Effictio


Effictio (ef-fik’-ti-o): A verbal depiction of someone’s body, often from head to toe.

Note: This figure was used in forensic rhetoric (legal argumentation) for purposes of clearly identifying an alleged criminal. It has often been adapted to poetical uses.

He was lying on his back in a pool of blood in the alleyway between the “Bar of Good Hope” and a hardware store. His head looked like a pumpkin that had been sitting on somebody’s porch steps for a month. It was caved in on both sides–mercilessly crushed by the assailant’s baseball bat, which was lying on the concrete walkway alongside the victim. The victim’s brown eyes had a dull film over them and the victim wasn’t breathing, leaving no doubt that he was dead. I checked his pulse anyway. Dead. Dead as can be.

He was around six feet-three inches tall with sandy blond hair. He was wearing a gold wedding band. In addition, he was wearing red shorts, a black T-shirt, and expensive jogging shoes. He was muscular–broad shoulders and sculpted biceps, flat stomach, and legs that looked like he could out-sprint anybody on the body-recovery team.

He had no identification, so he would be admitted to the morgue as “John Doe.” Perhaps the assailant stole his wallet, but the brutality of the beating, and leaving the murder weapon behind, indicate this was a crime of passion: of anger, of love gone bad, or one of the other seemingly endless motives involved in murder.

Next, we need to figure out who this dead guy is, and then, create a list of suspects, and haul them into the Station for interrogation.

It’s not going to be easy solving this one. But once it hits the press, we may get some leads. Also, we’ll be checking fingerprints.

  • Post your own effictio on the “Comments” page!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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