The horror movie Smiley drew attention to just how freaky a smiley-face-gone-wrong can be - but were the filmmakers inspired by true events?
The Smiley Face Murder Theory
A spate of bodies were found from the late 1990s in over 11 states. All of the deceased were fit, college-age males found in areas of water - with Smiley Face graffiti nearby. Two retired NYPD detectives, Anthony Duarte and Kevin Gannon, are convinced that the killings are related - the work of a serial killer, still at large.
The detectives fought to reopen the case
Duarte and Gannon petitioned the FBI to reopen investigations and treat the series of murders as linked by a potential serial killer. The FBI responded:
The FBI has reviewed the information about the victims provided by two retired police detectives, who have dubbed these incidents the “Smiley Face Murders,” and interviewed an individual who provided information to the detectives. To date, we have not developed any evidence to support links between these tragic deaths or any evidence substantiating the theory that these deaths are the work of a serial killer or killers.
The vast majority of these instances appear to be alcohol-related drownings. The FBI will continue to work with the local police in the affected areas to provide support as requested...
Horror movie Smiley hit in 2012
Is it possible that the Smiley face murders inspired the film's events?
Fact or fiction?
Duarte and Gannon trust their findings - not to mention decades of hard-won crime-fighting experience - and claim that the Smiley Face Killer is real, and still on the loose. However, criminal profiler Pat Brown totally refutes the theory, calling it 'ludicrous,' adding:
It's not an unusual symbol. If you look in an area five miles square, I bet you could find a smiley face.
What do you think?
Source: Smiley Face Murders