common folk of that area, it is very clear that it was never said by Paul Harvey, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, or any one else of a related famous nature.

  3. Thank you for posting this. I stumbled across your article, which I am going back and re-read more thoroughly, as I was Googling this very thing. I am on a group on Facebook, and I have seen this posted SO many times it's not even funny. I got curious...wondering if/when this had really been said on a Paul Harvey commentary. I could find nothing except this article of yours and a forum on Someone in my small town 'group' page I am on, just posted this very thing. That they 'remembered' when he said this..LOL!! I'm sorry, but people are so unbelievably, mind blowing IGNORANT. Yes, this is my hometown...thank God I've 'evolved' beyond the 'well I heard' stage. I did post this link there, so people can read it and quite saying they REMEMBER this for crying out loud. This is Ottumwa, IA and people there SWEAR they heard Paul Harvey say this while on air. GOOD GRIEF!! Again, thanks!!

  4. My comment is actually very similar to the above. Small town. Fb page. Someone heard it with their own ears. I thought "highly unlikely" so I googled to proved this wrong!! My town is Meridian, MS. Please blast this all over the world!!!

  5. I actually heard the broadcast, and it has been a hot topic of discussion in our town for years. It lead to a shakeup in the department. The broadcast did happen. It's just sad that it is impossible to track down. We asked for information on getting it from the radio station after it was broadcast, but they said we would have to go through Paul Harvey to get it.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. @Anonymous who "heard it." Did you even read the damn article here? Do you know how silly you look? You "heard it?" LMAO! Yeah, I bet you did. Good grief.

  7. Well I heard it with my own two ears by Paul Harvey about New York, NY. That's what he said. If you wanted to get away with murder, go to New York.

  8. So did he say it about Crossville TN or not?? I heard it was said around 95. Its weird Crossville was the one you mentioned first. Also, the link to PH archives is dead. A lot are dead, but I understand this blog is old.

  9. No, he didn't say it about Crossville or any other city.

  10. When I was a child the story I had always heard was if you want to get away with murder go to new york new york or sparta tennessee. Never once have I believed it but I guess atleast Sparta knows how to share the fake spotlight huh?

    1. I firmly dispute this. I am from that town. The episode of the Paul Harvey show that broadcast that story was on 103.3 KDF when it was still a rock station, I actually heard the broadcast when it took place.

      The reason I found this story wasn't because I was trying to disprove that rumor, I was looking for any recording of that show from when it was originally broadcast because I heard it myself.

      It was a long time ago is the problem, had to be between years of like 1987 and 1991 I was in elementary school, seems like every day paul harvey came on either in the morning or night on 103.3 KDF I don't remember what time of day it was, just that we were shocked when we heard the name of the town.

      Funnier part, I might have access to people who can prove or disprove this for real. I know people who used to be DJs at that station at the time it was broadcast.

    2. It has affirmatively been disproven with 100% certainty. Here is every single episode of the Paul Harvey Show that was ever aired. Care to show me what episode it is now?

  11. I don't know who is in charge of this article, but you're not going to sit here and tell me that I didn't hear what I heard with my wife that Johnny Carson said if you want to get away with murder go to Decatur Illinois!! So without trying to be rude I don't know how I can say this,, you're absolutely wrong I did hear it so has other people in this town!! So you can take your sarcasm somewhere else!! Now maybe the network is not willing to own up to it but I heard it and so did several others and personally I don't care what you have to say!! I know what I heard and that's it!! Have a great day

    1. Riiiight, which is why you can't prove it other than "I said so," correct? You don't care, but yet you took the time to come here and post providing no proof whatsoever. You may have heard it, in your dreams, but it didn't happen.

  12. Nice article. Heard it said about Erie, Pa attributed to Jay Leno. Don't care one way or the other, seems it just proves there are a whole lot of places to get away with murder! Saves travel headaches for said killers. Not sure why you're so angry and insulting to those who believe it- lighten up pal! Good clean fun! (BTW Kirk never said "beam me up Scotty")

  13. Just found this article. Creeeepy as hell. I actually googled that statement. I'm 24, and at my last job, an elderly lady (60's?) told me that about Carlsbad, NM. She claims she heard it as well. Not saying you're wrong, or she's wrong. But, kind of makes you wonder why so many people are claiming to have heard that about their city?

    1. That's why it's called an urban legend. Over the course of over a year, I periodically listened to every Paul Harvey Show episode ever aired throughout history. I didn't do this to prove or disprove this debate, but rather for nostalgic reasons. I can now say, however, with 100% certainty upon which I would wager my life, that the OP is correct -- Paul Harvey never made any such statement about any town or state in the US.

  14. Pike County Indiana and that is all I am going to say.

  15. Haha this is such s great read! The comments are the best part! You can't fix stupid and you will never change the minds of some people. I have in-laws who said they heard it about Sparta/Crossvile and I have only lived here 5 years and I knew it's total horse shit. GOTTA LOVE THE FACTS FELLAS!

  16. Was wondering if you do media interviews? I write for a magazine in one of the towns listed and wanted to include a "Local Snopes" type feature. If not, may I just reference the discussion on this page?

  17. @Anonymous, regarding interviews, yes I do them. Please let me know how you would like to establish contact. -J

  18. My parents told me that Paul Harvey said it about Clarksburg, WV after the murder of Mary and Gary Schaffer by a supposed mafioso. Cant remeber what year around 80-82. My parents never claimed to have heard it they just believed the people who told them they had heard it. My parents were friends with the victims and we all were friends with the alledged killers family. So this is something I heard alot but never about another town until today. Makes me glad I never repeated this to anyone. I just googled it hoping to find the actual audio of the broadcast and found this. Im glad I did. Thank You for taking the time and putting forth the effort to put this together and share it.

  19. It's an amazing phenomenon of human behavior that, even when provided with crystal-clear, rock-solid evidence that a particular event did not occur, the number of people who persist in lying to the contrary. Perhaps with pathological liars, that type of person is truly convinced of the lie that they are telling. Hence, in their own mind at least, the lie is actually true. For example, although every Paul Harvey Show episode ever aired in history is available via the archives link,, people will persist in lying about a statement that Paul Harvey certainly never made. However, when you and I both sit at a table upon which rests an apple, it is beyond insulting that the other person will try to convince me that I'm looking at an orange. If you want to believe your own delusional perceptions of reality, fine -- you're not bothering me. However, don't try to convince me of your BS in the face of concrete proof and infallible evidence.