It’s not much of a secret that people love stories about killers, psychopaths, and the like, and like it or not, people enjoy watching the movies and getting freaked out as they wonder again and again how could any member of society take any pleasure in such acts. Usually, it’s the mindset of a killer that people are after since they want to understand, they want to know, what it is that makes these people tick. Several killers throughout the decades have inspired one story or another, and it’s fair to say that some individuals have inspired multiple movies based on different subjects. But the idea that people enjoy these stories and continue to sift through the fictional tales of human suffering and pain is a little more disturbing than the actual movies, or even the killers they’re based on. One could say that the killers are the superstars in this matter, and the fans are the sycophants begging for more. It’s dramatic, but it’s also realistic.
Here are five serial killers who inspired one or more movies.
5. The Zodiac Killer
This was a case that stymied the police in such a way that the killer was never found. In fact, the Zodiac killer has been seen in movies as well as TV since American Horror Story showed the killer in a brief shot. But the coded letters, the taunts, the supposedly random killings, all of it was enough to rile people up in a big way since folks couldn’t help but be afraid in this type of situation. There was no telling who the killer was, where they would strike, or if there was even a discernible pattern that might emerge at one point. In the movie Zodiac, the lead character became so obsessed that he lost everything, except his life.
4. John Bunting
This entry might not be as well known simply because he takes a bit more research to discover. The Snotown Murders is a lesser-known movie that details the murders that Bunting and his associates engaged in, which was gruesome stuff to be certain. Bunting is currently serving several life terms without the possibility of parole, and the movie itself is more than a little disturbing to watch since even if it does get a few things wrong for the sake of cinema, it’s enough to think that filming this movie had to be a little rough given that the acts that Bunting committed were horrific to a sickening extreme.
3. Ivan Milat
Another movie based on an Australian killer, this story took from the Backpack murders that Ivan Milat was responsible for, and the movie was titled, Wolf Creek. This is another movie that’s not hard to find but it’s still not quite as well known. Both the reality and the cinematic versions of this story are horrifying since the idea of hitchhiking is bad enough, but thinking of what can happen has made it necessary in the minds of many people to think twice before doing such a thing, or picking up hitchhikers to start with. The movie is actually kind of gruesome and terrifying on its own level.
2. Jack the Ripper
This is one that doesn’t really need any explanation since Jack the Ripper was thought to have never been caught after taking on a gruesome run through Whitechapel. While the movie From Hell takes a lot of liberties with the actual story it does show the inspiration for the movie since back in his day, the Jack the Ripper, which was a term coined by the people and the newspapers for the sake of putting a better label to the Whitechapel Murders, was quite the terror. The killer was particularly vicious in a time when brutality and the hard facts of life already had a way of making things horrifyingly difficult.
1. Ed Gein
Ed Gein inspired a few horror movies since he’s considered one of the more prolific and horrifying murderers in history. But the one that really manages to get the attention of the people of course is Silence of the Lambs since the inspiration behind the movie was the fact that Gein kept souvenirs that were stitched out of human flesh. That alone is enough to make him one of the more terrifying names on this list since the sheer nerve it would take to not only open another person up but skin them like a prized animal, is something that has made many people be sick in a very profound way.
It’s not much of a mystery as to why so many people want to understand the minds of serial killers, they are fascinating in their own way since there’s a serious disconnect in their minds that makes it possible for them to look at human life in a very detached sort of way at times.