Crimes Influenced by popular fictional TV shows or movies
Everything happens for a reason. Popular culture is a seemingly benign phenomenon; however it turns out that some fragments of it can have a very strange influence on some people. Even a simple fiction TV show can lead to a series of brutal murders around the world. Here are some examples:
1 Catcher in the Rye
The classic novel was something that John Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman, was holding on to besides his gun. Given that Chapman grew up in a problematic family, he was prone to drugs as a teenager. However, he quit drugs sometime later when he became religious. When John Lennon announced that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ, that fact changed Chapman’s life forever. As well as a friend’s book recommendation – “Catcher in the Rye”. He completely identified himself with the book protagonist – a man wondering the streets, unsatisfied of the entire world around him. He was angry with Lennon for the singer was preaching empty stories. Lennon said that people should have no possessions and yet he had millions. Chapman waited for Lennon in front of a hotel and shot him dead. He was just standing there, reading his book until the police arrived. He claimed that one part of him was Holden (the book protagonist) and the other part must be the Devil himself.
The popular American TV show, produced by Showtime, inspired a great number of copycats; the plot revolves around a police forensics specialist who becomes a serial killer at night. Actually, his killings are always justified so he is some sort of a “good killer” even though he still slaughters and stabs his victims to death. Several cases occurred inspired by Dexter:
- The 17-years-old Andrew Conley stabbed his young brother Connor after watching the show;
- The 21-years-old Swedish woman, aka “Dexter-Kvinnan” (The Dexter woman) stabbed her father in the heart. She was identifying herself not only with Dexter but also with other fictional characters;
- The 19-years-old Miranda Barbour was claiming she was killing only those who “deserved it”.
3 Satanic Panic
One of the murderers of the 80s panic period when Satanists influenced by heavy metal were raging over the United States. Richard Ramirez was a heavy metal fan, a serial killer and a Satanist; he killed more than 15 people in Los Angeles. His favorite band was AC/DC because their songs insinuated Satan and “Highway to Hell” was his album of all times. All of his murders were inspired both the bands lyrics but especially by the idea of Satan crawling into people’s lives and taking over.
4 A Clockwork Orange
A series of crimes occurred in Great Britain after the premiere of Stanley Kubrick’s film; it was then pulled out from distribution for the following 27 years. The plot revolves around a group of violent teenage boys, a gang of Droogs, led by Alex DeLarge. It was a great inspiration for the crimes committed over the UK:
- A young Dutch girl was raped by a gang while they were chanting “Singing in the Rain”, just like Alex and his gang do in the film;
- A teenage boy killed a homeless person just like Alex did with his Droogs;
- A teenage boy dressed as Alex’s gang member, beat up a child;
- Stanley Kubrick used to get death threats at the time. The film was back on the UK market in 1999, after Kubrick’s death.