There’s nothing I love more than a good horror movie. It’s a peculiar attachment that was formed during my childhood (Goosebumps was one of my favourite shows). I grew up watching horror movies; it was a family affair. I was a mature kid, so my parents let me watch them from a young age, the only exception being The Exorcist. Even then, I hid in the kitchen and caught what glimpses I could of the television. I’ve always been fascinated with horror movies. Many people are. Unfortunately, some people take their fascination a little too far.
Many serial killers and home invaders have been inspired to action by their fictional counterparts. The copycat effect is nothing new; people have been replicating widely publicized crimes since at least the early 1900s, when a slew of Jack the Ripper copycats came out of the woodwork. With increasing media coverage, however, copycat criminals are given more exposure, multiplying the copycat effect tenfold.
Nothing is fodder for copycat criminals quite like horror movies. They provide ready-made examples of murder, abduction, torture, and other illegal acts. It seems obvious that crimes glorified in horror movies would bleed into real life. Many well-known, and some not so well-known, criminals owe their inspiration to the horror genre. Here you’ll find fifteen crimes that pay homage to horror movies in the most atrocious way. Viewer discretion is advised.
15. 14-YEAR-OLD Wannabe Serial Killer Murdered His Classmate
Middle school is a time for career exploration. Some young teens want to be doctors. Others want to be engineers. Michael Hernandez just wanted to be a serial killer. A simple ambition, really. His eccentric career choice was inspired by movies like American Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs. The serial killers in these movies are witty and compelling. What’s not to admire about them, aside from the killing of course. At the ripe age of fourteen, Michael killed a classmate, starting himself on the path to serial murder. He knew that murder was a societal wrong, but he felt that God was on his side. He thought that God would give him special powers, that God would help him to escape from prison. He thought wrong.
14. A prank call by two teenage girls went horribly wrong
What started out as a prank phone call turned into criminal charges for two teenage girls in Tennessee. They called a woman named Beverly Dickson and left a message on her cell phone. The message was inspired by the torturous games played by the character Jigsaw in the Saw movies. The two teenage girls told Beverly that they wanted to play a game. They claimed that one of her friends was trapped inside of her house, and that toxic gas would fill her home in ten minutes, gas which would kill her in thirty seconds. Ironically, Beverly listened to the message during a funeral procession. She suffered a stroke soon after. The two teenage girls were charged with phone harassment. Think twice before you prank call someone; it could prove deadly.
13. Man Went on A Killing Spree Inspired By Freddy Krueger
Daniel Gonzalez had a history of mental illness. He also had a dangerous fascination with A Nightmare on Elm Street. Daniel idolized Freddy Krueger, so much so that he fantasized about becoming a famous serial killer like him. He intended to kill at least ten people, but only accomplished four murders. Daniel stabbed four people to death and attempted to murder two additional people. His murders took place over a three-day killing spree, an experience which he described as orgasmic. His victims ranged in age from 46 to 76 years old; he was only 25. Daniel told police that he wondered what it would be like to be Freddy Krueger for a day. Looks like one day wasn’t enough for him.
12. Man Killed The Woman Who Rejected His Proposal
Crimes inspired by movies aren’t a modern phenomenon. Way back in 1928, a man named Robert Williams murdered a woman after seeing a vision of the face of a character from the lost movie, London After Midnight. The woman’s name was Julia Mangan. She was a housemaid-waitress. Robert had asked her to marry him that night. Then he saw the face of Lon Chaney as he appeared in London After Midnight. The next thing he knew, he had murdered Julia with a razor. If you’re thinking of watching the movie that inspired such horror, then you might be out of luck. The last known copy of the movie was destroyed in the 1967 MGM Vault fire in California. An act of God, or the Devil’s work?
11. Belgium Driver Stabbed a 15-year-old Girl To Death
Thierry Jaradin just wanted to find love. The 24-year-old lorry driver from Belgium set his sights on 15-year-old Alisson Cambier. One day, she came over to his house to exchange videotapes and to chat. She made the fatal mistake of rejecting his advances. Rebuffed by a girl nearly ten years his junior, Thierry put on his Ghostface costume, grabbed two large kitchen knives, and stabbed Alisson thirty times. His act of violence ripped her left side open. Thierry took Alisson’s corpse to his bedroom, laying her on the bed and placing a rose in one of her limp hands. Anyone else thinking of a horror spoof of The Bachelor right now? Thierry then called his father and one of his colleagues and confessed to his crime, claiming that he was inspired by the Scream movies. We know what his favourite scary movie is; what’s yours?
10. Indiana Man Went on a Four Day Killing Spree
If you aren’t familiar with the movie The Purge, the movie’s premise is that the government grants citizens a 12-hour period once a year in which crime is legal. That includes murder. Jonathan Cruz, a 19-year-old man from Indiana, took that premise a little too seriously. Jonathan went on a four-day killing spree inspired by The Purge. He shot three men, killing them. His list of crimes doesn’t end there. He’s been charged with attempted robbery, armed robbery, intimidation, and criminal gang enhancement. A jack-of-all-crime is what he is. Jonathan sent several text messages to his girlfriend referencing The Purge. He also told a witness that he was “going purging”. Just like in the movie, though, his purging came to an end.
9. Homeless Alcoholic Tortured and Mutilated His Friend
Gary George was a homeless alcoholic with a passion for horror movies and an unhealthy obsession with witchcraft. One of his favourite movies was The Loved Ones, an Australian horror movie in which a high school girl tortures the boy who refused to go to the prom with her. She injects bleach into his voice box, nails his feet to the floor with knifes, carves a heart into his chest, and throws salt in the wound. Gary was so inspired by this scene that he set out to recreate it by torturing and mutilating one of his friends. He beat his friend, stabbed him 49 times with a knife, poured salt into a wound carved into his stomach, and put cleaning fluid in his eyes. Gary confessed his crime to a shop assistant later that night. You have to give him credit for the eyes; it’s an original touch.
