According to Montressor, in "The Cask of Amontillado," what makes a perfect crime ?What makes Montressor's crime a perfect one?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

    If every home today had as vast a system of catacombs as Montressor's in Edgar Allan Poe's classic short story, "The Cask of Amontillado," then the perfect crime would become routine. Montressor has indeed committed the perfect crime.

For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them. In pace requiescat!

Although Fortunato's "crime" is never disclosed, Montressor states frankly that it must be met with "impunity"--exempt from punishment. He has certainly succeeded. Montressor has managed to lure Fortunato to his own resting place among the bones of centuries dead Montressors: a fitting and symbolic final stop. Montressor has enacted the ultimate punishment without actually carrying out the murder with his own hands; he will simply allow time to dictate Fortunato's final hours. There are no witnesses, and the body will never be found. Every aspect of his plan, from the false bottle of Amontillado to the hidden trowel and cement, has worked to perfection. He is able to experience the satisfaction of Fortunato's demise and has done so in a matter that exposes his victim to the mental realization of the horrible, helpless situation. And unlike the narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart," whose madness and guilty conscience eventually overwhelms him, Montressor can apparently live happily with his conscience. It is that rare crime of perfection.