Years ago, a writing acquaintance and I were talking about something or other with regards to writing crime and how other people might view us. I pointed out that crime writers are probably the safest people in the world to be around. We get all our violence and frustrations out on the page rather than acting on them in real life.
Think about it. We get pissed at someone, we write furiously and end up with a scene where a person gets horribly murdered. (And if we're really good, the dead person in the book in no way resembles its real life counterpart - except in our minds.) We don't rush out and kill someone, or even rush out and assault someone. Fictional people die and the world is a safer place.
Sure, there have been instances where a writer has gone off the rails and actually committed the crime. But it's rare. And I'd venture those whackos weren't very good writers anyway. Or at least not very smart criminals because when the story you wrote mirrors the crime you committed, it's a trail of breadcrumbs that leads the police right to your door. Duh.
I know I've managed to put a lot of my frustrations to bed by banging it out on the keyboard. Sometimes even when I'm not writing a murder scene, just the act of writing keeps me from going postal*.
So, like I said, I figure crime writers - and writers in general - are probably the safest people to be around. Unless you somehow happen to get in between us and our coffee. Then all bets are off. ;o)
*Obviously, it's not the only thing that keeps me from going postal. There's this thing called knowing right from wrong. And personality responsibility. And believing in the sanctity of life. You know, simple stuff murderers forget or ignore.