8. Drug Addict Tortured and Killed His Roommate
Gary George isn’t the only man to mimic a torture scene from a horror movie. Matthew Tinling took to torturing his roommate in the style of Saw IV. Both Matthew and his roommate were drug users. When Matthew’s roommate refused to hand over his pin number so that Matthew could buy crack cocaine, Matthew snapped. He stabbed his roommate seventeen times in the head, neck and legs. He then attempted to sever his roommate’s spinal cord, inspired by a torture scene from Saw IV. It seems that he was unsuccessful in this, although his roommate did die. Movie torture is harder than it looks.
7. Woman Murdered By Her Son and Nephew
Gina Castillo was a typical responsible mother. She was concerned about her son hanging out so much with his deviant cousin. This cousin was frequently high on drugs, and not a good influence on her son. Gina paid the price for this ill-advised friendship when her sixteen-year-old son and her fourteen-year-old nephew stabbed her to death in her apartment. The boys claimed to have been inspired by the Scream franchise. They wanted to buy a Grim Reaper mask and a voice-distorting box like the ones used in the movie, but they couldn’t afford them. Instead, they settled for a very uninspiring murder. I doubt that their crime will ever be glorified in a Lifetime original movie.
6. Mass Shooting in Port Arthur, Australia
Martin Bryant was just your average teddy bear-loving guy. According to his girlfriend, he was obsessed not just with teddy bears, of which he had two hundred, but with dolls and violent videos as well. He even showed her the occasional bestiality clip. His favourite movie was Child’s Play 2, which features a murderous doll named Chucky. Martin loved Chucky, and quoted him often. Chucky combined two of his obsessions into one: dolls and violence. Inspired by Chucky, Martin murdered 35 people in a mass shooting in Port Arthur, Australia. His massacre is the deadliest mass killing in Australia’s history. I’m sure Chucky would be proud.
5. “Vampire Killer” Stabbed His Friend 42 Times
23-year-old Allan Menzies just wanted to be a vampire. He wanted to be a vampire so badly that he murdered his best friend and drank his blood. Allan stabbed Thomas McKendrick 42 times. Nicknamed “the vampire killer”, Allan claimed that the vampire Akasha from the movie Queen of the Damned ordered him to kill, promising him immortality. He was obsessed with the movie, having watched it over one hundred times. When Thomas insulted the film, Allan grabbed a hammer and hit him at least ten times on the head. He then drank his blood, ate part of his skull, and buried him in a shallow grave. Shouldn’t he have buried himself along with Thomas if he expected to rise as a vampire?
4. Man Murdered His Girlfriend to Drink Her Blood
Horror movies about vampires seem to inspire all sorts of crimes. Daniel Sterling watched Interview with the Vampire the day before he attempted to murder his girlfriend of eight years. He told her that he wanted to kill her and drink her blood, then stabbed her with a serrated dagger nine times. Oh yeah, and he sucked her blood, as vampires do. Luckily, his girlfriend survived, and neither of them were transformed into creatures of the night. Daniel’s defence lawyers argued that he was mentally ill and highly suggestible. They tried to persuade the jury that he was mesmerized by Interview with the Vampire. The jury wasn’t mesmerized by Daniel’s lawyers, finding him guilty of attempted first degree murder.
3. Teenager Shot His Mother and Sister In Cold Blood
Jake Evans was a mentally troubled 17-year-old boy living in Texas. After watching Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween, he was amazed by Michael Myers’ composure as he murdered his family, and by his lack of remorse. He watched the movie three times that week. In awe of Michael Myers, Jake shot his mother and sister in their home. He then ran to his room and yelled about how messed up he was. He had thought it would be the same for him as for Michael when he killed someone, but he was wrong. Hearing movement from his sister, he returned to shoot her and his mother again, wanting to make sure that they were dead. He apologized before shooting them. Jake later revealed that he had intended to kill his grandparents and his two older sisters as well. Fortunately for them, he was no Michael Myers.
2. Victims Lured To A Dungeon, Raped, Tortured and Killed
It all started when Charles Ng responded to a magazine advertisement from Leonard Lake. Leonard had built an underground dungeon next to his cabin in California, and wanted a partner to commit murder with. He and Charles brought innocent victims to this dungeon, where they raped and tortured them before killing them. They documented their atrocities on film. The two are believed to have killed between 11 and 25 people. Leonard’s murderous plan was called “Operation Miranda,” a reference to the novel The Collector and the movie on which it was based. Charles’ kleptomania proved to be the duo’s undoing, attracting the attention of the police. Charles fled to Canada, where he was later apprehended, while Leonard ingested cyanide pills to avoid jail time.
1. Two Children Brutally Murdered Another
Nothing is more horrifying than the concept of evil children. Childhood is supposed to be a time of innocence, but it was a time of malevolence for two ten-year-old boys from England. Robert Thompson and Jon Venables kidnapped two-year-old James Bulger from a mall one afternoon. They led the trusting toddler to some railway tracks behind the local police station, where they beat him, pelted him with stones, splattered blue paint in his eye, and bashed him to death with an iron bar. They left his body on the train tracks for the police to find. James’ foreskin had been removed, and his rectum showed signs of having had a battery forced up it. James Bulger’s murder is eerily similar to Chucky’s death in Child’s Play 3. In that movie, Chucky is splattered with paint before his face is smashed in. All of England had one question on their minds: how could two children murder a third in such a monstrous way?
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