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Criminals That Were Inspired By Fiction

Girl in woods photos. (Pixabay)

When Reality is Stranger- and Scarier- Than Fiction. Dexter, Sherlock, Making a Murderer- we eat these stories up. Stories about gruesome murder and crime. Possibly because despite how disturbing the acts depicted in these series actually are, we can't help but marvel at the clever and demented minds of the culprits, as well as the people who capture them. However, the obsession with these characters and their stories can sometimes inspire others in the worst ways possible. The following are a few times when people were influenced, or blatantly copied, the crimes of fictional characters.

The "Manga Murder Case", which occurred in Belgium, is one of these instances. On September 28th, 2007, two hikers found a human torso and two thighs In Duden Park, in the city of Saint-Gilles. Police later discovered, with research, that the Caucasian man was killed several days earlier. The one thing found on the crime scene was a note, written on two pieces of paper. It read: "WATASHI WA KIRA DESS" This is a misspelled Japanese phrase, which can be translated to "I am Kira". Kira is an alias used by the main protagonist of the popular manga and anime series "Death Note", in which the protagonist, Light Yagami, murders people by writing their names in a notebook (the Death Note). Three years later, in 2010, four suspects were discovered, and in 2013 and 2016 they were convicted and sent to prison.

In 2014, another series was dominating the media, a series called Dexter. It had a unique premise that drew everyone in, and while it is still popular today, between 2006 and 2013, it had an even larger following. In 2010, one of its devoted fans- a little too devoted, apparently- named Andrew Conley felt that he could relate to Dexter Morgan, the titular protagonist of the show, as he had been fantasizing about murdering someone since the eighth grade. He strangled his ten-year-old brother, Conner Conley, to death when he was seventeen, saying he wanted to know what it felt like to kill. A few weeks prior to his murder, he claimed that he admired Dexter, and told his girlfriend at the time that he wanted to be just like him. Immediately after the murder, he drove to his girlfriend's home and gave her a promise ring, while Conner's corpse was stuffed into the trunk of his vehicle. He acted like nothing was amiss during the five-day sentencing hearing as well, interacting with his mother like he always had before. Despite debate and controversy due to his minor age status, the US Supreme Court upheld a life sentence of life without parole for the teen.

One of the best-known crimes inspired by fiction was the tragedy in Colorado, where a man shot up a theater screening "The Dark Night" after loudly proclaiming that he was the Joker. However, that wasn't the only crime inspired by the ground-breaking film. A lesser known crime involved a Wisconsin man, who broke into his cousin's home and assaulted him while dressed as Joker. His motive was his suspicion that his cousin had sexual relations with his ex-girlfriend and the fact that it was confirmed when he caught them in bed together. And it doesn't end there- The Joker inspired many mentally disturbed people, apparently. In 2009, a female student in an Indiana High School attempted to assault a teacher with a razor blade after going to the washroom and applying the Joker's signature makeup and using the said blade to cut her mouth into a permanent smile. I could go on for so much longer about criminals who were inspired by fiction, so perhaps this entry will get a part two. Remember, sometimes fact is stranger and much scarier- than fiction.

By Jade Sherry

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