ByMelissa Thomas, writer at Creators.co
Horror blogger. Find more of my work at littleblogofhorror.com. Email me at [email protected]
Melissa Thomas

For most of us movies and TV shows are nothing but an entertaining way to pass the time, but for others that are slightly less stable, they are inspiration for their depraved acts. Some of the world's most disturbing crimes have been ripped straight from some of pop culture's most well known works. Here are 10 real-life crimes straight from the movies and TV.

10. The Town

Fiction: Ben Affleck stars as Doug MacRay, a bank robber with bizarre disguise choices. He must balance his focus on planning his next job, his feelings for a bank manager connected to one of his previous jobs and not getting caught by an FBI agent hellbent on bringing him and his crew down.

Real Crime: A couple from Illinois attempted to emulate Affleck and his crew when they donned nun masks and held up a bank. The couple was heavily armed, but miraculously did not fire a shot. Navahcia Edwards and her fiance made away with over $100,000 but they were eventually caught.

Crime scene photos of real-life robbery
Crime scene photos of real-life robbery

9. Sons of Anarchy

Fiction: Sons of Anarchy is a TV series that ran on FX for 7 seasons. The series chronicled the life and crimes of the fictional motorcycle club the Sons of Anarchy. They dealt guns for the IRA, ran a porn business all the way down to having worked with a cartel. The series ended last year.

Real Crime: A gang in Jacksonville, Florida that called themselves the Guardians said their crimes were inspired by the hit series according to "boss" Maynard Kenneth Godwin. The group sold drugs and stolen merchandise, but that's not the worst of it. They were also responsible for a string of very violent robberies. They would choose their victims via internet property records, once they found a wealthy enough target, they would strike. The Guardians have since been disbanded.

Godwin's mugshot
Godwin's mugshot

8. Fight Club

Fiction: An insomniac office worker played by Edward Norton meets an anti-capitalist, carefree soap maker named Tyler Durden played by Brad Pitt. Durden is putting together an underground fight club that evolves into much more.

Real Crime: Kyle Shaw was heavily influenced by the anti-capitalist message of the film and the behavior of Tyler Durden. He set off a homemade bomb made from fireworks outside of a Starbucks, which happens to be a massive symbol of American capitalism. Shaw planned to create his own "Project Mayhem", the group set up by Durden to take down corporate America. He was openly a huge fan of the book and the film and was vocal about planning to mimic them.

Kyle Shaw during a court appearance
Kyle Shaw during a court appearance

7. Child's Play

Fiction: The serial killer Charles Lee Ray is gunned down by police in a toy store but not before he transfers his soul to a Good Guy Doll. A mother purchases the doll from a man in an alley for her son Andy. The possessed doll awakens and goes on a homicidal rampage.

Real Crime: This crime does not involve a homicidal possessed doll, but the monster responsible for the crime admitted to being obsessed with Chucky and that he had gotten ideas from the films. A 28 year-old named Martin Bryant went on a 2 day rampage on April 28th through April 29th, 1996 in Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia that resulted in 35 dead and 23 wounded. The horrendous act was dubbed the Port Arthur Massacre. It is still considered one of the deadliest shootings by a single person. Bryant is currently serving 35 life sentences.

Martin Bryant
Martin Bryant

6. Scream

Fiction: Sidney Prescott's life gets turned upside down after a series of murders in her hometown of Woodsboro being committed by a psychopath in a black cloak and ghost mask begin to claim the lives of her friends. It becomes clear that Sidney is in fact the main target of the killer.

Real Crime: Scream has gotten a lot of heat for inspiring more than one murder. In England, 2 teenage boys believed that the film was sending them messages to kill their friend. The 2 lured their friend to a secluded location and attacked him. The boy made a full recovery.

Perhaps the most grisly of the murders inspired by the film is the murder of 15 year-old Allison Cambier. Cambier went to visit her neighbor, 24 year-old Thierry Jaradin one day after school. While she was visiting Jaradin, he excused himself and went into the other room, he put on a Ghostface costume and proceeded to attack Cambier. After the savage attack, it was determined that Jaradin had stabbed Cambier over 30 times.

Jaradin in court
Jaradin in court

5. A Clockwork Orange

Fiction: Alex DeLarge and his droogs partake in brutal crimes together including robbery, assault and gang rape. Alex is arrested and volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government in an effort to solve society's crime problem - but not all goes according to plan.

