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10 Real-Life Crimes Inspired by Films and TV Shows

6. Fight Club and Kyle Shaw

Seventeen-year-old Kyle Shaw, allegedly constructed homemade explosives and set it off in front of a Starbucks shop in Upper East Side, Manhattan on 25 May 2009. He was later found to be a member of a local boxing club and eventually admitted to having been inspired by the character Tyler Durden from the movie Fight Club.

Fight Club and Kyle Shaw
A scene from the movie Fight Club (on the left), Kyle Shaw (on the right). Image credit: Fox 2000 Pictures, Hermann for News/

Fight Club (1999) is a movie that is both about the club of the same name created by the protagonist Tyler Durden for fighting, and about a rebellion against the capitalist society that has authoritatively maintained its hold on people and their individuality.

In the movie, there is a scene where Tyler convinces his friend and others to blow up entire buildings with explosives and terms it “Project Mayhem.”

Similarly, in real life, a 17-year-old teenager named Kyle Shaw, who also happened to be a member of a boxing club nearby, tried to blow up a Starbucks in the vicinity trying out his own version of “Project Mayhem.” He even admitted to being influenced by the movie. (1, 2, 3)


7. Luka Magnotta

Luka Rocco Magnotta was most notably infamous for the murder and dismemberment of a university student, Jun Lin, in May 2012 in Montreal, Canada. He is said to have taken inspiration from several Hollywood movies including American Psycho, Casablanca, Catch Me If You Can, and Basic Instinct for this murder and subsequent escape.

Luka Magnotta
Capture from the movie American Psycho (on the left), Luka Magnotta (on the right). Image credit: Edward R. Pressman Productions, QMI Agency/Rex Features via

Luka Rocco Magnotta brutally murdered and later dismembered the corpse of a University student named Jun Lin and is said to have been inspired by several movies for this crime. The way he murdered Jun Lin was later found out to be similar to a scene in the movie Basic Instinct (1992) where the victim is tied to the bed.

Furthermore, it is speculated that since he made a video of the murder and posted it online, he played the same song as the one playing in the movie American Psycho (2000) during a murder scene.

A poster of Casablanca is visible in the video, and he is said to have taken a lot of ideas from the Leonardo DiCaprio movie Catch Me If You Can (2002) for his subsequent run from the authorities. He also used a lot of names and aliases from characters of these movies as a homage to them. (1, 2, 3)


8. Taxi Driver and John Hinckley

John Warnock Hinckley Jr. is an American man who tried to assassinate U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Washington, D.C. on March 30, 1981. He is said to have been inspired by the Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro Classic Taxi Driver (1976) and was obsessed with the actress of that movie, Jodie Foster.

Taxi Driver and John Hinckley
Capture from the movie Taxi Driver (on the left), John Hinckley (on the right). Image credit: Bill/Phillips Productions, United States Federal Bureau of Investigation/ FBI Field Office Washington via

Taxi Driver (1976) is considered one of the greatest movies ever made. The movie is about a man named Travis Bickle who is a taxi driver but is driven to madness by several contributing factors and eventually decides to assassinate a presidential candidate.

Similarly, in real life, a man named John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan, the then President of the United States in 1981. He wounded Reagan slightly and severely wounded several other people.

It was later found out that he was obsessed with Jodie Foster, the lead actress of the movie Taxi Driver, and did it with the hopes of impressing her. He is also said to have stalked her several times and was eventually sent to an insane asylum. (1, 2, 3)

9. Saw

Two teenagers named John and Noor were arrested and booked as juveniles in Salt Lake City, Utah in March 2009 after they were overheard discussing the plans for the kidnapping, torturing, and killing of some people as a punishment for their wrongdoings as was portrayed in the movie Saw (2004).

A scene from the movie Saw. Image credit: Twisted Pictures

In the movie Saw (2004), a serial killer who goes by the name of Jigsaw kidnaps his victims and tests them with complicated puzzles, which, if they fail to solve, he brutally murders them.

Similarly, in real life, two teenagers from Salt Lake City, Utah were overheard by their parents when they were discussing locations and plans for the kidnapping and subsequent murders of several people including two students and a police officer.

They were caught and booked but eventually confessed that they got their ideas from the movie and that they were planning to videotape the whole killing spree they planned with the hopes of getting famous and being recognized for mimicking the killings in the movie. (Source)


10. Scream

A 24-year-old man named Thierry Jaradin murdered a 15-year-old girl named Allison Cambier on 9 November 2001 in Gerpinnes, Belgium. The murder was committed in the exact same way that the ghost-face masked-killer murders his victims in the movie Scream (1996).

Scream and Allison Cambier
Capture from the movie Scream (on the left), Allison Cambier (on the right). Image credit: Woods Entertainment, DR/

In the movie Scream (1996), a serial killer terrorizes the town of Woodsboro by entering the houses of unsuspecting victims and slashing them with a knife several times until they are dead. The serial killer in the movie wears a black outfit and a distinct mask inspired by the painting of the same name as the movie by Edvard Munch.

Similarly, in real life, a lorry driver in Belgium named Thierry Jaradin befriended his neighbor, a young girl named Allison Cambier, and in the guise of giving her a music tape, eventually made romantic advances towards her which she declined.

He eventually excused himself to the bathroom, only to dress up similarly as the serial killer in the movie, return, and stab her around 30 times, eventually killing her. This murder shocked everybody in the city as it was very uncommon in Belgium. (1, 2)

Also read: 10 Movies or Tv Shows That Predicted the Future Right


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