Real Crime: There have been a rather large amount of crimes associated with this film. In fact, Stanley Kubrick voluntarily banned the film from distribution in the UK, and the film stayed banned until after the director's death in 1999. Crimes ranged from robberies and assaults all the way to a recreation of the gang rape scene. A young girl was brutally raped by a group of young males and while they committed this terrible act, they sang "Singin' in the Rain" just as Alex and his group did.

The most recent crime based on the film happened in London in 2010. Three teenagers named Ruby Thomas, Rachel Burke and Joel Alexander savagely attacked a 65 year-old gay man. A witness to the crime states that they were hurling homophobic insults at the defenseless man as they beat and stomped him to death and that the brutality of the attack mirrored a scene from A Clockwork Orange. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Rachel Burke, Joel Alexander & Ruby Thomas
Rachel Burke, Joel Alexander & Ruby Thomas

4. Dexter

Fiction: Dexter Morgan is the adopted son of a police officer. Dexter told his father that he had an urge to kill, so his father along with a psychologist friend of his devised a code that will allow Dexter to fulfill his urge to kill. The first rule, don't get caught and the second, make sure they deserve it. Dexter only killed human monsters. He struggled to keep his life secret until the very end in 2013 when the show ended its 8 season run on Showtime.

Real Crime: Like many of the other titles on this list, Dexter has been the inspiration for more than one crime. The most disturbing crime has to be the death of Elizabeth Thomas. Thomas was with her boyfriend Steven Miles, a small red-headed British boy that nobody would think was capable of the deranged act he committed. Miles was known to have been obsessed with Dexter and he brutally murdered Elizabeth Thomas is a fashion very similar to how Dexter killed his victims. Miles stabbed his girlfriend in the back of the head, dismembering her body and putting her remains in trash bags. After the murder, Miles admitted to his sister that he "did something bad" to Elizabeth. In his mugshot below Miles can be seen giving the same cold stare that Dexter always gave.

Steven Miles & Dexter Morgan
Steven Miles & Dexter Morgan

3. The Dark Knight

Fiction: The 2008 second installment of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy pitted Batman against the Joker. In the film, the Joker attempts to destroy Gotham and Batman's mental health. In the process of the Joker's chaos, another villain is born when Harvey Dent is severely burnt while trying to save his fiance, and became Two-Face. The Joker councils Two-Face and together they turn Gotham upside down.

Real Crime: During a 2012 showing of , The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, 24 year-old James Holmes proclaimed "I am The Joker" and opened fire on the room. Holmes was emulating The Joker from The Dark Knight as well as the comic book series The Dark Knight Returns (in which, The Joker murders a TV audience with Joker gas).

James Holmes during his trial
James Holmes during his trial

2. Taxi Driver

Fiction: In this 1976 Scorsese classic Robert Di Niro plays a mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran named Travis Bickle that works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City. Where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute (played by Jodie Foster) in the process.

Real Crime: Most sane people can watch this film and just enjoy it, but John Hinckley Jr was not your typical "sane" person. Hinckley believed that Travis Bickle was talking to him through the film, so what did he do next? He attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Hinckley was a fantasist and psychologically unstable and upon seeing the film, he sank further into his fantasy land. He claims he committed the crime to get the attention of Jodie Foster, he even sent her love letters and telling her to wait for him and to "remain a virgin" and that other couples would be envious of them. After a series of trials, Hinckley was deemed insane and placed under psychiatric care.

Hinckley's mugshot
Hinckley's mugshot

1. Natural Born Killers

Fiction: Two victims of traumatic childhoods named Mickey and Mallory (played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis) become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

Real Crime: It is a bit like crime inception; Natural Born Killers was based on the real-life murder spree of Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate that took place in the 50's, and the film itself has inspired countless crimes. The most infamous of the copycats are Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Harris and Klebold are the two psychopaths responsible for the Columbine High School massacre that took place on April 20, 1999. Journals and videos made by the pair suggest that Natural Born Killers was used as the blueprint for their savage attack.

Klebold and Harris
Klebold and Harris

Most of us can view these films for what they are- entertainment- but sadly there are people out there that feel the need to emulate what they see on the screen. Unfortunately there have been way more crimes than just the 10 listed above.

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